Posts

Showing posts from July, 2019

Review: Dear Luke, We Need to Talk, Darth: And Other Pop Culture Correspondences

Image
Dear Luke, We Need to Talk, Darth: And Other Pop Culture Correspondences by John Moe
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Moe's collection of fictional pieces by fictional characters or ridiculous takes on real-world events is delightful and amusing for those looking to get their pop culture geek on. He tries to hit all corners of the nerd-universe with pieces on alternatives and rejected proposals for SuperBowl half-time shows to the diary of the shark from Jaws to a series of frustrating phone calls between War Horse and his agent to online reviews of different fictional bars (from Cheers to Moe's!). Not all pieces are effective, especially for those who might not be fans of that particular pop culture but when he hits, readers can expect to appreciable laugh. I enjoy the playfulness of a book like this where the author takes the reader on a tour of the pop culture that in some way (just by the fact that he chose these particular icons of pop culture) is relevant or meaningful to him. Addi…

Review: Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It

Image
Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It by Jennifer Michael Hecht
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hecht's book is a fascinating one and one that certainly resonates with me. Her goal is to provide a historical exploration of suicide and, in part, use that history of numerous writers, institutions, and arguments against suicide to then develop a secular argument against suicide--that is, to stay. There's much to her argument that I appreciate. Firstly, she carves out a particular kind of suicide: one born of depression. This, in itself, I see as important and a distinction from other types of suicides that we can--at times--find more morally acceptable (e.g self-sacrifice). She teases out how great thinkers from Socrates to Locke to Durkheim to Camus to Foucault and does well in bringing much more nuance to the discourse than has been done previously. Building a secular moral argument against suicide, despite a tendency for Western individualism to appear to argue for …