Thursday, June 14, 2012

Review: Politics Shmolitics

Politics Shmolitics: Why Everyone is Wrong but Me
By Burt Stinglick
Imaginary Press 372 pages
Reviewed by Purvis McGrew

“People think politics is a game.  I have my team.  You have yours.  My team is made up of the good guys.  Your team is made up of the bad guys.  My team is smart.  Your team is dumb.  If my team doesn’t win it’s because there are more stupid people voting than smart people.

“Doesn’t this sound ridiculous?  It does, doesn’t it?  And yet, if we are to believe talk radio, cable news, or that damned brother-in-law who doesn’t ever seem to know when to keep his mouth shut at holiday get-togethers, then doesn’t this seem to be the prevailing attitude concerning politics in America?
“The truth is, my team is not entirely made up of good guys and your team couldn’t possibly be all bad.  More likely, there are bad guys and there are worse guys, and these are the people you have to choose between when casting a vote for an elected official.
“The nature of politics is compromise.  Sooner or later, we all have to compromise if we want to move forward as a society.  You do this not by sacrificing your principles, but through the mutual understanding that we all want to make ourselves, and our country, better.”

Thus begins, in a surprisingly rational, though timid, fashion, Burt Stinglick’s four hundred page political manifesto: Politics Shmolitics: Why Everyone is Wrong but Me.  I included four paragraphs not because they were especially poignant, but because I’m lazy and my editor demanded at least a thousand words.  So far I’m only up to two hundred and ninety six. 

I have a lot to do, you know.  I still have to clean up my house.  I have to feed the dogs.  I can’t be spending all my time doing all this work just to make a living.  Did you see how long the book is????   Four HUNDRED pages!!!!  Needless to say, I didn’t read any more than the first three paragraphs, and I only read those as I was copying them down with my word processor.  But you know what?  Now that I  think about it, I don’t think I agree at all with this author.

I happen to belong to the party of Jefferson… or maybe Hamilton…  I can’t remember which… but whichever one it is I’m pretty sure we’ve always been right.  I know because I’ve attended our rallies.  We’re very certain of ourselves. 

From what I’ve gathered, the other team is pro-murder and anti-freedom.  They love slavery and Hitler.  They're communist-y socialistic fascists.  They want to kill my grandmother and then take away her social security and give it to terrorists.  They are responsible for the current financial crisis, the deficit, 911, and scabies. 

Now I may not have read the entire book I’m currently reviewing, but that doesn’t mean I’m not an expert on the subject.  In addition to the first three out of four paragraphs, I also read most of the dust jacket blurb, and it sounds to me like this guy is one of THEM.  And if you’re one of them, you aren’t one of us.  And if you’re one of us, you probably shouldn’t read this book. I didn’t, and now I’m almost done reviewing it.  Damn.  I’m still only at five hundred and seventy five words.  Oh well.  Screw it.

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