Thursday, August 6, 2009
Book Review #3
Should you read it: yes. Even if it's dated at times Wolfe's writing is insightful, snappy, and often hilarious. It's also a short, blazing fast read.
This is one of many books that I, as a student of nonfiction writing, have had on my shelf for many years, and I'll admit, at times I've pretended I'd read the whole thing, rather than just the first 20 pages.
I finally picked it up, because I just couldn't read only Proust for the whole Summer (10 more pages today!), I don't yet have a library card (soon, soon), and I had a minor epiphany... One of my students was going to a Gala-Grand-Opening Ball. This was the grand opening in honor of the Shepard [Kennerly:] Fairey exhibit. You may have read about it in the Boston Globe at the very bottom of the article with the headline, "Wahlberg and his girlfriend tie the knot." The Globe really has their fingers on the pulse. Of something. Anyway, they couldn't have the opening when it actually opened in February because Fairey was arrested as soon as his plane landed in Boston. And so I wondered, is my student going to a "Radical Chic" event? I suppose I could have looked it up on wikipedia, but I'm glad I read the book instead.
Despite the presence of Chuck D from Public Enemy, I think the answer must be no. Chic, yes. Left-wing, yes. But really, once you're celebrating the work of an artist who has created the most iconic portrait since Alberto Korda's photo of Che Guevara, in support of a presidential candidate who was actually elected, well, it loses some of its radical appeal. You dig?
Sadly, while I work for a non-profit I also don't see any mau-mauing in my future. But leaving aside whether my jew-fro is at all intimidating to the white man, I can see how the general strategy would be effective. I will bring it up at our next staff lunch.
Read more of my book reviews at my read shelf: