Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Guest Post: Debbie Mutford's Review of David Lester's The Gruesome Acts of Capitalism

Statistics can always be presented to best illustrate one's own intentions.
Statistics out of context lack responsibility and a solid base.
This is the case with David Lester's The Gruesome Acts of Capitalism.
I wanted to like this book...I really, really did but found the lack of development too overwhelming. The author did no writing! Even the preface is done by his co-band member, Jean Smith. The entire book from cover to cover is a bunch of facts and/or quotes from other sources. How can numbers standing on their own make for good reading? Where's the controversy? The background information? The passion behind any of it? Throwing quotes around for 103 pages reminded me of an old Saturday Night Live sketch when Mike Myers (imitating his mother) would throw a topic out and ask us to "talk amongst yourselves".

Researching some background information about David Lester (his band, his art), I would have loved to have read some of his anarchist thoughts on the facts he presented. Instead, I was left to absorb the facts, as they are (flawed or otherwise), with my own life lens. I didn't get anything new, or raw, or stimulating.

a)some of the quotes have confusing number sense:
pg 56 (drugs/health problems)
b)some of them contradicted each other and/or didn't match up:
pg 68 vs. pg 86 (HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa)
c)some of them were a stretch to link to capitalism:
pg 58 (rape)

100% of the readers in this household found the book ineffective.
This statement is a reflection of the book in that it doesn't provide enough information to substantiate the statistic (how many people live in the house); nor does it use any thought or substance to make it powerful. It's just a fact thrown out there.

Capitalism has gruesome talk amongst yourselves (I'm feeling faklempt).


Chrisbookarama said...

Doesn't sound like a thrilling read.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

The book may have been pointless, but your review was highly entertaining, Debbie! I thank you for saving me loads of time by not reading this.