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    Dagbooks: Blowing Smoke

    I’ve been reading a terrific new book. Perhaps you’ve heard of it? It’s called Blowing Smoke: Why the Right Keeps Serving Up Whack-Job Fantasies About the Plot to Euthanize Grandma, Outlaw Christmas, and Turn Junior into a Raging Homosexual, by Dagblog’s very own Michael Wolraich!

    I’ve been reading even more than usual since I moved to Indonesia. I suspect it’s because I can’t understand the programs on my television but it also might be because I bought a Kindle before moving overseas and I surely want to get my money’s worth. 

    In any case, one thing that I dearly miss from my days of living in the United States is my book group. For almost 15 years, I met more or less once a month with an ever-changing group of women to drink wine and discuss books—fiction, nonfiction, short stories, plays, poetry, biographies, books we loved, books we hated, books we couldn’t finish, books we could barely start. It was something I looked forward to each time, regardless of our book selection.

    So, why not do the same thing virtually? I think we’ve proven at Dagblog that we certainly don’t need to be in the same room to enjoy intelligent, entertaining conversation. Why not spend some time together deconstructing and discussing books?

    Over the next month, I’ll be giving it a try with Blowing Smoke, going chapter by chapter. I’ll get the discussions started by posting what I think are the salient points in each chapter but a book group only works when multiple people chime in to disagree and debate. I hope you’ll join me.

    If we’re very, very lucky, maybe the esteemed author will join us as well. Get your copy and start reading!

    Coming up Wednesday: Chapter 1 – How Bill O’Reilly Saved Christmas




    Thanks a lot for doing this, O. I'm honored of course, but I'm also intrigued to see what people have to say. What most people have to say, anyway, I mean the ones who recognize my true genius.

    Oh, ok, so you're suggesting we focus on the critical feedback, then?

    I'm not going to tell readers how to respond to my book. I'll just ban the ones who criticize it.

    Those who criticize your book must hate (persecute) you, which will entitle you to hate them?  Ah, the oppressed Genghises of the world must join together to protect their Genghisness!

    I couldn't have said it better myself. In light of your obvious intelligence and insight, I hereby anoint you an honorary Genghis. Congratulations.

    Oooh fun! I'm about halfway through my copy, but I've been leaving little sticky notes behind so i could remember my reactions.  I was thinking of writing up commentary myself, but I'll never get around to doing that.... Comment on your notes, however, I can quite likely manage!  PS Hi O!

    Great idea. Now to find a copy in the Dallas area.

    It should be at any large B&N or Borders. At B&N, it will be in the sociology section.

    Interesting -- do you know why they chose sociology?

    (As opposed to "current events" or "politics," that is.)

    Hello? Sociology is for.... Social-ISMS.


    You're not thinking so clearly, Paige. You probably need pie.



    Oh yeah, unh huh. Who got smacked? Paige did. Damn right.

    Hi quinn!

    Dunno. There is sociology (and socialism, thanks Quinn) in the book. B&N also classifies similar books like What's the Matter with Kansas under sociology. But politics & current events would ahve been a much more appropriate classification. I suspect that the folks at B&N are probably Anti-Genghites.

    You can probably get ahold of it through one of these options -- and if you don't like using the internets or the mega-chains, any bookstore will likely be happy to special-order it for you!


    Great idea, looking forward to this.  I had forgotten before Blowing Smoke just how big a deal the War on Christmas was.

    Okay...you got me. I'll have to mail order it next week, but count me in. Perhaps some "genius" could create a dialog box or pull down menu on the front page of Dagblog that goes directly to the discussion panel with past chapters to review so we don't have to pick, poke and hope are way through the clutter.

    By the way, have you heard about that new electronic book like the Kindle call The Kno? I'm waiting for that one. Here's the url :


    Check out the links on the left -- under "Old But Good" > "Series" > "Dagbooks."  There's still a bit of scrolling, but at least it's one-click.

    I'm sure that the powers that be, whomever they may be, will arrange for an easy-to-find link.

    Great idea!

    And Orlando > Oprah.

    Okay, I'm in. Just picked up my copy yesterday from WalMart, where I ordered it online and picked up in store so I could march through RightWingLand with it in the child's seat of my basket. So I did that, and if anybody noticed they were doing a good job of pretending otherwise.

    I thought about standing in the middle of the aisle and reading aloud from it, but my husband was with me and he nixed that one right off. (He wears disguises and slinks around so no one will recognize him or talk to him.)I thought the buzzer would buzz when I left the store but even that was silent. My God, with that blazing cover how could anyone not notice??

    But I'm reading the chapter on O'Reilly and Christmas, so I'll be ready on Wednesday for anything you have to throw out there, Orlando. (I fell asleep reading it last night, that's how comfortable I am with it.)

    Here's a passage from the book to prove that I'm on the up-and-up here and not just pretending I bought it:

    Where O'Reilly the "T-Warrior" is angles and scowls and ego, Beck the "regular schmo" is doughy and goofy and self-deprecating. His head is constantly in motion, nodding and shaking like a bobblehead in an earthquake. He crinkles his forehead, stares quizzically into space, sticks out his tongue in concentration, and occasionally breaks into tears. His voice travels from grave undertone to shrill dismay to angry shout and becomes nasal and pinched when he parodies his ideological adversaries. He employs props to underscore his points--cutting a watermelon in half to criticize an environmental bill ("green on the outside, and inside it's deep communist red") or dowsing a guest with liquid from a gas can and then lighting a match ("President Obama, why don't you just set us on fire?").

    My apologies to both Genghis and Orlando for jumping the gun here, but I LOVED that paragraph.  That guy Wolraich writes pretty good.


    I can't wait for the sequel, Smoking Blow.

    Orlando, this is a great idea. I am loving the book, but I think it will be that much better with a discussion forum.

    I think I've found the perfect solution for many many people on my Christmas list. 

    I'm excited that so many people are interested in the discussion! It sort of sucks that I'm mostly sleeping while the comments are coming fast and furious, but it makes waking up fun--I always have something to look forward to!!

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