quoth the dude from Williamsburg, in today’s episode of Dan Savage’s podcast. Hilarious.
I finished King Leopold’s Ghost this weekend, and I definitely recommend it. The only big issue I had with it during my reading was that the author didn’t take into account the Congolese voices involved. I assumed that this was because of lack of available sources rather than any kind of oversight, and I was right — in his conclusion, Hochschild mentioned how disappointed he was that he was unable to discuss African involvement in resistance movements beyond names and occasional transcriptions from sympathetic missionaries. The book focused less on the actual atrocities perpetrated by Leopold and the rubber overseers, and more on Leopold’s political machinations and the actions of the anti-Leopold movement — thus making it rather less depressing than I had expected. The kind of popular history that I can get behind: rigorously academic, well-written, moderately depressing and very White People Suck.
In similar news, I am currently reading Kaffir Boy, a memoir of a South African man growing up in a black ghetto in Johannesburg during apartheid. After that, I’ll have to put my literature pants back on, because I’ve got two books by Dave Eggers, The Invisible Man, and Notes from Underground on my To-Read bookshelf. I’ll probably read Eggers’s What is the What first, to continue my Africa binge.
I went to a drag show last night. It was fun, but I’ve spent too much time alone recently and was very uncomfortable in such a large, happy crowd. Very Debbie Downer. Still no job. Mum sent $$, so I am less broke, but more guilty. Oh the trade-offs.