If you weren't in one of the popular cliques in high school (i.e. 90 percent of us), if you've ever worked in a flourescent-lit nest of cubicles for idiot overseers (i.e. a typical office environment) you will read 'Going Postal' and nod, and read and nod, and as you read further, you will get more and more fired up.
But fired up enough to do something, to actually go postal? Well, according to Ames, that depends on your mental health. 'Normal' folks just smile and suck it up, letting it build up and eat out their insides, and in this way make it through yet another soul-crushing day. If you're one of the normal folks, then this book is for you. If you're thinking of going postal, well... this book might just push you over the edge. You'd better stick to your John Grishams and Suze Ormans.
Ames is able to write about something so basic to our existence (the school and office ARE the settings of our lives, he rightly points out) because he has earned perspective: He's a SoCal native (not coincidentally, the coastal 'paradise' where many US rage murders are concentrated) who has worked for years as a journalist in Russia. This perspective helped him notice things so elementary and important that we Americans take them for granted, and hence, ignore their significance. Even two decades and dozens of rage murders haven't shaken us out of our zombie-like stupor. It takes somebody like Ames -- one of us, but then, not really one of us -- to pull back the curtain and reveal how cruel, petty, and spiritually debilitating our lives in America are.
And it doesn't have to be this way. This state of affairs was not inevitable. Most of us are better than this; it's the priveleged bullies who have convinced us that the way we live --and let's face it, it sucks -- is the only alternative. This mass deception, this spiritual heist, was what got me so fired up as I read this. The majority of us don't even know what's in our best interests anymore.
My thanks to Mark Ames for writing an extremely timely and powerful book. This is required reading for all the stressed out, overworked, bullied, and fed up Americans, and for all foreigners who seek to understand just why, in some sense, America is the way it is. You may think you know; you may not want to know; but you NEED to know the truth.
I can't say enough, except: Buy this book.
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