Category Archives: Books & Reading

What’s Auntie Reading Now?: The Methods of Breaking Bad

The Methods of Breaking Bad

Review

This filtered to the top of the pile and is providing some interesting insight into Vince Gilligan’s storytelling style, Nietzsche’s influence, the character of Walter White, and a whole bunch more. Written as only academics can write.

This was provided to me by the publisher in return for a fair review. Thank you McFarland & Company, Inc. Publishers.

Review: Spinfluence

Spinfluence
by
Nicholas McFarlane

Title: Spinfluence
Author: Nick McFarlane
Published: 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1-908211-11-8
Publisher: Carpet Bombing Culture
Twitter: @NickMcFarlane76

What’s Auntie Reading Now? picture

Publisher’s Blurb

…social media in particular, [is] providing new and exciting methods of harnessing the herd.

Picked up on a lark at a museum gift shop.  The artwork appealed and I could smell the irony as I flipped through the pages.

It’s a not so ironic take on how propaganda has been working on contemporary society.  It’s painfully right.  I wanted to rebel at the language which placed the 1% as w.o.l.fs (Wardens of Language & Falsities) and the working class as c.o.w.s. (Corporate Owned Wage Slaves).

Given the roots of anger in the fight wing of the fight-or-flight response, it is no surprise … that a universal trigger for anger is the sense of being endangered.  Endangerment can be signalled not just by an outright physical threat but also, as is more often the case, by a symbolic threat to self-esteem or dignity: being treated unjustly or rudely, being insulted or demeaned, being frustrated in pursuit of an important goal.

It’s chilling, and at the same time, funny.  Chilling because the quotes from Hitler’s Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels still apply.  Funny because … well .. what isn’t funny about a picture of the cow in a business suit?

And then, the final sealed chapter arrives.  And there, literally in black and white, are the instructions to recognizing and overcoming the Hardcore Propaganda Machine.  The truth appears, and it is simple, if only we pay attention to the lessons of the manual and do the exact opposite.

We need more agitators like Nick McFarlane to show us how we got lost and how to stir things up to get back on track.  For that I am scared, and grateful.

New to the Stacks: Reza Aslan and Leslie Berlin

No god but god by Reza Aslan
and
The Man Behind the Microchip by Leslie Berlin

I’ve read Aslan’s Zealot twice now and decided it was time to read some of his other work.

Leslie Berlin spoke about Troublemakers one evening at work.  Before she was done, I’d already decided to track down The Man Behind the Microchip.  (It’s time I knew something about Robert Noyce besides there’s a conference room at work named after him.)