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Look for Our Mother and Our Father Paperback – October 6, 2010
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From the Publisher
When I first became exposed to the ideas in this book, I refuted them, as I imagine most readers will. Like so many in our society, I, too, felt there was something I couldn't put my finger on... Yet I had grown up in the same society as everyone else, believing essentially the same things as everyone else. And so I resisted a lot of the views presented in this book at first, because they were not what I'd grown up with; in fact, they're exactly the opposite of what I and my friends were told as children.
This is what makes Look for Our Mother and Our Father a hard book to read. Who wants to think they are wrong? It is difficult to surrender your beliefs, and that is what this book requires. Many people think of themselves as open-minded, and so they think that open-minded people believe what they believe. But I think to be open-minded, you have to be able to hear something which is the opposite of what you believe and to consider whether it may, in fact, be true...
Per the author, "I wrote this because it's something I wish I'd known at a younger age. I think I would have lived a much different life if I had been aware. As I say in the book, `I have seen the illusion of my culture, but have not yet replaced it with reality.' Now I see that there is a screen hiding my view, but I still don't see what's behind it. However, at least I am no longer adding more decorations to the screen and pretending that this makes it more real and adds to our knowledge. At least I'm finally glimpsing what is around the back."
There are ideas in here that even a young college student would resist, because they have already learned to think inside our culture. However, if you can finish it and see the big picture, I believe you will find it will be worth the journey.
- Nada y Nadie, Publisher
From the Back Cover
Imagine there is something important you should know.
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That is the best, most succinct way I know to describe this book.
I realize that most people will want specifics, so I will provide details from throughout the book to prove that I have actually read it all.
This is, without doubt, the most completely deranged, incoherent, mean spirited, anti-everything, lousy excuse for a book that I have ever read! That's saying something considering the many, many books I have read over the last forty years!
The entire book appears to be an emotional, "stream of consciousness" tirade about all that this individual thinks is wrong with all of Western Civilization. Apparently no effort was expended to edit for content. There are paragraphs that have nothing to do with the stated subject of the chapter or section. There are seemingly endless inaccuracies, both factual and historical that are simply inexcusable. There is no logical sequence of topics.
It is no wonder the author published under "Anonymous". As usual with people with this type of world view, they have no courage of their convictions. They can't defend their viewpoint because it is truly indefensible. They depend on us giving them a pass out of a misguided sense of "tolerance". They demand that we "respect" their viewpoint, while refusing to give us any "respect" in return!
At first, I was appalled and even offended by the gross disregard for the truth, but then I discovered that the book can be highly entertaining because I found myself laughing almost hysterically at times at the authors complete divorcement from reality.
If you want to be surprised by the ludicrous hilarity of the book, you will want to stop reading this review now. If you don't suffer fools gladly, you will definitely NOT want to read this book!
I am going to address things, mostly, in the order they are found in the book, therefore the following appears completely random.
The author has the temerity to begin the book with this statement:
"All of my life, people have commented on my ability to see things holistically: to look at the big picture; to put the puzzle together; to see how things interrelate."
All through the book you will see "PEOC". It stands for (Person of European-Originated Culture). The author hates our culture to the extent that the statement "There is no "right" in PEOC culture." is actually made.
I quickly became sick and and tired of the authors endless use of "indigenous people" this, that and the other thing. Apparently, the author believes that these "indigenous people" were somehow perfect, they had no diseases, no crime, no problems! Never any proof offered, just these wild assertions!
Possibly my favorite bit of madness is the one about gravity although the shape-shifting is right up there. You'll have to read it yourself. The following are all verbatim quotes:
"All of our natural laws are cultural beliefs, not reality."
Apparently, there are "indigenous" people that can throw a rock up in the air and it won't come back down???
