Friday, May 19, 2006

Arrogance and Welcome to Fred

Tonight Jess and I are going grocery shopping for the first time in three weeks! The house is empty; the cupboards are bare! It's going to be a long trip. I'm excited though, because we're picking up lots of plants for our new planters and the rock garden Jess and the kids made for me. This weekend is packed full already. I tried making plans and found every one of them confounded by other things, so I've given the weekend up to the Lord. He can make the plans, and I'll just follow along. I wish I was better at doing that daily!

Arrogance by Bernard Goldberg is a truly enjoyable read. Goldberg doesn't waste time trying to create a vast left wing conspiracy tied to Islam or Communism, he just presents the facts as he sees them. As a former insider, he's got the dirt on media bigwigs, and he's not afraid to dish. The liberal bias in the news is causing many people to flee the big three networks and turn on cable to find an escape. Goldberg offers up several examples of this bias and then goes further by coming up with several suggestions (some tongue in cheek) for correcting this slant. He also includes surprisingly frank interviews with Tim Russert and Bob Costas. Goldberg's other books Bias and 100 People Who are Screwing Up America are also excellent reads. He doesn't attack people on a personal level (although you can tell he has a bit of a grudge against Dan Rather) or use hyperbole or vitriol to get his point across. Some books written with a conservative slant make you want to throw up your hands and give up on this country, but Goldberg's books don't have that effect. You can tell he not only loves the country he lives in, but also the profession that he's chosen, and he has hope for the future.

Welcome to Fred by Brad Whittington is a fun insightful look at the life of a small town teenage boy questioning his faith. Mark Cloud is a dreaded PK (Preacher's Kid) and moves from town to town so often, he's created his own rules of survival. But when the family moves from suburban Ohio to rural Fred, Texas, he needs to find a new way to fit in and figure out who he is. The way Mark's brain hops from topic to topic with no transitions is so true of a teenager, and the flat way he narrates jaw-dropping events is also in line with that age group. Small dramas in his life balloon to massive proportions while major events in the world around him seem to roll over him like tumbleweed, leaving little impression on him. Whittington has a dry wit that often brought a smirk to my face and the occasional chuckle out loud at his portrayal of small town life. Mark's father, while a background character for much of the book, is an excellent allegory for God and how He allows and encourages us to question our faith so that we can grow in it. I look forward to the rest of the series.

Hopefully I will spend tomorrow planting flowers with Mia. Tomorrow night we're going out to supper at the Olive Garden with Jesse's parents, Roger and Cathy, for our anniversary. Have a wonderful weekend!