Monday, October 23, 2006

On The Nightstand

My nightstand currently looks like it might explode. An odd assortment of reading material there. All of it sort of contradictory...

There is this...Apathy, and Other Small Victories. Very light, and laugh out loud type of reading. A typical slacker novelette...

Shane's a numb loser in a city full of freaks. He learned to swear in sign language so he could converse with his dentist's deaf hygienist, but now she's dead, and the police want answers and fluid samples. When it's not sending up crime novels, the narrative satirizes soulless corporate life, but Shane is hard to take either way. In a rare moment of honest assessment, he notes, "I have always thought of people as punch lines." And that's what this book is: an onrushing series of twisted gags, some of them hilarious, others not so much. (Neilan would be funnier if he wasn't so smugly sure of how funny he is.) A highlight: "And then there was some sex . . . We were like two dead fish being slapped together by an off-duty clown." Remember those "Deep Thoughts with Jack Handey" throwaways that used to run between sketches on Saturday Night Live? This is a (barely) novel-length version of that kind of humor. In other words, juvenile fun for undiscerning lads with two hours to kill. A mystery for the Maxim generation. Frank Sennett
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Oddly enough, the other book sitting right next to Apathy happens to be "The Art of Happiness", by The Dalai Lama...yeah it was unplanned I promise. I am also much to lazy to capture such an odd combination.

Part Two: Human Warmth and Compassion
Chapters 5-7 are concerned with relationships between people. Take the chapter descriptions below with a grain of salt: these three chapters are very closely related, and the subject matter of each appears in all three to a certain extent.
5. A New Model of Intimacy. The Dalai Lama bases his relationships not on the specifics of people's personalities, but on the general aspects of the human condition: All people want to be happy and escape suffering. By developing compassion for the human condition, a person can relate to anyone and need never be lonely or lack for companionship.

6. Deepening our Connection to Others. Relationships based on compassion (on desiring that all people be happy and escape suffering) are based on unchanging aspects of the human condition, and so are more stable than relationships based on status, common interests, wealth, sex, or romance.

7. The Value and Benefits of Compassion. Developing the ability to view all people with compassion is a key component of having healthy, stable relationships with others and being happy.

An interesting book to be sure, and calming, makes sleep come a little easier...

Read both..

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