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As the World Burns: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial

por Derrick Jensen, Stephanie McMillan (Ilustrador)

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Two of America's most talented activists team up to deliver a bold, hilarious satire of modern environmental policy in this fully illustrated graphic novel. The US government gives robot machines from space permission to eat the earth in exchange for bricks of gold. A one-eyed bunny rescues his friends from a corporate animal testing laboratory. And two little girls figure out the secret to saving the world from both of its enemies. Inspiring readers to do what is necessary to stop geocide before it's too late.… (mais)
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Mostrando 4 de 4
I had my suspicions about this book before I read it, thinking it would probably be some facile, hand-waving, propagandist claims about what other people said and how to change what we do, but it was sure to be a very quick read, being basically a comic/cartoon book. I was right about it in some ways, but wrong in others.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the book took digs at authoritarian control structures and pop culture propaganda, sometimes even in marginally intelligent ways. Unfortunately, it quickly became clear that this was essentially an accidental symptom of a pathological, anti-rational approach to problem solving. It is as if the author of As The World Burns had never heard (by now overused and hackneyed) phrases like "correlation does not imply causation". There is no meaningful philosophy behind the core themes of this book that I could discern -- just some blindly accepted mystical assertions bolstered by nothing more substantive than talking mushrooms and manatees.

Yes, it is true (as this book asserts) that our authoritarian, corporatist, warlike culture is bad for us and our environment. No, it is not reasonable to live (or die) in a cave to save a mushroom. In fact, the arguments deployed in this book to the effect that it is reasonable to live in a cave to save a mushroom are, in many ways, self-defeating, as there is no meaningful ethical theory presented to adequately explain why it is okay to kill to sustain one's life sometimes but not others. There is only some vague presentation of the farcical notion of the "noble savage" and a mystical attachment to considering the feelings of inanimate objects such as rocks (yes, really, the rocks talk too, and they want to help us destroy industrialization).

This is the kind of writing that is meant to convince people by telling them to turn off their brains, even as the words tell us (correctly) that our brains are already pretty much shut down, acting only as passive receptors of propaganda. It seeks only to displace one form of anti-rational dogma with another.

I only stuck with it until the end because of the fact it is quick and easy to read a story told largely in pictures like this (and it took longer than I expected because I needed to come up from the propaganda for air), and I wanted to be sure there was not some satirical purpose in the ridiculous anti-rationality presented throughout. As Poe's Law tells us, "Without a blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of extremism or fundamentalism that someone won't mistake for the real thing." Put another way, any sufficiently advanced parody is indistinguishable from genuine, honest, crazy fundamentalism. I had to read the whole book to be sure this was the latter (fundamentalism), and not the former (parody).

In short, this book was even worse than I feared when I started. ( )
  apotheon | Dec 14, 2020 |
This is a very effective collaboration between syndicated cartoonist Stephanie McMillan and environmentalist author Derrick Jensen. The central characters of McMillan's comic strip "Minimum Security" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minimum_Security ) comprise the main characters of the graphic novel. Compared to Jensen's typically long winded writing, his familiar core arguments, which he might normally take a hundred pages to develop (in heartfelt prose), here are established in a dozen pages of cartoon dialogue. Given it's extremely radical message, I'm curious how the average reader would feel about it though. ( )
  dmac7 | Jun 14, 2013 |
This comic book is all about how corporations are slowly killing the planet and how most humans are ignoring it completely. Two girls are trying to figure out ways that they could help salvage the planet, but one of them is more extreme and they get into many arguments. One day, aliens come to planet Earth and give the president gold in exchange for permits to eat the planet up. Everyone is outraged, but the president doesn't do anything about it because he's getting gold from the aliens. In the end, the wild animals attack the aliens with some house pets and a few humans. They manage to defeat them, and then decide to take on the corporations. That's how the story ends.

This comic book is filled with jokes, sarcasm and hilarious exaggerations. It's perfect for teens who are interested in worldly problems such as pollution. I'm rating it 4 stars out of 5 because it was funny and original. The only reason why I'm not giving it a 5/5 is because of my personal interest. ( )
  LarocheM3 | Oct 15, 2010 |
I tried very hard to give this book a fair rating, despite how my personal political opinions clash with those of the authors'. The writers of this graphic novel use a plot about earth-eating aliens, corporate machinery, and politics as a thin varnish for a blatant manifesto against the current political situation. While I am not easily offended by satire depicting either side of today's political issues, I was bothered by the book's conclusions that nonviolent and grass-root advocacy approaches to changing the current corporate-industrial pollution construct result in nothing but smug hypocrisy. After showing that individual methods of environmental stewardship would not be enough to stop global warming and other pollution caused problems, they blatantly suggest the use of ecoterrorism.
This suggestion is not a subcontext. In response to the first acts of destruction in the plot an anti-terrorist crack-down is put in place, but to no avail. By the end of the book, many of the protagonists are holding knives and guns. I find it frightening that a book which relates the detailed dangers of most 'green' maneuvers, like recycling aluminum cans, neglects to point out the severity of what these actions mean directly and symbolize. Even the most harmless-looking act (other than the characters' 'illegally' expressing their opinions through occasional diatribes), freeing a gaggle of tortured and vivisected animals from a research laboratory, fails to address how this could spread diseases to the general public and have negative effects for the animals.
The artwork in the book is a unique style of line drawing in which everyone looks a little off kilter. The CEOs are drawn to look rather monstrous and even have a slightly similar appearance to some of the more obvious people they are supposed to parody (Al Gore, George W. Bush). While not the most professional or expert looking art, it fits the story style well and reflects the plot and characters appropriately.
The book also does have a few points and scenes that linger after being read. The image of the 'naturalist' sitting on the stump of a tree meditating while loggers cut down the remaining forest behind him, of lobbyists haggling for nothing, etc. are very thought-provoking, as is the whole graphic novel. I am against censorship, but books like this do make me pause and wonder about the wisdom of placing such an idealogical weapon in the hands of young adults. While the book does not give a guide on how to specifically conduct any sort of violent anti-establishment crimes or destruction, it certainly does praise them while completely disqualifying anyone who would claim that there are other ways to solve the problems in this world. It is sad that a book seeking to expose how closed-minded and hypocritical society currently is became an example of dogmatic and hypocritical literature itself. ( )
1 vote opinion8dsngr | May 28, 2008 |
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Derrick Jensenautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculated
McMillan, StephanieIlustradorautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
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Two of America's most talented activists team up to deliver a bold, hilarious satire of modern environmental policy in this fully illustrated graphic novel. The US government gives robot machines from space permission to eat the earth in exchange for bricks of gold. A one-eyed bunny rescues his friends from a corporate animal testing laboratory. And two little girls figure out the secret to saving the world from both of its enemies. Inspiring readers to do what is necessary to stop geocide before it's too late.

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Seven Stories Press

2 edições deste livro foram publicadas por Seven Stories Press.

Edições: 1583227776, 1583229590

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