21 December 2007

Mixed bag---a few bombshells, but mostly hyperbole

50 Things You're Not Supposed to Know
Russ Kick
Disinformation Company, 2003

This 1/4" thick, 4x6 index card of a book touts itself as a "take-no-prisoners" exposé when it is, in fact, merely a collection of random "shocking" trivia. Sadly, the few real bombshells that the book DOES contain are overwhelmed by the hyperbolic tone of the rest.

Here are the bombshells, facts that might make us seriously re-evaluate our relationship with those in power:
  • The US is Planning to Provoke Terrorist Attacks
  • Kent State Wasn't the Only---or Even the First---Massacre of College Students During the Vietnam Era
  • Juries are Allowed to Judge the Law, Not Just the Facts
  • The Government Can Take Your House and Land, Then Sell Them to Private Corporations
  • Prescription Drugs Kill Over 100,000 Annually
  • Work Kills More People Than War
The quality of the other 44 topics ranges from moderately interesting yet trivial ("Adolf Hitler's Blood Relatives are Alive and Well in New York State" and "The Virginia Colonists Practiced Cannibalism") to no-brainers such as "Advertisers' Influence on the News Media is Widespread." There is no consistent theme linking the 50 disparate "things you're not supposed to know," other than the fact that they are "supposed" to be secrets, but that assertion is pure hyperbole. After all, all it takes to find out that the Korean War never ended, that nuclear war almost broke out in 1995, or that LSD was a used as a powerful adjunct to psychotherapy, is a glance at Wikipedia, hardly a repository of repressed esotericism.

This is a pretty good place to start learning "secret" information if you're still embedded in the indoctrination factory we call junior high or high school, and it admittedly makes for decent bathroom reading, but those interested in real bombshells would do well to look elsewhere.

(This review was originally written on December 19, 2006.)

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