Friday, November 18, 2005

JUNK Review - NuPenz Book Review

It seems until recently, unhealthy eating has been almost encouraged in American Society, but films such as "Super Size Me" with Morgan Spurlock or the book "Fast Food Nation" by Eric Schlosser, as well as Junk by Christopher Largen has helped to heightened awareness of the true ramifications of an unhealthy diet. Collectively, Americans have blown themselves to proportions that baffle the rest of the world.

In Junk the people of The United States are forcefully brought to their senses through the prohibition of junk food. In the book, the junk prohibition brings all the calm reassuring moral fibre that the alcohol prohibition brought in the 1920s. ( I'm being facetious, of course, if Largen can be funny so can I.) The idea that the US Government could conceivably step in to save us from ourselves is not as far fetched as we might like to think, especially with the cautiousness of the post- 9-11 policies, the focus of Homeland Security and The Patriot Act. More and more of the freedoms Americans take for granted are eroding away.

The question, "How safe are our personal freedoms?" is definitely one of the underlying themes in the book, but there is more to Largen's agenda than that. In addition to Junk, Largen is also co-author of Prescription Pot (New Horizon Press) along with George McMahon, one of seven people in the United States allowed to legally smoke marijuana in the United States for medical purposes. He parallels this situation in Junk with a character, George Mabry, one of seven diabetics who can legally inject insulin. Personally, I felt that particular situation was a bit over the top, but isn't that what political satire is supposed to do?

I'm not sure I agree with everything, but Largen's Junk is in the company of Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal," Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" and George Orwell's 1984. It raises questions in an intelligent, humorous way that have the potential to affect real change. All in all would I recommend Junk? I'd say yes, but take it with a grain of salt, and be careful of who's watching.


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