Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Forever War

A 1974 book about an inter-stellar war that goes on forever, with an enemy we don’t understand, fought by soldiers that were drafted, and led by officers that are idiots. Vietnam anybody? Anybody?

This parable of the follies of war is as relevant today as it was in 1974. By taking the never ending war to a ridiculous extreme and by applying the paradox of near light speed travel to the protagonist, we get a hero who lives through the entire 1000 year war, while only aging a few years himself. The difficulties of integrating back into a culture that has gone through several generations while you aged two years also lets Hadleman say something about shell-shocked Vets that volunteered to go back to 'Nam 2 or 3 times.

Tea Party sympathizers, if they can even get through an anti-war novel, will recoil in horror and how humanity solves its war problem. Everybody should read this book though, especially those that won’t get it.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

You know what I never used to like that I like now?

The Lockhorns. When I was young I was horrified by this comic strip. Now that I am older and have been married a while I find the whole thing a lark. I mean it's obviously satire to me. Maybe because the characters are such caricatures of married people, I can look at the whole distortion and laugh. Even Wikipedia's description is funny:

-Leroy Lockhorn - The man of the house who drinks a lot, plays golf too much and chases everything good-looking in a skirt.
-Loretta Lockhorn - The woman of the house is a shopaholic, who drives terribly and does most of the handiwork around the house because either Leroy is too lazy to do it, or because he feels she should earn all the money she spends.
-Loretta's Mother - Never named and rarely seen (usually only during the Christmas season when she comes to stay), but hated mercilessly by Leroy.
-Marriage Counselor - Whom Leroy and Loretta routinely see but to no avail.
-Arthur the Bartender - Local saloonkeeper to whom Leroy often bemoans his circumstances.