"Gravity and other natural laws are culture-specific phenomena, just like human nature; they are not universal laws. They apply only to those who do not see reality. Indigenous peoples of the world know this. They do and see things outside of our natural laws all the time. Shape shifting is a classic example. This is practiced by indigenous peoples I know of on two continents (and no doubt by many other cultures around the world). It is scientifically impossible according to the immutable laws of physics, and therefore cannot be done; and yet, people do it. Yet science holds that it does not happen because it is scientifically impossible. So people in our culture believe it does not happen - even though it does happen. PEOCs don't believe what is not a part of our culture, and shape shifting is not a part of our culture. If someone in our culture does hear about shape shifting, they assume it's just a myth, or that the people relating the story are too stupid to know what they saw, or someone fooled them, or they had a hallucination..."
"...if a PEOC sees a figurine which is half human and half animal, they may assume it is a god because, as far as PEOCs are concerned, shape shifting is impossible. But cultures around the world practice shape shifting, so the basis of their reasoning is faulty."
I don't think this author has a clue about reality! Check this out:
"If I see a bird and say, 'I am one entity, and that bird is a separate entity,' then I am correct, and this culture can understand that. But if I see a bird and say, 'I am the same entity as that bird,' I am also correct, and this culture cannot understand. It is scientifically impossible, but it is reality."
More wild assertion, never any facts.
"Scientists believe plants (and "lower" animals) cannot feel emotions, because, according to science, it is our brains which give us emotions: Plants do not have our brains; therefore, they cannot feel emotions. This is how poorly they understand the plants after cutting off their branches and tearing off their leaves. Their reasoning is faulty on multiple levels, but you can see that it is based on the same man-as-top-of-the-evolutionary-chain that controls all scientific thinking. More importantly, their fact is wrong, because plants can feel emotions. Not that it would matter to scientists if they suddenly realized that plants can feel physical pain and emotions. They have granted certain animals the ability to feel physical pain, and a select few the ability to feel emotions, but it doesn't stop them from torturing these animals in scientific experiments. The truth: Torturing an animal - or a plant - would not be okay, even if it did lead to truth or knowledge - which it never does and obviously never can - but their tunnel vision prevents them from seeing the obvious."
"...plants and animals also have spirits and are not below humans."
The section on Christianity is so bad that I am not going to even bother to say anything except that it is an extremely inaccurate tirade. It is historically inaccurate. The entire concept of Christianity in obviously NOT understood at all by the author. I am a Christian and I have known a lot of Christians from a lot of denomination and I have never met any that were like this author asserts that ALL Christians are like. As you will find through this whole book, the author makes wild, sweeping generalizations, focuses only on the negative aspects of everything and twists and distorts everything to force it to line up with their delusional view of the world!
In other parts of the book outside of the section deriding Christianity you will find things like the following:
"It's funny that Christians claim more moral authority from a 2000-year-old text whose meaning has changed repeatedly and which has, at times, been deliberately revised to serve someone's purposes (such as King James) than they would grant to a religion in which each person has to directly make a connection with the Creator. Personally, I'd be more inclined to credit the first-hand knowledge; our culture wants it in writing."
Obviously, the author never bothered to actually meet any Christians to get an account of "first-hand knowledge".
Look at this interesting display of ignorance:
"PEOCs never were a culture which lived the highest ideals anymore than Christianity was ever anything but a tool of dominance and destruction."
True Christianity has always been a personal relationship with God. It has never been about being "a tool of dominance and destruction" as asserted by this author.
Here is a very amusing statement.
"...being able to write it down does not necessarily lead to being able to keep it all straight."
Ya think? Nobody demonstrates this better than this author!
History is derided as everything else is.
"Anyone who argues that it's important to study artifacts in an effort to understand history is either deluded, or foolish, or both. There is no effort in our culture to truly understand history. It is a false field, like every other field of study in this culture..."
I did not know this, before reading this book!
"...working 20 hours of overtime each week so they can afford payments for the "sexy car" (apparently some people have sex with cars)... "
As usual, crazy statements with no proof, but of course if you blame it all on George W. Bush and his supporters you can say anything no matter how deranged!
