One of the people at the library at which I work lent this to me. I'm not terribly familiar with Plato's work, but Ms Annas's book seemed like as goodOne of the people at the library at which I work lent this to me. I'm not terribly familiar with Plato's work, but Ms Annas's book seemed like as good an introduction to it as any. Didn't agree with all of the opinions and concepts in here--in fact, the assertion that creativity and imagination are useless made me pretty mad--but it certainly got me thinking, and I do plan to find out more about this guy and his thoughts. His "Republic" has been staring at me from my bookshelf for a while. (I'll get around to it one of these days.) ...more
A lot of it was really pretentious and smug, and the title wasn't very relevant to the contents. That seems to happen with the nonfiction I've read laA lot of it was really pretentious and smug, and the title wasn't very relevant to the contents. That seems to happen with the nonfiction I've read lately. The author seemed very pro-capitalism, Christian, and potentially racist. And the questions I was most interested in that he brought up-- "How does form (or energy) influence matter?" "What is matter?" "What happens to form (the soul) when it leaves matter (the body)?" "How is it that 'mere' matter has come to be arranged in orderly forms?" "What is the relationship between mind and body?" -- were questions that he immediately dismissed as "idiotic".
Rhetoric in books can be really frustrating for me, because it seems all too common for authors to say, "here's this concept, let me prove to you that it's stupid", when there are things they could talk about that they do actually agree with and value. I am far more interested in knowing what matters to people than I am in what they dislike. People speak of their dislikes all the time, but earnest passions tell so much more about a person.
There were two interesting quotes: 'But I define myself in terms of you; I know myself only in terms of what is 'other," no matter whether I see the "other" as below me or above me in any ladder of values.' 'It seems almost as if to be is to quarrel, or at least to differ, to be in contrast with something else. If so, whoever does not put up a fight has no identity...' These are the sorts of things I wanted to know more about within this book. It claimed to be about identity and self-perception, but there wasn't much about that topic, so I was largely disappointed. ...more
There were a couple essays I had to skip because of triggering content, but overall this is a really good collection, with a lot of sincere and very vThere were a couple essays I had to skip because of triggering content, but overall this is a really good collection, with a lot of sincere and very vulnerable parts. I cried a couple times. It was really interesting seeing all the different ways the authors explored the concept of passing (and not "just" issues related to being trans), as well as how passing has affected the authors' lives and their perceptions of themselves. The essays by people of multiple ethnicities were often the most engaging, especially when those people also identified as trans and/or nonbinary.
There was this part in "F2Mestizo", by Logan Gutierrez-Mock, in which he mentions going to a meeting with the Lavender Youth Recreation and Information Center (LYRIC). In one activity, the people who showed up were "separated... into two groups--white folks and folks of color--in order to discuss race. I didn't know what group to join", Logan writes, "so I asked one of the facilitators. She was mixed, and thankfully she suggested that we form our own mixed group--she and I. For the first time ever in my life, I had a discussion about mixed-race identities." That was a part that made me cry... they were happy tears, though, like a lot of the ones I shed while reading this....more
**spoiler alert** This is one of those books that I have very mixed feelings about. On the one hand, it's very well-written, and on the other I actual**spoiler alert** This is one of those books that I have very mixed feelings about. On the one hand, it's very well-written, and on the other I actually kind of loathe it. I've read it twice. My first time through in middle school, all I got out of it was a fear of a certain type of rodent (a fear which I still have, more acutely than ever). Still didn't care much for Julia, who was in the end rather hypocritical and only "a rebel from the waist down", as Winston put it. The story and ideas intrigued me, though I still didn't like the last seventy-five or so pages. That bit might've been even worse this time 'round, come to think of it, since I knew all the horrible things that were going to happen in advance.
Also, Orwell apparently intended it as anti-communist propaganda, which puts a damper on things even more, since the things he was writing about (corruption, conditioning like the Five Minutes of Hate, surveillance state status) are far more common under capitalism. A genuinely communist or anarchist set-up, rather than the state capitalism of Stalin's Russia (which seems to be the first thing people think of when they think of communism), would be completely different than the hierarchical authoritarianism presented in this book....more
Somewhere between a four and a five. It was very funny, but also moving in parts. The characters were likeable and vividly rendered, and I had fun attSomewhere between a four and a five. It was very funny, but also moving in parts. The characters were likeable and vividly rendered, and I had fun attempting everyone's various accents in my head. ...more