The book leads with a background on Scientology and a discussion of science fiction concepts, pulps, and movies. The next section examines Scientology's ongoing relationship with the Hollywood elite, including the group's use of celebrities in its drug rehabilitation program, and explores movies and television shows that contain Scientology themes or comedic references. Readers will learn about how the Internet and the mainstream media of the United States as well as of Australia, Germany, and the UK have regarded Scientology. The final section investigates the music and art of Scientology.
The book begins with the timeless reverie of A Season For Hymning And Hawing.
So autumn is a blatantly vital season, contrary to the allegations of sorrowful poets who misconstrue the message of dying leavesYet almost everybody recognizes that the season's character transcends those familiar bracing days, crystal nights, bigger stars, vaulted skies, fluted twilights, harvest moons, frosted pumpkins and that riotous foliage that impels whole traffic jams of leaf freaks up into New EnglandNo hymningor hawingin behalf of autumn should neglect to note that the coming season is a self-contained climactic cycle. It offers every weatherat its end, days icy enough for any sane person, and along the way, those indefinite Indian summers that put the real ones to shame
The Ordeal Of Fun explores our obsessive quest for fun.
We are conceived in a moment of profound fun. This fact may not fix our destiny, but it strongly insinuates our complicity in some cosmic carnival. Fun becomes us. Born out of fun, we are born into it tooThe infant is hurled into the air: He opens grinning gums to the skies and issues an ecstatic gasp as he plummets. To be? To be is to be in disequilibrium, visually, physically, aurally, internally. Life comes thus, and the infant is in love with itLater, when he comes as close as an adult can to recapturing the dizzy totality of it all, he will speak of falling in loveAn axiom emerges: For man, fun is not only scratching where he itches, it is itching where he scratches. Fun takes such myriad forms it smacks of illusion. This is appropriate. Illusion means literally in-play.You may find fun elsewherebut only the fun you bring with you. For that, as every child knows, is where it is at
In Louisiana: Jazzman's Last Ride is an elegy to a rich New Orleans tradition.
Boom! A second shot signals the stricken cadence of a dirge. The white gloves of the pallbearers flash in the morning sun as they float their burden to the silver-gray Cadillac hearseA jazz funeral is beginning in New Orleans. Though hardly disrespectful, the underlying temper is festive. The reason lies in tradition: when the funeral is done, the streets will explode with jubilant jazz and antic celebrationA young woman in frayed jeans curves backward, in an affront to gravity, all the while clapping her hands, rending the air with throaty singing Oh, when the saints
The Suckers explains the inner world of compulsive gamblers.
They talked about gambling, and deep into the night I listened to voices that scarcely mentioned such things as cards and dice and horses. Gambling seemed an abstract rite, as they spoke of it, severed from apparatus, remote from any habitatMy gamblers seemed to get their special feeling, the compelling thing, not at the resolution of a bet, not at the winning or losing, but while the bet was pending. While the gamble was pending resolution they knew those special sensations, almost indescribable. The feelings vanish when the gamble is resolved, but they want them again, and so they bet again, and again...In action, he was living, lost child alive, running, ever running behind horses, clinging to the tingling reins, two wild horses, one Yes and one No, one Win and one Lose, one Love and one Loveless, running on, running on
"Compulsively readable..." —LA Weekly
“Excoriating memoir" —Publisher's Weekly
“A sad and painful but bravely told story.” —Kirkus Reviews
The only book to examine the origins of Scientology's current leader, RUTHLESS tells the revealing story of David Miscavige's childhood and his path to the head seat of the Church of Scientology told through the eyes of his father. Ron Miscavige's personal, heartfelt story is a riveting insider's look at life within the world of Scientology.
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