"In fact, if PEOCs would just stay out of everyone's business and stop helping, the whole world would be a lot better off. We sure helped the Iraqis out of food and water; we helped them get rid of that pesky, clean desert, by polluting it with tons of our radioactive waste, and we helped increase their rate of birth defects and other illnesses. Even Kuwait (the country Iraq invaded, which led to the first U.S. war against Iraq) did not want our help. (For those who voted for George W. Bush because they are against abortion: Why was it okay for the U.S. to go into Iraq and bomb pregnant women, thereby causing deaths of fetuses? And why was it okay for the U.S. to use weapons made with spent plutonium, thereby causing deaths - and deformities - of fetuses? Is this one of those times when something which you claim is morally reprehensible is actually sometimes okay, when it's your side that's committing the act?)"
Spirituality is not the same as drug induced hallucinations and the worship of demons and the "spirits" of animals! But, of course, this author has not a clue what reality is!
"The traditional American Natives' cultures had means to see truth. Surely not everyone took the ultimate spiritual path of the shaman, but the cultures were spiritual, as were the people. They were close to the reality of the world."
Dodo birds in North America!!! That pretty much says it all, but please read this illuminating passage!
"The Native Americans knew our roads and railroads were harming the wildlife and destroying their homes; they made a point of telling the colonizers repeatedly, so the colonizers knew, too; but the colonizers didn't care. While the colonizers were killing off the dodo birds, I'm sure they noticed that dodos were becoming more and more rare, harder and harder to find. I'm sure they realized that soon the dodos would all be gone - but that didn't stop them from killing them."
The next quote concerns the wall we built between the USA & Mexico!!! When did this happen???? Oh, wait, it didn't! Never mind, reality never slows down this author!
"Just think of the windfall for the contractors who have built that wall (at taxpayer expense). I'll bet some contractors made heavy contributions to political campaigns in order to get in on the building of that wall. And the contracts, indeed, went to those contributors, because that's how our great democracy works."
There are several passages bashing the military but I thought this was interesting the way the author thinks that only the people that will join the military are people that have no better options. Tell that to my brother and all the others I know that have proudly served their country! They have sacrificed much and in many cases, "all" so that everyone, including this author, can have the freedom to deride everything they fought and even died for!
"Now look at our military. Many of the people in it are poor or disadvantaged, people who could see no other escape from the dreary lives they were destined to live in the land of the American dream than to join the military and hopefully get a better job than otherwise upon discharge."
Personally, I think this explains a lot!
"anyone who has ever undergone electro shock therapy knows that it has permanent, detrimental effects. These detrimental effects don't just disappear because it's fish who are being tortured instead of people."
Another sweeping statement. Apparently, we somehow deliberately set out to destroy everything!
"...this culture looks like a huge, relentless, devouring monster that destroys everything it encounters and then congratulates itself on its virtue and superiority. There is nothing benign in our culture; our destruction isn't accidental:"
It is quite apparent that the author has never been on a farm. There is no way any animal could die and lay there for a month before anyone noticed! Farmers are NOT "immensely cruel to animals" for a whole variety of reasons that I don't have time to go into here.
"...Factory farms came into being as a solution to produce more meat more cheaply - and basically to make their owners richer. They are immensely cruel to animals; create unsafe, diseased meat (how do you like eating an animal that's been sick its whole life?);..."
"Our modern cities also have their share of dead animals. In nature, these bodies could go back to the Earth; in city places, they often become a stain on the pavement. If it's a dead dog or cat, someone will probably collect it after a few days to put into pet food (because that's what goes into the "nutritionally balanced" and "scientifically formulated" products you feed your pets: road kill that's been lying around for 2 weeks; factory farm animals that died and laid in animal feces for a month before anyone noticed; pets who have been put to sleep, together with their collars and the chemicals used to kill them - real healthy)."
