||People always ask me what this book is about. It could be about the reincarnation of Thomas Paine, but it's really about whatever you decide it's about.
What I mean is: The book provides so many opportunities to fill in the blanks, you can spin it in hundreds of different ways, depending on how much imagination you have.
||Despite the perceived political implications of this novel, the book is really about grades of character and self-actualization, which is why it triggers such strong emotional responses in people, positive and negative.
The anti-intellectual left loves to trash this book, but that tells you everything you need to know about them.
||An incredible masterpiece, still highly relevant today.
|The True Believer
||A seminal work on the nature of nationalist and religious mass movements.
|The Selfish Gene
||More than anything, Dawkins' intellectual enthusiasm runs very high in this one.
|The Moral Animal
||Darwinian analysis on steroids
||Boyer explores many interesting ideas on a very complex subject.
|The Triumph of Politics
||An important part of my early education about how Washington really works. We pour trillions of dollars into a big pot and then our whores (Senators and Congressional representatives) fight
to get back as much as they can for their special interests and campaign contributors. This book is also a good history of the (failed) Reagan "revolution."
|The Tempting of America: The Polticial Seduction of the Law
||This book should be required reading in our nation's law schools. Non-lawyers may appreciate it too, because it explains the role of the judiciary in our democracy. Bork also highlights
the crude anti-intellectualism of the left, and the rather unfortunate fact that highly-charged emotional arguments usually carry the day over well-reasoned ones.
|She Sells Sanctuary
||One of the greatest rock songs of all time. An epic live version is here
|Dark Side of the Moon
||I read an interview with Roger Waters where he described taking the finished recording home (on a reel to reel) and playing it for his wife. Upon listening to it, she burst into tears.
|Van Halen I
||Arguably, the best debut album ever. Every song on this is record is good. I remember when it first came out and being blown away, especially by Eddie Van Halen on guitar and David Lee Roth as the
ultimate front man.
|In the Meantime
||Check out the video here. Seems like a satire of the hipster
culture, which I always find amusing.
||I'm not sure if I could handle Kim Deal, maybe in an alternate universe. Check out the video here
|Love Is Blue
||Andre Popp / Paul Mauriat
||Check out video here
||I love this version from 1968, with the full orchestra behind it.
Glen Campbell also has a good version.
||The War on Drugs
||The first time I heard this song, I thought it would immediately eradicate all of the Justin Bieber energy in the universe. Apparently, that was wishful thinking, but doesn't detract from the talent of
these guys. The video also has a really good vibe.
||This song will always hold a special place for me because I featured the lyrics prominently in one of the most important chapters of Kaleidoscope.
Check out video here
|Dumb and Dumber
||Jim Carrey's best movie. Jeff Daniels is excellent in this one, too. Also has an underrated soundtrack:
|Dumb and Dumber To
||Not as brilliant as the original, but a worthy sequel.
||I love Alan Ball, including Six Feet Under. He writes stories with complex, layered themes. This is also one of the hallmarks of my novel, Kaleidoscope (and why it took me four years to write).
|A Clockwork Orange
||Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece. If there was ever an actor born to play a role, it was Malcolm McDowell as Alex.
||Superbly acted and directed. Mary Tyler Moore was underrated as an actress.
||My favorite scene is when the Dodgers visit Cincinnati. There's a kid in the stands who tells his dad he's exicted to see Peewee Reese play. His dad responds normally until Jackie trots out of the dugout. At this point, the dad
starts hurling racial epithets. The kid appears to be initially weirded out by his dad's behvavior, but then mimics him by yelling his own insult. Peewee Reese responds by running over and putting his arm around Jackie. The camera goes back to the kid,
who is now completely dumbfounded. The clip is here.