Book forward by Dr. Guy McPherson, Professor Emeritus at the University of Arizona.
Why would you read a book authored by Michael J. Sliwa? You’ve probably never heard of the man. He’s not appeared in the news. He’s not a public figure. And he’s offering a story that seems autobiographical.
I don’t know about you, but reading an autobiographical account from somebody I don’t know isn’t high on my list of priorities. I’m a busy person, after all. And such an account usually ends up being self-centered (i.e., self-absorbed.)
As it turns out, this book offers a pleasant surprise. Or, more accurately, a series of pleasant surprises. Sliwa’s story isn’t really about him. It’s about you. It’s about me. It’s about us. And, as self-absorbed, “civilized” individuals, we love that.
We love few things more than us, individually and collectively.
This book isn’t really autobiographical, and it certainly isn’t self-absorbed. It’s a story about the story we tell ourselves. It’s a trenchant account of the lies we’ve repeated until we’ve come to accept them as true.
The dominant culture is riddled with lies. This book uncovers the lies.
This book reveals the truth. This book is revelatory.
So much for loving a book about us. Our story—the story we tell ourselves about ourselves—is a sham. It’s a feel-good story and like many feel-good stories, it’s riddled with half-truths, misrepresentations, cover-ups, statistics, and other types of lies. It exposes the dominant culture and those of us within the dominant culture as liars.
The truth hurts. The whole truth is horrifyingly painful. It forces one to look in the mirror without distortion, without filters, and without makeup to hide behind.
This book tells the truth, and it does so with humor.
Most people prefer the story put out by the imperial government and its official mouthpieces in the mainstream media. If you love truth, even about yourself, this book was written for you.
If you have the slightest morsel of humor within you, you’ll laugh, albeit mostly in self-defense. If you have even a tiny tidbit of compassion, you’ll cry. If you’re capable of empathy, that most important of attributes, you’ll feel. You’ll feel for people beyond the dominant culture. You’ll feel for non-human species.
This journey is not for the weak. It’s not for the proverbial faint of heart. It’s not for those who love the thin veneer of civilization without question. It’s probably not for you, now that I reflect further.
If you’re willing to light a candle and notice the shadow it casts, turn the page. If you’re willing to draw back the curtain and see who is pulling the levers, pull up a chair. If you’re willing to expose the cockroaches of culture by flipping a switch with the same thoughtless action allowed by your ongoing, privileged life, this book is the switch for you. If you’re willing to stare down your own hobgoblins, turn the page.
This book is a journey into the corners of our culture we didn’t know existed.
Please join me on the journey. Have a look around. I promise you this: You’ll never be the same person after you read this book.
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