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“Until then, though, I’ll be sticking with Fox News”

There’s much joy to be had from the inanities posted to the BBC’s Have Your Say website, but the wonders of user-submitted content go further. Amazon’s reader reviews are particularly fine and, if you pick the right book, show up some disturbing truths about the commenters’ views on society.

Take, for example, one Clancy-esque thriller about terrorism and the middle east. First, there’s inadvertent social and media commentary:

“To me, if the bad guys don’t get smacked down in the end, it’s not a happy ending … I’m going to wait for [author] to get out of his contract before I try him again; when he finally has the time to write something imaginative and with a little more meat. Until then, though, I’ll be sticking with Fox News.”

then those with an inability to distinguish between neocon fantasy and reality:

“Spending time in [author’s] books makes me want to believe that we actually have people like these out there doing the dirty work that, I suspect, must be done in a dangerous world.”

“While the names are changed to protect the “innocent”, so much of this book is a timely analysis of current events and a realistic approach to dealing with them.”

“[author]’s bread and butter has always been delving deep into the intricacies Middle East politics and [title] excels in that department. Not only was the story and action top notch but it was a real education into the workings of the Iranian government.”

.. and then dozens that are just terrifying:

“This is not a book for the squeamish. It is a gritty portrayal of the real world of today’s War on Terror and how it is fought in the trenches. It asks and answers the key confounding questions of what is torture and does it work. ”

“[protagonist], you see, is an real American. He recognizes that the United States is inherently good and that there are truly evil people in the world. … Anyone who cares about the United States will wish that [protagonist] was real … [he] doesn’t care about the foolish laws that keep him from protecting the nation.”

“How timely this book is. With liberal democrats insistent on protecting insurgents at Gitmo, undermining CIA, and dismantling protocols that will enable us to fight a non-uniformed, secret, undercover army, this book will give them a dose of reality.”

Yikes.

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