How Can We Make Your Power More Comfortable?
Abuses of power, and the lengths to which those in power will go to maintain it, are often no laughing matter. Norman Ball invites readers to laugh, though, while making serious warnings about power in America in this collection of essays. These short writings explore who holds political and economic power in this country, how these privileged few keep it, and who wins and loses as a result. Some of these essays take the tone of satirical news stories, such as the piece explaining Louisiana’s desire to physically separate from the continental U.S. after the Hurricane Katrina and B.P. oil spill debacles. Other attacks on incompetence and disregard for the powerless are made more bluntly in writings laced with sarcasm and wit. Ball even includes a few of his own poems to support critiques of corporate, government, and military power.ǁWhile he uses humor effectively, Ball’s arguments are well-informed, as his references to literature and recent events show. His most powerful and original argument explains that while the dominant political party often changes with election cycles, the group in power never changes. He argues convincingly that Republican and Democratic rivalries are merely distractions to make the masses think we have a voice, when the same class really maintains power all the time. Ball deserves credit for saying what is necessary, especially when he finds fault with common voters for allowing ourselves to fall for these distractions.ǁAlthough Ball confronts Republicans more often than Democrats, no one, including President Obama, is spared. The author’s personal politics won’t limit his audience; his witty criticism is leveled at members of the power classes in all walks of life. The conversational tone of the essays will also make them more accessible than academic writing, although footnotes or a list of sources cited could lend more weight to some of the author’s claims. Nonetheless, the author’s unique approach makes for an effective wake-up call.
Web del Sol Association