14 06 2007

I know new material has been a bit lacking today; I’m working on something really interesting and I want to make sure I have all the information I need (plus I’m waiting on an OK about an image I want to use).

Just a few notes:

1) A bit “Thank you” to whoever added my “Make me a cell, darn it!” sez Jim post to StumbleUpon. I hope that it eventually gets enough reads as to outpace all the results when someone does a google search for any part of Jim’s original comment. The results from StumbleUpon alone have launched my stats to well over 500 visits for today alone.

2) I finished Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac last night. I wonder what he’d think about the current state of things, when the “modern” mentality about nature seems awfully similar to the kind he protested in the 1940’s. It is a must read for anyone who cares about ecology.

3) I read through the introduction to the “Uncensored Original Edition” of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle last night, but didn’t get further than page 6 into the novel because I was watching Letters From Iwo Jima and the subtitles demanded my attention. In my opinion, Saving Private Ryan is the best WWII (or war-genre, for that matter) film ever made, but Iwo was much better directed film than the jumpy Flags of Our Fathers (to which Iwo is a companion piece).

Anyway, as per The Jungle, I never read it in high school (as many of my classmates did), but I thought that I should read it when films like Super Size Me and books like Fast Food Nation are bringing up many of the same issues. What I didn’t know was that Sinclair “toned down” his novel in order to get it published, and while it originally was much more violent (he removed the word “blood” and many scenes, including one of a baby headed for the meat grinder [I won’t tell you what happens… read the book]) and focused upon the plight of the immigrant workers. Indeed, Sinclair had to dehumanize the immigrant workers to make the book palatable to the publishers, fitting in with the idea that the plight of the workers was their own fault. On top of this, Sinclair was a socialist and hoped the book would stir the trodden-upon into a more revolutionary mindset, but instead it brought in food reforms (which are good, but not what he was aiming for). Anyway, given the current state of fast food and exploitation of immigrant workers, I thought it would be appropriate if I read a book published 100 years ago and see what has changed since then.




One response

14 06 2007
Michael Barton

I just picked up an older paperback of “A Sand County Almanac” at a library used book sale. I haven’t opened it yet.

As for “Flags of Our Fathers,” I was really dissapointed, to the point that I lost attention to the movie and was doing busy work around the house while it was on. I am expecting more from “Letters from Iwo Jima,” and I have that on hold through my public library.

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