My Review of “The Truth About Forever”

Now, I’ve read a lot of Chic Lit in my time, too much, in my opinion, but it was always something I grabbed from the shelf in a moment of extreme boredom and desperation. I think I speak for the world when I say that each time I grabbed for one I was hopeful that it would fulfill my literary and intellectual needs; however, each time I was dismayed to find that not only are they written badly but my IQ level seemed to decrease at a steady rate as I continued through the book.

When I picked up The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen, I thought it would be the same: another book that was recommended by friends but was full of immature agony over middle  or high school life. In this case, however, it was my pessimistic side that was disappointed. Of course, this book does contain the necessary elements of Chick Lit (summer setting, romance, hurt, healing, and “learning”) but within this overly dramatic mess is something new: a true analysis into the complex array of human emotion caused by events, of any type, in a person’s life. The author did not just look at the young girl’s wild emotional roller coaster, but also at the people around her and how they reacted and acted to certain events. By reading this deeply into a book we learn the true lessons that should be learned; even if they are not the one intended by the author.

Although this might seem a little farfetched to you, this is the lesson that I learned from this one book: All people are connected; your actions affect the person next to you, who affects another person. A cycle that goes on forever, that is, of course, based entirely of your perspective of “forever”. If forever is the two minutes that are left in you last period math class, then you are more likely not to be thinking about how your actions in those next two minutes will affect your life and the people around you. Your prespective is different again if you are behind on your rent and are about to be kicked out; forever then becomes the time that you might have to be without a home. All your mind is thinking is that “I will be in this situation forever”, but many times when we think like this, we are ignoring the important people around us that might need more support than we do. As you think about “forever”, you might be ignoring your child who is stoically putting up a front so that you don’t look so tired and worried. If you got a different impression from this book, please tell me; I would be fascinated to learn other people’s perspective on this topic.

This type of look into the grayness of life is fascinating because so many authors seemed delusional into believing that everything is black and white, that there is a good and bad side to everything. In reality though, all of us just react to someone else’s act and are rarely trying to hurt anyone, and if we do try to hurt then it is usually based on perception of the other persons action(s).

The only thing that is very unrealistic in this book that you will have to watch for is the possibility that everyone is happy in the end, that everyone settles into a happy relationship with all their troubles past, but I wouldn’t dwell on that too much; this is a book that to be enjoyed must be read at a deeper level than the mindless scribbling of a lovesick girl. But of course, that might just be my pessimistic side, coming up for air again, maybe it will be proved wrong again… maybe everyone ends up happy in real life… but I doubt it.

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Published in: on November 20, 2009 at 6:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The New Revolution: What Would Our Founding Fathers Think?

I was browsing through the latest political and social commentary that is the Huffington Posts website when an interesting article caught my eye: The Weird Contradictions of the Tea Bag Revolution by Bob Cesca. This sounded interesting to me because I favor history over other subjects and when someone uses it to analyze current day situations it amounts to the coolest thing ever (for me). While reading I learned quite a lot and it spiked my interest in this weird contradictory protest, so I, myself, did a little research and these are some of the interesting reasons for this “revolution” that I have come across. Some of these reasons include people blaming the current president, and the government, for increasing the National Deficit, people’s anger at the stimulus plans designed to help people keep their jobs, taxing the “people” (i.e. the upper 5% of the population that is considered wealthy), and overall making people help their fellow citizens that are in need of assistance. I would like to point out my opinion on the above topics.

On Pajamas TV, a right wing online “news” show, the stimulus plans are being called “pork” as in “pork spending”. This comment interests me because the money that is being spent to further boost our economy so that we can afford to pay off our National Deficit is being put to shame as unwanted spending when during the Bush administration the billions of dollars being spent on the war was considered necessary. When did we get to a point when money spent on blowing up and then rebuilding another country was considered mandatory, and money spent on helping people keep their jobs, money spent on improving healthcare, and generally assist and improve America is considered “pork spending”? Also, to top it off, Bush was the one that started organizing and planning the stimulus bill, Obama was the one who adopted it and implemented it.

