Saturday, February 23, 2008

What are you reading right now?, or a book meme from John...

I’ve been tagged by John over at Mind on Fire to respond to this book-related meme. The rules are as follows:

1. Pick up the nearest book of 123 pages or more. No cheating!
2. Find page 123
3. Find the first 5 sentences
4. Post the next 3 sentences
5. Tag 5 people

The book closest to me happened to be A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America, by Michael Barkun (University of California Press, 2003). The relevant sentences are:

“His elaborate and sophisticated Web site contains a large section called ‘The Reptilian Connection.’ A similar site, maintained by John Rhodes, is called simply
“The interrelationship of inner-earth and reptilian themes is complex."

Probably not so fascinating as John had hoped, but if the meme had been for page 122 rather than 123, things would have been very different, because then the relevant sentences would have been:

“In addition, closely related material has been published under the names Bruce Walton and Bruce A. Walton, some of which has been cited by Branton.
“By his own account, Branton is a former Mormon in his thirties, who grew up in ‘the Southeast corner of Salt Lake Valley.’ He claims to be an abductee who has had contact through ‘altered states’ of consciousness with human beings living in the inner earth.”

Considering some of our backgrounds as former Mormons, that would have been much more of a hoot, I think.

Anyway, the book itself is an interesting look at religious and secular conspiracy theories. I found it in the ‘further reading’ section of another book I read recently, Have A Nice Doomsday: Why Millions of Americans are Looking Forward to the End of the World, by Nicholas Guyatt (Harper Perennial, 2007). I found Guyatt’s book quite by accident at the library and had to read it, just based on the title. I’ve found some of my favorite books that way, incidentally.

After reading it, I realized that it was relevant to my research into how people look at the world and how they arrive at those perspectives, so now I’m reading quite a bit about apocalyptic thinking and conspiracy theories. Barkun’s book is especially interesting as it looks at the intersection between the two.

So, I’m not really sure who to tag, as John and I seem to run in very much the same bloggy company. So, I’ll violate the rules just a little and tag anyone and everyone who happens to read this. Just drop me a comment when you’ve participated, so that I can come and read.

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