Finally, a statement that is true: "I don't have the answer."
"What is the answer? I don't have the answer, but I know that, if we have a future, it lies in the past of indigenous peoples; it doesn't lie in PEOC culture."
I can only surmise that the solution to all that is wrong in this world is to abolish all technology and live in mud huts, wearing no clothes and eating bugs and fruits and seeds. Oops, I think I got a little PEOC there. The bugs have feelings and spirits so obviously we should not eat them. The mud huts are most likely a no-no too because Mother Earth might be offended or hurt in some way by our rudely scraping up mud to arrogantly reform it to our purpose!
Even our names are a terrible thing according this author as follows:
"Look at the difference in names in different cultures. In ours, people choose a name for their child because it sounds pretty or because it sounds good with the child's last name. I know the name Matthew comes from the Bible, but the word matthew doesn't mean anything and says nothing about the person. So our first names and our last names are just a way to identify us apart from everyone else, and, perhaps, to keep track of our descendents. In Native American cultures, their very names mean something, so someone has a name such as Woman-Who-Runs-with-the-Deer or Man-Who-Speaks-to-the-Wind, instead of Susan or Bob."
This is so ignorant that it almost does not deserve comment except to reiterate the fact that the author endlessly make statements that are blatantly false. It took me only seconds to locate the meaning of the name Matthew as follows: Matthew as a boy's name is pronounced MATH-yoo. It is of Hebrew origin, and the meaning of Matthew is "gift of God".
Apparently, the author is hypocritically exhibiting "PEOC" disregard for Jewish culture!
Aside from the amusement I derived, and I'm sure the author does not intend it to be amusing, this book has no redeeming value! I want those precious hours of my life back that I wasted on this drivel!!! This author needs to quit writing until they have been on a Thorazine drip!
My recommendation is to not bother wasting your time reading this awful offal!
I'm glad I got this free, otherwise, I would have to demand my money back!
Well, little more than headaches and ill humor. I don't know what's worse: the author's belief that cancer could be easily cured by a primitive culture's medicine man, or that technology is a useless and evil invention. Remember this is an ebook, the author did not write this on banana leaves but probably on a laptop, to be read on a handheld ELECTRONIC device. The hypocrisy is disgusting.
Yes, of course, we the PEOCs, (as the author calls all European descendants or those who have adopted that way of life) have done a lot of negative things to the planet, but to say something so ridiculous as that the ancient non-European civilizations understood the value of life better, that they did not have murderers or rapists, that they lived a peaceful life, is absurd. Human sacrifice, anyone? Native Americans waged territorial wars all the time, as did all the other ancient civilizations. It is not a PEOC disease, just human nature. We are just like any other animal, aggressive, territorial, and opportunistic. Ancient civilizations had many of the same cultural issues, with hierarchies of power, with people in charge and people beneath them who worked. k, so they weren't getting paid with checks or direct deposits, but they were getting food for their work.
I was just astounded and frustrated by the time and effort it took for the author, who remains anonymous, to write something so concisely ludicrous, and I do regret spending my time in between its *cough cough* e-pages.
This was one person's opinion on culture, and the differences between those of Indigenous and European backgrounds. Again, while I appreciate that everyone is entitled to their opinion, I cannot support an opinion which is clearly biased in one direction. As an academic, I always attempt to see the other side of the argument and confront why it is that I do not believe in the other view. This book made so such attempts however. It declared all beliefs and opinions of those from a European background to be invalid and immoral. Again, this was with a clear bias.
Writing down that everyone who doesn't believe what you believe is uncultured does not make you enlightened. Understanding both sides of a situation, giving it due consideration, and then coming to a nuanced conclusion which you do not force on others is enlightenment.
Given the bias of the author (interestingly anonymous) I cannot suggest this to anyone else.
Please note that I received this novel to review. I did not receive any remuneration for this, and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.