On the note of the current President being blamed for increasing our national deficit: how do you fix a country without spending any money? Before Bush was elected in 2000 may I point out that Clinton (yes, a money-spending, people-taxing liberal!) brought the National Deficit to a remarkable low after inheriting a huge National Deficit from Bush Sr. in the 1990s. It is also interesting to point out that George Bush Senior had brought the Deficit to the highest point that it had ever reached until his son beat him in the first two years of his presidency. So, is the current day scenario ringing any bells for anyone? You cannot blame the president who is struggling with bringing down the huge national deficit for not doing it within the first months of his presidency. It may have only taken a few years to bring our deficit to an all time high, but it will take much longer for Obama to even bring it down to an “acceptable” height.

My comment on Mr. Obama’s plan to retract the Bush tax cuts on the upper classes: Please learn your history! October 29, 1929, also known as Black Tuesday, is the widely accepted day that the “Great Depression” started. Although the economy had been in a slow downturn before this horrible day, it is still thought of as the beginning of a national catastrophe. Herbert Hoover, the president at the time, tried to convince the people that “bright days” where around the corner, but when the Depression spread into the 1930s and his name was being used all over the country in decidedly negative ways (ex: “Hoovervilles”, and “Hooverblankets”) he decided that it was time for a new policy. His brilliant idea was to give people with money more money to spend on the economy. This economic strategy is called “Trickle-down economics” and has been a popular Republican strategy since its start in the 1930s.

Maybe, that is even what Mr. Bush was thinking about when he implemented his tax cuts for the rich, but as we can see it didn’t work for him, and it didn’t work for Hoover either. “People did not eat in the long term” and that is what his plan was, long term. His poll rates plummeted farther and it was certain in 1932 that Hoover could not win, and he didn’t. His competitor Franklin D. Roosevelt became the next president of the United States, and promised “A New Deal”. His New Deal consisted of the alphabet programs and other community helping organizations. Obama is our New Deal, like it or not. Now, of course the Great Depression is on a much bigger scale then our current situation, and lasted 10 years, but the point is that Bush was essentially giving money to the rich with the tax cuts, like Herbert Hoover, and Obama is taking away those privileges, just as Roosevelt did, to better fund the tax cuts for the middle class.

To quote Bob Cesca, “You are responsible for your neighbors’ mortgage.” In a practical view your own property value will decrease after a foreclosure on your street, but also it makes sense from a moral standpoint. What many republican politicians and citizens are saying is “I’m not worried about my fellow citizens; I am too self centered to help them!” This is contradictor to the point of a protest. A protest is meant to further your own opinions (which is fine) and, hopefully, end up helping the people around you. This is what the Tea Party protests seemed to be aimed toward, but how can you say you want to help other people with a peaceful protest, when you are also saying that you cannot help others around you. Also, people are angry at the government because they believe that the government is “rewarding” people who bought houses that they could not afford. Of course, when someone makes such a decision they should be expected, as a reasoning human being, to take responsibility for their actions, but there are some people who could afford their house when they bought it. But with the economic crisis they found that all of a sudden their money that was supposedly safely stored in a bank was gone. What do they do then? I believe that the housing stimulus is more focused on these people.

I think that our current situation requires Americans to stand together, and help each other. If you cannot afford to help your neighbor with money, then do community service, give food to someone on the street, and generally help yourself by helping others. In times of strife and turmoil, such as this, it is time to go back to the basics, and one basic specifically. Treat others the way you want to be treated. If you had lost your home would you want someone to give you a few dollars? Right now you might say that he/she is not my responsibility and that he/she put himself/herself in that situation, but what if it happened to you? You might have put yourself in that situation but would you still want help? Would you still consider yourself a human being, and worthy of being treated like one?

So, may I ask you this, with the proof that I have lain out above, is it this protest necessarily the best way to help America? You decide.

These are some of the links that I used to research my above article, and hopefully will be helpful in your quest for answers! Enjoy!

1. http://www.pjtv.com/video/PJTV_Daily/Joe_the_Plumber_at_the_Tea_Party_Protest_in_Washington%2C_DC/1451/;jsessionid=abc8zJeqkbcJOg8tWIFas

2. http://taxdayteaparty.com/teaparty.html