"You can run away as long as you choose but at the end of the day, you're gonna lose." - Breakestra, At The End Of The Day
Life Out Of Context by Walter Mosley (Nation Books, 2006). I think it is pretty well established that Walter Mosley and Stephen King are my two favorite authors, right? King has been much more miss than hit lately, for me, but Mosley is consistently strong. His fiction is filled with tight dialogue and atmosphere and settings I can envision crisply in my mind. I walk those LA streets with Easy Rawlins. I found my way in the world of tomorrow in Futureland.
I've had less success with his non-fiction. I'm still not finished with his very short treatise on world peace and while I blew through Life Out Of Context last Sunday on the plane, I still don't quite know how I feel about it. Maybe it's too personal. It is a lot like reading his diary or a workbook of political & social re-thinking and as he breaks down and builds up what matters to him and what he thinks can be done, I'm left feeling a little on the outside looking in. If this is a call for revolution, it isn't a very convincing one. I didn't get off the plane searching for my signs or my megaphone ready to march on Washington.
But Mosley raises some interesting points. He is outraged that more of us aren't outraged at what is happening in most of Africa. He suggests that America is no longer the model for which the world should seek to emulate; that contemporary South Africa is really the type of social and political benchmark that could guide other countries towards non-violent reform.
Those two ideas, at least, hold some weight with me. I want to know more about the current state of affairs in Africa (and this blog is going to reflect that) and my complete and utter disgust with our current political system (which is not working on a national level and which I'm less and less inclined to think can ever work again on a national stage) makes the idea of looking elsewhere for useful, positive and global action awfully appealing.
Recommended for being thought-provoking.