books book reviews

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reviewed by T. Nelson

Score+5

A Cry from the Far Middle:
Dispatches from a Divided Land

by P.J. O'Rourke
Atlantic Monthly Press, 2020, 230 pages
reviewed by T. Nelson

If you think being a liberal or a conservative is tough these days, try being a libertarian sometime. A libertarian is a cynic with a sense of humor, which means people on both sides pile on to them. O'Rourke is one, and his views are summed up here:

Lacking civil liberties and property rights, representative democracy is left with nothing to represent except the will of the mob or—as it's called these days—“activism.” We already live in a country where activists are snatching the role once played by duly elected and duly appointed officials. [p. 47]

Here's a paragraph on his chapter on legalization of marijuana:

I'm a veteran of the 1960s “drug culture.” At least I suppose so. . . . It's just that I don't recall much about it. Where were we going in the “bong bus”? What did we do when we got there? Who else was along for the ride? And why, when I try to think of their names, do they all seem to have been called “Groovy” and “Sunshine”? Oh my gosh, I hope I wasn't driving. [p. 157]

This isn't a comedy book, though he does have good jokes about Biden, socialism, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and libertarians. Some fall flat. But mostly it's politics that is the punchline, which means the libs and cons are going to hate us a bit more for making fun of them.

Now that we're finished being microaggressed by viruses maybe we could do with a bit more libertarian irreverence while we wait for the election from hell that is coming up.

sep 19, 2020