I enjoy listening to the irascible radio talk show host Michael Savage, not because I agree with every word he says, but because his sheer arrogance, random literary and historical references, and musings on current affairs are incredibly entertaining, whether they’re grounded in reality or not. He’s from New York City, so he reminds me a lot of the grandfather I’ve never met—you know, that old grumpy guy with the Northern accent who sits in the corner of the room at family gatherings and shoots his mouth off to whoever happens to be in earshot at the time.
Savage’s books have amused me as well because they tend to be slightly (but only slightly) more organized regurgitations of what he says on his show. I recently finished his latest book, Scorched Earth, and was unsurprisingly amused but also disappointed. Because the book deals with current and upcoming events (most notably the presidential election and the fate of the country after Obama), it had to be rushed to be published, and that shows in the quality. The book jumps from point to point without really going into any kind of in-depth explanation, and there were a few irksome typos and sentence fragments.
Savage makes essentially the same point that he has been making in all of his books and in his radio show for years: without our nation’s borders, language, and culture, we will have nothing, and the “liberals” in the government-media complex have been steadily eroding the nation’s identity. Obama has only made things worse because he is not just a liberal, he is *gasp* a communist! In Savage’s mind, Obama is doing all he can to destroy American before he leaves the White House, creating a scorched earth for the next president to either fix (as he imagines Trump will do) or destroy further (as he imagines Clinton will do).
I enjoyed the book’s literary and historical allusions, but what bothered me most was that very few sources were cited (only seven end notes in 282 pages). It seems like Savage wants his readers to believe that every word that comes out of his golden pen and his golden mouth is irrefutable truth with no need to be proven. I’m skeptical enough to want to see sources, especially sources that don’t just come from conservative news sites.
Is Scorched Earth worth reading? Yes, if you lean conservative and want to get righteously angry about the state of the country. Yes, if you lean liberal and want something light and fluffy to laugh about. There’s not much substance, so it’s a quick read—but I would check it out of the library rather than buy it.
Never let an old person live in your body.
I’m not sure where this quote came from. Some sources say that it came from Michael Savage. Other sources say that it came from Jim Donovan. But it doesn’t matter because it’s a really good quote.
It makes me think of a tiny old man with a really long beard (like, down to his ankles) sitting in a rocking chair inside my head. He’s not a nice old man or a wise old man. He’s one of those angry, complaining old men, the kind of guy who’s apparently never had any fun in his entire life.
But I know the quote doesn’t refer to those who are “old” in terms of numerical age. “Old” would mean “tired” or “apathetic” or “defeatist” or “pessimistic.” Because having “old” thoughts can cause your brain to age faster and become “old” before your time. “Old” thoughts can even run you down physically.
You can have that “old” mentality at any age. A lot of the time, it’s brought on by doing the same thing day in and day out, so you forget what it’s like to challenge yourself or try something new to get that spark of life and “youth” going again. Don’t think that because you’ve reached a certain age, you can’t do new things and you might as well not even try because you’re “old”—you’re only as old as that inner person living in your body.
I saw a prompt somewhere asking, “If you could eat Thanksgiving dinner with some of your favorite authors (living or dead), who would you choose?” So here are my choices.
1. William Shirer – Because he’s an excellent historian who witnessed the rise of Nazi Germany firsthand, I think he’d have plenty of interesting stories to tell.
2. Anne McCaffrey – She recently passed away on Monday at the age of 85, and she was one of my favorite authors. It was because of Ms. McCaffrey that I became obsessed with dragons and the fantasy genre. It would be great to hear about what inspired her to invent the worlds she created.
3. Emily Dickinson – I’ve always been fascinated by Emily Dickinson – and the meaning behind some of her more obscure poems. Perhaps if I had her over, she could shed a little light on the subject.
4. Tanith Lee – The Gothic style of her writing has always intrigued me. She can create multi-layered worlds with compelling characters, some demonic and some angelic. I think Ms. Lee would be a rather fascinating person to invite.
5. Michael Savage – Because political rants are sometimes amusing to listen to. Even though I don’t agree with every word Savage says or writes, I think it would be interesting to hear him converse with some of these other authors.
Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