Stephen Karlson (shkarlson) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
Stephen Karlson


P. J. O'Rourke's latest book is Don't Vote: It Just Encourages the Bastards.  Quick Book Review No. 14:  it's likely to amuse people whose worldview is similar to Mr O'Rourke's, while giving those who don't ample reason to mutter "mean-spirited" or "not funny" or "I'm offended."  It comes in three parts.  First, we get The Sex, Death, and Boredom Theory of Politics.  Freedom is good.  Happiness is not an entitlement.  Then comes What Is to Be Done?  The answer is not one that Lenin, who also posed that question, would agree with.  The section is a perspective on current events.  The policy prescription is the third part, Putting Our Big, Fat Political Ass on a Diet.  "The only answer to politics is to reduce its power."  That's page 253.  The rest is simply commentary.

The Proper Form refers to the book's footnoting.  Where Mr O'Rourke makes reference to a source, there is a number on the page, and a corresponding number at the bottom of that page identifying a description of the source, and perhaps an excerpt from that source.  None of this easy-for-the-typesetter, never mind the strain on the reader provision of end-notes, and, most notably, none of this numbered endnotes, internal asides in the position of footnotes, but identified by asterisks or daggers or other survivals of railroad timetabling, that are symptoms of either a sloppy writer or a lazy editor.

Never mind the politics, master the forms of footnoting!

(Cross-posted to Cold Spring Shops.)
Tags: current events, humor, politics
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