Thursday, April 02, 2009

Reader's Diary #474- Stuart Christie: Granny Made Me An Anarchist

Anarchy 101: The cheerleaders in Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video were anarchist, not adulterers. I know, I know, the "A"s on their dresses were confusing.

Anarchy 102: Stuart Christie's Granny Made Me An Anarchist.

I totally admit reading this primarily for the title. But, while Christie tries to make the point, I don't really see why he credits his grandmother with making him an anarchist any more than anyone else from his past. It's a psychological self-diagnosis that he doesn't express well.

The second reason I wanted to read this book was to learn a little more about anarchism. It served this purpose well, and now, as I watch the G20 protesters in London, I understand a little more about those black flags in the crowd. I imagine Christie is there.

This is Christie's autobiography. Christie, for those of you that haven't heard of him, was brought to the world's attention back in the 60s for transporting explosives meant to assassinate General Francisco Franco, the Spanish dictator.

I've always been a little envious of people with a political bent. It must be nice to be so confident in your views to march against capitalism or communism or legalized gambling and what not. Me? It's taken me years just to vote. I've always thought that since I didn't attend every rally, hear every speech, personally interview the candidates, I'd be voting irresponsibly. It's only when I considered that most others are voting just as blindly that I finally made my first "X." So, from time to time I turn to a political book, trying to figure out where I stand.

I avoid talking overtly about politics and religion on this blog. This is somewhat due to my relatively non-confrontational manner, but mostly due to the fact that I use my full name. I'm not scared necessarily about employment issues, it's more to do with the fact that I know how I'm feeling now could change a few years down the road. I don't want to look back on some of these posts in embarrassment. If I change my mind on a book, no big deal. But political and religious stances, well that's something different.

It's hard, however, to discuss a book as political as My Granny Made Me An Anarchist without mentioning politics. I've learned what an anarchist is and, for the time being, I'm not it. At least I'm nowhere near Christie's self-righteous and occasionally hypocritical definition.

But I don't have to agree with Christie to declare this a fine book. Though filled with typos (are anarchists morally opposed to editing?), it was an interesting, exciting, and enlightening tale.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

I believe that anarchists ARE, by definition, morally opposed to editing. But perhaps I need to read this book make sure my assumptions are right.

I understand your reluctance to declare your politics too loudly for fear that they will shift down the road. However, I have found that mine only solidify as I get older/more crotchety.

John Mutford said...

Barbara: The word "crotchety" makes my inner teenage boy giggle.