Thursday, March 25, 2010

Unexpected Linkages

The apricot tree and one of the peach trees are blooming today. I am nervous that we will have a hard frost which will destroy the fruit. I guess there's nothing to do but wait and see.

Because I have a project or two in the works, I wanted to finish up the books I've been reading so that I can go on to the next. Yes, I read two books simultaneously -- 'not sure why -- but they seemed totally unrelated when I started them. By the time I was finished this week, however, I found that their subject matters converged in a most unexpected way.

The Poisonwood Bible
is by Barbara Kingsolver, one of my favorite authors, and is a fictional account of a family which went to the Congo to "man" a mission outpost with the father, who was a Minister.

The Family is a history of the Fundamentalist Organization which has managed to infiltrate the US government.

So, I was thinking I was reading one book on politics and one novel, not realizing that both books cover religion and politics. The role of the US in undermining democratically elected leaders around the world and replacing them with dictators willing to exploit their countries is central to both books. Both contained historical information, as Kingsolver did massive amounts of research on the Congo and lived there briefly as a child.

Both books taught me what I hadn't known before and both books presented challenging ideas regarding religious belief and its effect on politics.

I've read The Shock Doctrine, so I'm aware of the pattern of US involvement in regime change, but the reign of Mobutu didn't get much press here. I do remember the name Patrice Lumumba from my younger days, but didn't quite understand what happened in the 1960s in the Congo.

Coincidentally, today I listened to a podcast which related the story of an American girl who corresponded with Manuel Noriega, of Panama, before he was jailed and deposed through an American invasion in the late 1980s.

Now, if you can figure out the linkage of the first sentence of this post to the rest, you will have given your brain a workout which will serve you well.


CountryDew said...

I'm quite nervous about a "hard frost" as well. said...

Poisonwood Bible is one of my favorites.

And yes, there is a lot of wait and see, isn't there?

BTW, your feng shui tips the other day saved the day! I love the table placement.