Arts & Culture

Book Club: Dumbocracy AND Losers

Roth’s and Beckerman’s books are a world apart.  Yet, the dialogue they developed over the course of the week is proof enough that two authors of divergent religious convictions and very dissimilar genres can be quite compatible.  Weaving in and … Read More

By / October 3, 2008

Roth’s and Beckerman’s books are a world apart.  Yet, the dialogue they developed over the course of the week is proof enough that two authors of divergent religious convictions and very dissimilar genres can be quite compatible.  Weaving in and out of social commentary, the two find common ground in their uniquely awkward identities as writers.  They marry the seemingly incongrous worlds of human sexuality and religious fundamentalism (without a pre-nup!), define the relationship between kink and the Torah, express the need to mouth off from time to time.  And yes, they even contemplate an inexplicable preoccupation with sodomy!  It’s a discourse that leaves you begging for more… so indulge and go buy their books!

Dumbocracy: In this election year, we hear much about the all-powerful "bases" of each major party. Who are these activists? What drives them? And why are they all equally dangerous to our lives, liberties, and pursuits of happiness? In Dumbocracy, journalist Marty Beckerman spends four years with foot soldiers of the Left and Right-pro-choice and anti-choice, pro-gay rights and anti-gay rights, pro-war and anti-war-and delivers a searing, hilarious indictment of the True Believer mentality.

Losers: Jupiter was born in Russia, but he’s getting quite an education in America. He sees everything slightly askew – but in a way that’s endearing to (most) of his fellow students. A popular girl takes him under her wing. He falls for her. A bully sets him as a target. But Jupiter disarms him in an unexpected way. His best friend ends up hanging with a posse of science geeks. Jupiter feels left out. With dead-on deadpan humor, Matthue Roth makes everything illuminated about American teen life – like Borat as directed by John Hughes.