In this zany satire, when the White House escalates the War on Drugs by launching the “Great Roundup” to intern all stoners from political swing stateIn this zany satire, when the White House escalates the War on Drugs by launching the “Great Roundup” to intern all stoners from political swing states, the administration is out-smarted by Flea and his band of freewheelers who take over the internment camps and convert them into “social experiments.” But even Flea and company are outdone by the Devil’s Tower when that celebrated Wyoming mountain moves east toward the nation’s capital. No one knows what the mountain wants until its rumbly language is translated into English by the Middle Earthers, immortal geniuses who have created a utopia in abandoned Ohio coal mines. It turns out that the Devil’s Tower is making an outrageous but non-negotiable demand of the U. S. President.
Flea Circus is populated with many characters as wacky as Flea himself—characters like THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN IN THE WORLD with her multiple personalities, mischievous Jack Nicholson, a dead ringer for the actor of the same name, hardnosed U.S. Secretary of Defense “Crummy” Strudel, upwardly mobile Assistant-to-the-U.S.-Vice-President Hooter Lippy and his glamazon intern Babs, shell-shocked Nam vet Seth Pincus, the philandering Reverend Wilbert Groan of Christ’s Own Evangelical Church, plain-talking Amishman Elijah, and a young woman, Zelda Peters, named for and with the over-the-top personality of the original 1920s flapper, Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald.
An offbeat story with strange twists and a unique ending, Flea Circus is sure to amuse and delight readers young and old.
To divert attention from Iraq, the White House escalates the War on Drugs by interning swing state potheads in “re-education centers.” But hero Flea and his band of freewheeling stoners have other ideas: they convert each and every internment camp into an herb-lover’s paradise. Yet even Flea and company are outdone by the Devil’s Tower when that celebrated Wyoming mountain moves east, at an accelerating pace, toward Washington D.C. People panic and the Defense Department scrambles, but no one knows what the moving mountain is up to until, just outside the nation’s capital, it comes to a stop and makes an outrageous but non-negotiable demand of the U. S. President.
Flea Circus is populated with many characters as wacky as hero Flea himself—characters like THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN IN THE WORLD with her multiple personalities, mischievous Jack Nicholson, a dead ringer for the actor of the same name, and hardnosed U.S. Secretary of Defense “Crummy” Strudel. To these add upwardly mobile Hooter Lippy, Assistant to the Vice President, and his glamazon intern Babs, as well as shell-shocked Nam vet Seth Pincus, the philandering Reverend Wilbert Groan of Christ’s Own Evangelical Church, and plain-talking Elijah, an Amishman. And don’t forget Zelda Peters, who exhibits the same over-the-top personality and wild behavior as famous 1920s flapper Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald.
Flea Circus is an offbeat story with funny twists and a unique ending....more
In the psychedelic nineteen-sixties, Tex Parsons traveled to California to rescue his cousin Jillian from a cult that indulged in sexual and religiou In the psychedelic nineteen-sixties, Tex Parsons traveled to California to rescue his cousin Jillian from a cult that indulged in sexual and religious practices that he feared would threaten not only her chastity but her very soul. Unfortunately for Tex, while hunting down cousin Jillian he encountered the ravishing Conchita—a temptress who severely tested both his own soul and his Christian marriage. Conchita was not the whole story, however: in other adventures, Tex discovered gold in the Sierra Nevada, sparked a melee or two, took on the love cult’s guru in a boxing match, and preached a rousing fire-and-brimstone sermon to the stoned cultists. This hilarious, multi-layered novel features many corkscrew twists and more than a few hairpin turns.
This book might change how you think about American politics. A worldclass cognitive linguist from the University of California-Berkeley, Professor G This book might change how you think about American politics. A worldclass cognitive linguist from the University of California-Berkeley, Professor George Lakoff analyzes liberal and conservative ideology in terms of his specialty—metaphor. In America, he insists, politics is all about morality, and American morality is grounded in the metaphor of the family: conservatives champion a Strict Father morality and liberals a Nurturant Parent morality. In Strict Father morality “father knows best”: the father rules and must be obeyed. The father’s authority derives from the Moral Order, a God-given hierarchy in which man dominates nature and exploits it for his own use, men dominate women and parents dominate children. With authority goes responsibility: to provide for, to protect against external evils, and to teach the self-discipline that alone will yield the moral strength for combating internal evils (temptations), and (in the case of children) the self-reliance needed for success in life. Among other things, this translates into a black-and-white politics with little middle ground, and policies that favor the successful and militate against life’s “losers” (the unself-reliant). This brief description scarcely touches the surface of a metaphor that Lakoff treats at great depth, and which makes sense of many apparent inconsistencies in conservative politics—for example, being against abortion but in favor of the death penalty. In fact, Lakoff devotes many chapters to demonstrating the moral consistency of apparently inconsistent political views of both conservatives and liberals. The Nurturant Parent morality of the liberals is based on moral nurturance. This includes protection as a prerequisite but is primarily based on empathy: being able to walk in other peoples’ shoes, see what they see and feel what they feel (remember Bill Clinton’s “I feel your pain.”). Nurturant Parent morality emphasizes social ties, community, interdependence (“We’re all in this together”), self-development, happiness, fairness. Nurturant Parent moral authority stems not from the “Moral Order,” but from respect earned through nurturing and setting a good example. For instance, when enforcing standards, the Nurturant Parent shows respect for the child by patiently explaining the rules and reasons and by encouraging the child to ask questions and state her views. Politically, these beliefs translate into policies that respect the voices of all Americans, and that seek to “level the playing field” so every American has a genuine (not merely rhetorical) opportunity to pursue his own version of the American Dream. These are ideal models; Lakoff discusses many variations on the “central metaphors.” He describes both normal and perverse versions, the latter including abuse by strict fathers and over-indulgence by nurturant parents. Lakoff is a liberal. In the interest of analytical rigor he attempts to suppress this personal predilection in the first portion (about four-fifths) of the book, then explains why, from a meta view (rising above the Strict Father and Nurturant Parent metaphors), the Nurturant model makes more sense and is more effective in light of what is now known about child-rearing and how the human mind works. Scientifically, according to Lakoff, the Strict Father model is not only out-of-date but counterproductive. The first edition of this book appeared in 1996. The second edition (2002) includes an afterword that discusses, in terms of the Family Metaphors, the Clinton impeachment and the 2000 election. I think it’s fair to say that if Al Gore and his advisers had read and taken to heart the first edition of this book, George W. Bush would never have made it into the White House. Conservatives, on the other hand, have (as Lakoff says) for some time intuitively understood the power of these metaphors and have developed coherent policies around them; liberals, including John Kerry, suffered incoherence for not doing so. I have little doubt that the GOP’s Frank Luntz (and probably Rove and Mehlman) read the first edition of this book with great interest. I think Lakoff got quite a bit of attention from the Obama campaign. A disturbing implication of this book: since politics is based on morality, on many issues compromise may be well nigh impossible. This is especially true for conservatives, for whom in some cases any yielding is considered immoral—giving in to evil. According to Lakoff, at core there’s really no such thing as a “moderate”: at core you’re either a liberal or a conservative—you favor either Nurturant Parent morality or Strict Father morality. Does this mean that “moderates” and “independents” should quit waffling and choose sides once and for all? Read this book. It will teach you to x-ray right through the partisan bickering and obfuscation and propaganda to the heart of American politics.