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Thread: Why You should Read What You Hate

  1. #1
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    Why You should Read What You Hate

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/15/o...ding.html?_r=0

    I thought this was an interesting idea; sort of taking UA's literary exchange of hostages to the next level.

    Of course, being a New York Times writer, she makes the assumption that Ayn Rand is a central conservative text (similar to the massive influence liberals believe Fox News exercises). She also completely fails to get George McDonald Fraser's Flashman series, literally judging a book by its cover.

    But I think she may be onto something (as is UA) concerning the benefits of of reading something you may strongly disagree with; although she makes the all-to-common mistake of assuming we are somehow obligated to hate what we disagree with. I for one enjoy the novels of Howard Fast, even though I think the underlying political ideas behind them are complete drivel.

  2. #2
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I watch tv series and films and plays. I get plenty of philosophy from the creative left. The key is:how well is it done?

    Moonlight, the film, showed drug addiction, poverty, homosexuality in sympathetic ways. It was a powerful, beautiful film.
    Fences displays racial strife as real in the life of a common man and it beats him down.It is effective in showing the evil of discrimination.

    Lines in the Dust is a play about poverty and public schools. In it, a working class mother sneaks her daughter into a better school. I saw this play at The Black Rep here in town and while well acted, it was wordy and ultimately preachy. The "preachiness" does them in every time, the liberal warriors.

    So in summary, I will listen to their stuff but it had better be good.

  3. #3
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I completely agree. The rabid liberal I mentioned in UA's post lambasted me for reading The Fountainhead. I didn't even grit my teeth while reading it.

    When my friend attacked me, I couldn't understand why she would be so afraid to open herself up to different opinions. I actually read The Fountainhead while working my way down the list of the best English-language books of the 20th Century, which is a great exercise in choosing books regardless of your proclivities.

    I read Friedman and Howard Zinn but I also read Dinesh D'Souza. I've even read Ann Coulter (I definitely do a LOT of teeth-gritting reading her books).
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    I completely agree. The rabid liberal I mentioned in UA's post lambasted me for reading The Fountainhead. I didn't even grit my teeth while reading it.

    When my friend attacked me, I couldn't understand why she would be so afraid to open herself up to different opinions. I actually read The Fountainhead while working my way down the list of the best English-language books of the 20th Century, which is a great exercise in choosing books regardless of your proclivities.

    I read Friedman and Howard Zinn but I also read Dinesh D'Souza. I've even read Ann Coulter (I definitely do a LOT of teeth-gritting reading her books).
    I haven't read AYn Rand in 40 years. Back in those days I consumed several books a week and read anything that was considered a classic. I still remember my WTF? reaction to this book, it was awful. I don't remember which novel of hers I read, but it was one of the big fat ones. I didn't understand at the time that it is not lauded for its literary value, it is known for packing libertarian philosophy into a story presentation.

    Rand is an example of what I was talking about above--NOT well done works that preach. I like lots of the libertarian ideas but NOT presented by her.
    Last edited by iris lilies; 4-17-17 at 2:17pm.

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