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Monday, January 16th, 2012

Time Event
12:33p
Or not so funny ...
So, I was worried at the end of the year that I wasn't going to be able to make my “72 non-fiction books” reading target, as I'd fallen behind and was enmired in a couple of thicker, denser books that I was pretty sure weren't going to be done by 12/31. I must admit to looking for some “quick reads” to slip in the last couple of weeks of 2011, and found 101 Funny Things About Global Warming by Sidney Harris (& Colleagues) at the dollar store. This is a collection of environmentally-themed cartoons from back in 2008 … 101 of them … not exactly a “major” reading project!

This is not to say it was an “easy” read, as most of the material here is snide, nasty, and deeply spun to the Left … with most, if not all, the 21 contributors being of the “chorus” of liberals who were hell-bent on painting George W. Bush as some sort of demon monkey, surrounded by monsters doing his diabolical (yet incompetent?) will. At its best, the material here is archly ironic, at its worst, it's plain partisan broadsides against the Bush administration. The worst of this is the work of Sidney Harris, the nominal “author”, so one has to assume that he had an idea of being “clever” (in that smarmy “all my friends will think I'm SO smart” way) with a book attacking Bush, and got the other cartoonists (all the way up to the brilliant Gahan Wilson) to submit their own pieces on global warming, environmentalism, etc.

While there are some honestly funny bits in here, the feeling at this point is that of going back to that insane period when the voices of the mainstream media (press and entertainment) were constantly trying to one-up each other with barbs at Bush and his administration. This is, as that was, juvenile, snarky, and mean-spirited … but I suppose there are people out there who would find that appealing. If this was a regular book, I'd bring you some quotes, but I assume that scanning and reproducing any of the cartoons here would be “frowned upon” … you can see a few of these, though, via the Amazon Look Inside! view.

Anyway, I really disliked 101 Funny Things About Global Warming, but it helped me to get to 72 books for the year and only cost me a buck. If you're on the other side of the fence politically, however, this might be something you'd love … so you might want to check it out. It's still available from the on-line guys' used channels for a couple of bucks (plus shipping, of course) new, or, if you want to spend nearly ten bucks (!) you can get an e-book version. Personally, I'd say skip it, but there's no accounting for taste.


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