GO NAVY BEAT ARMY

GO NAVY BEAT ARMY

'87 Sir

Thirty years of service ----USNA Class of 1987 '87 Sir

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Real books, not Facebook

Greetings everyone,

So I took a Lenten sabbatical from social media and (gasp) survived. Yup, no Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for 40 days. AND, in addition, I gave up watching TV during the week. OK, mostly during the week, my wife loves watching The Voice, and it became our little guilty pleasure, but for the MOST part I gave up TV except for the weekends. I decided to test the theory of this article about cutting down on social media and picking up on your reading. During this time I tried to make it through my pile of selected books, which I was remarkably successful.

Well, what did this experience teach me?

· Clausewitz was definitely right when he said-“Many intelligence reports in war are contradictory; even more are false, and most are uncertain.” The never ending news cycle about Russians, wiretapping, and other malfeasance was fascinating to watch from a distance as Democrats desperately tried to turn Donald Trump into the Manchurian Candidate and ended up highlighting the shady surveillance practices of the Obamabots. Here’s a newsflash—there ain’t nothing on Trump. Believe me, if there was, it would have been leaked by now. Guaranteed. There will continue to be accusations, innuendo, and rumbling by Democrats desperate to deflect attention from a horrible candidate that ran a lackluster campaign. But in the end, it will fizzle out. It appears to be already happening.

· TV and movies have, for the most part, become almost recycled drivel. Yes, there are some very good television shows, I would almost agree with the assessment that there is FAR more creativity in the TV industry than movies. However, Hollywood seems to be stuck in a rut of remakes, superhero movies, and other schlock that certainly does not make me want to part with my $15 to see.

· Even social media is, well, just not that interesting anymore. Yes, it’s good to keep up with people, and I do enjoy a good puppy video as much as the next guy, but ALL the vitriol and drama in the wake of the election was just exhausting. I mean people came unglued and lost their freakin’ minds…all on the left, of course. It was like the Visogoths were at the gates. Yet life went on, people went to work, babies were born, and...yes...the wheels of government continued to turn.  Needless to say, I think I will be avoiding the drama of prolonged political discussions on Facebook. Too much time and energy to waste yelling past each other. In the end, people will vote and think the way they do and I certainly do not entertain any illusion of changing a hard-core lefty’s worldview with my incisive wit and sarcasm.  And, well, at some point, I just get tired of being called a patriarchal, privileged white guy who only gets up in the morning to oppress women, minorities, and puppies, while polluting the environment with my carbon footprint and not understanding the genius of Lena Dunham and Ashley Judd. 

· MOST IMPORTANTLY, There are SO many good books to read. Dang, my reading list never seems to end. Which is good. I have already had some fantastic books to review from my friends at the New York Journal of Books, and look forward to several more. In addition, I am hoping, since it is the 100th anniversary of America’s entrance into the “War to End All Wars” (yea, that worked out well) that there will be many good books about the last two years of World War I and the American experience and contribution.  I've made it about halfway through my stack above and hope to finish these off before summer.  I have already put more in the queue.  


So take it from me, put down the Facebook and pick up a real book...you'll thank me.