Monday, December 13, 2010
Welcome to the Jungle
How is it that a group of dudes wearing the latest in festive sweater fashions can gather around a ping pong table in a garage and solve the world's problems in two hours while the "best minds" wearing expensive suits can't even balance a budget? Hats off to John Larsen and Dave Greenall and the assorted potluckers who contributed to the gathering on Dec. 8. The slow start made me think that dudes were boycotting the festive sweater look as though I had breached some unspoken rule of manliness with the request. But when the Dentists Three (I'm including Tyler in there) arrived with glittery trim, velcro buttons and silver reindeer, I breathed a sigh of relief. And when Brent arrived exuding the spirit of Kwanzaa, I knew we were headed somewhere special.
We dove right into our discussion of The Jungle by Upton Sinclair. Interestingly, the book was given a thumbs down by most on account of its unrelenting bleakness and yet it spurred one of the most engaging discussisons we've had (in my opion, of course). We talked about freedom, dignity, morality, propaganda, and rats. We rode the requisite capitalism vs. socialism see-saw and discussed the benefits and responsibilities of living in a free and democratic system. We mentioned our need for heroes in literature and the frustrations that come when a protagonist's freedom is sacrificed for polical purposes. In all, I'd say we have it figured out; I'll be sending the minutes of our meeting to President Obama along with a sweater with velcro buttons.
A very Merry Christmas goes out to all who attended (as well as all those dudes reading this whose wives had chores for them that night): Jim, Robert, Richard, Billy, John, Trevor, Brent, Rob, Tyler, and Dave . Next month we will discuss A Train to Potevka by Mike Ramsdell, a true account of an American spy in Soviet Russia. Details of time and place will be released soon. Thank you for your efforts, gentlemen, may you more fully enjoy your holiday meals in light of all you now know.