Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Suggested Readings for the Krystal Ball Book Club

Back in the days everyone assumed I would go for a PhD in English Literature, I heard time and time again how “author’s intent” means nothing. In other words, it’s not what the book means to say, or even actually says, it’s whatever meaning you can find within (or impose upon) the text.

In fact, one reason I left that path was the many tortured reinterpretations I would have had to swallow—and create—on my way to Shangri-Tenure. Krystal Ball of MSNBC, however, clearly took this idea to heart when she declared George Orwell’s classic Animal Farm to be a warning against capitalism, complete with the pigs as Mitt Romney “maker” 1%ers. And when people took issue with this rather ground-breaking interpretation, Krystal stood her ground like only someone who had read an entirely different book could.

And thus the #KrystalBallBookClub was born.

Because what other classic books could be dramatically misrepresented to promote a blatantly political agenda? The possibilities are literally endless, once the sheeple are awakened and the scales removed from their eyes, but I suggest the following, in no particular order:

The Old Man and the Sea: Hemingway’s cautionary tale about the dangers of overfishing.

A Wrinkle in Time: Dry cleaning, patriarchy, and why women have always paid more and earned less.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: John le Carré’s compelling argument for government-funded job-retraining programs.

Fear of Flying: Erica Jong examines the perils of airline deregulation and lack of FAA oversight.

The Color Purple: Alice Walker’s insightful look at how swing states determine presidential elections.

The Lord of the Rings: Tolkien’s classic tale of how nine men fought the odds in their quest for marriage equality.

Dune Messiah: Bob Woodward’s insider account of how the Obama administration won the Arab Spring.

The Happy Hooker: How enlightened federal environmental management makes for happy fisherman (and -women).

Fat White Vampire Blues: Andrew Fox’s game-changing investigation of how the Koch Brothers fight their own clinical depression by creating income equality.

The Hobbit: Tolkien’s timeless classic of how ignorant Tea Partiers from flyover shires should just stay at home.

Jurassic Park: Michael Crichton’s expose of how the GOP lost the youth vote.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven: Mitch Albom’s heartwarming tales of the MSNBC green room.

and of course,

Goodnight Goodnight Construction Site: How shovel-ready stimulus saved the U.S. from a second Great Depression.

Happy reading!