...nothing here is promised, not one day... Lin-Manuel Miranda

Gratuitous Snark
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I'm reading a library book - non-fiction - about a topic that fascinates me. It's political, one of my passions for many many years. I got it out, not knowing a thing about it but the quickie summary on the library website. And while I don't put a lot of faith in blurbs, I find them handy, at times, when reading non-fiction, biography or history.

I recognized no names on the dust jacket, no titles nor authors. And I am learning from this book, but i take exception to so much of it. The author is not the first person to tackle this subject, although it was published in 2015, so there are things we have learned. The author's politics are not ones I share. I don't know his,but I know mine. And even then, the information, research, plain old facts kept my interest. I know enough about the topic to note what - and who - he left out of the narrative.

All that is okay - it's a library book, after all and I got it to read, but I'm not required to read it or like it. What bothers me is when the author couldsay something n a neutral tone, just say what happens but feels it necessary to be judgmental and ugly. Showing clear biases in what, I believe, is intended to be a neutral-ish history. I know you can't come to a topic without feeling or knowledge. i also know that snark diminishes what you say in this situation.

It took me hours to try to find the word "gratuitous" in my memory vault. It's not a word I use often, and it tends to show up in reviews where I disagree with the reviewer, often paired with either "violence" or "sex". When you factor in that much of my leisure reading for years and years has been, mystery, you're going to see that word. But, dammit. I end up pulling away, getting thrown out of the narrative and trusting the author less and less when he shows his clear contempt for certain individuals, and manages to completely ignore others who are critical to the story. I suspect some of that ignoring comes from not being able to interview lots of people. But don't muck up a lot of fascinating history because you think someone is awful. Or evil. Save that for a diatribe, a reading, a bookstore appearance, an op-ed, your dinner table. Don't puke on me. I do not have a lot of respect for that individual either, buddy, but I came here to learn. Not to sit in the corner with you, sniggering over what a shit he was.

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