Thursday, July 31, 2008

Infatuated with Reading

I wonder if it is possible to be 'infatuated' with someone you have never met, through their writing. The ideas or thoughts, opinions, humor, or silliness, somehow take hold and develop a character we become interested in - whether it be a columnist for a paper or magazine, or a book.

I have, for the third time, read a book by Samantha Power 'A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide'. Each time I read it, I find myself more enamored with her writing style, ideas, and what I imagine as the person behind the written word/book. Her sense of justice, passion, intellect, and duty, compel me to want to act.

I happen to also be fond of Ireland (have that in common), and unfortunately she is now married, but alas, I can remain enamored by the ideas she propounds through her writing, that force us to think and act.

There are some issues - infatuation with someone we do not know based solely upon their writing ... potentially serious issues. Like electing someone based upon their ability to convince us of something we already believe. Power was won over by a candidate and did some work for that candidate until she was forced to quit (officially). Might our emotions cloud our judgment - our passion for something, whether a person or the written word (book) clouded by our desire to believe and our need to possess the particular thing/person? If so, and I believe the answer is yes, then how can reasonable people articulate objective arguments for a candidate based upon their love or hate (like/dislike) for that candidate. Particularly when they are infatuated with the person or the idea of the person!

I do not argue that it has ever been anything but this through our political history, rather, it is an observation, after I find myself wishing I had popped up in Ireland in 1978 before Power left to come to the US. I may have been a bit young at the time, but ... brilliance what it is, doesn't matter.

Interview with Power on her newest book - Chasing the Dream

Time magazine article on Zimbabwe, July 3, 2008

Samantha Power




Make Mine Freedom - 1948

American Form of Government

Who's on First? Certainly isn't the Euro.