July 06, 2010

Overton Window: Review

Overton Window So, I actually did not run right out and get this book when it hit the stands; although I knew I would eventually read it.  Why?  Well, the truth of it is that I was pretty sure I knew what was in it, not specifically, but generally, and I was pretty sure it would leave me feeling a little…discouraged…depressed, something.

Well, I saw it while doing some other shopping and snapped it up.  I read it between Saturday night and Sunday Morning.  As predicted it did not really put me in a good mood for Fireworks, BBQ, and Friends.  It did make me thirsty for some adult beverages.  To be sure, there is nothing wrong with the book, it is a good book, entertaining, and all that.  The problem is, these types of books do not hold a lot of interest for me anymore because for the most part, they are now true.

The book is written as though it should be a primer to demonstrate what is going on around people every day, Glenn even said it would be a good way to get people to open their eyes and see what is happening.  I don’t really think so.  I think that if a person cannot see what is going on right in front of their faces that a “fictional” novel is probably not going to do the trick.  If so, then Michael Crichton’s State of Fear (an excellent excellent book on the Globull Warming hoax) would have caused a revolt. Not to mention that Liberals and Moonbats run from anything with Glenn’s name on the cover like a vampire from a cross.  That being said the plot moves along pretty quickly, doesn’t really get bogged down in extraneous stuff, and is pretty straightforward.  It is a novel that should be easily readable and understood even by young adults, in fact it might be better for a young adult audience.

Now I know it sounds like I am trashing a book that by all accounts is written by someone that I respect.  It is not a bad book at all.  It is chock full of facts (that are even annotated in the back of the book), and the characters are pretty well fleshed out.  You get right away that Noah is the spoiled, somewhat drone-like son of an extremely powerful father, trying to live up to the his Dad’s expectations and not at all sure if he wants to.  He doesn’t really know who he is, or what he stands for.  It is clear from the beginning that he is going to be either a patsy or a hero.   The reader will immediately get that Molly is a very smart; very attractive woman who knows exactly what she believes and wants, and aims to do all she can to make it happen.  The elder Gardner is the proto-typical evil power broker doing dirty deeds for the highest bidder, with a vision of ensuring the immortality of his legacy, leaving his mark on the world, remaking the Country in his image.  There are a few characters that surprise, and I admit that I was not at all sure how the climax would be handled, and it was a bit unexpected the direction it took.

The book is worthwhile if for nothing else than to explain the concept of the Overton Window.  It is a concept we deal with all the time.   Gas prices shoot up .80 cents one day and drop .10 the next and we suddenly think that we are getting a good deal, forgetting we are paying .70 cents more today than we did day before yesterday.  The Overton Window is YOUR viewpoint and tolerance for extremes, by moving the window our minds redefine the “acceptable” extremes.

There is an old joke where the daughter writes home from college telling her 3631299862_d4f33228b4 parents that she has met a wonderful man 15 yrs her elder and that they are madly in love, she is going to drop out of college, but not to worry they are going to get married as soon as he finds a job.  The good news is they are going to be grandparents, she is pregnant, which is going to make it tough for her to ride on the back of the motorcycle when her belly gets really big, but that at least the pregnancy will give her the motivation to quit drinking every weekend and getting stoned.  She ends by telling them she would love for them to come see her and meet him but there is not enough room in his camper for all of them to sleep, especially since his buddy shares their bed all the time.

The phone rings immediately and the parents are both on the phone distraught, “ are you serious” they demand to know.  “Nah”, she says, “but I got a D in biology and I really need two hundred bucks to fix my car, I just didn’t want you to over-react to that news.”

That is the Overton Window in action and we see it all the time, it is exactly how our Government operates.  Which is why I didn’t find it “entertaining”,  there is too much truth in it.  That being said I cannot see the end of our real story playing out the way the book did.  I think we are beginning the third act right about now, the next five years, and in many ways we do not have nearly that long, are going to tell us what is to become of us as a Nation.  I think we are all still looking for our Molly.

Not Racist, Not Violent, No Longer Silent.


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