Summer Flix and Picks

August 17, 2008 at 8:26 pm 2 comments

So, returning to our regular “Having Enough” programming, I am thrilled to share here some books and films I’ve been perusing at home this summer.  Several really struck a chord in my Having Enough quest, and if you haven’t checked them out, I hope you will:

Who Killed the Electric Car? This film, which tells the story of the birth and death of the electric car in California, really blew me away.  It’s told in a compelling storytelling style and it has a way of being both simple and complex at once.  The verdict for me:  there is no good reason we should not all be driving electric cars — cleaner, quieter, less expensive, gas-free, plug-in electric cars — but plenty of bad (and horribly humbling and disappointing) reasons that we are not.  In the special features, there’s a great piece on what we can do to help move our nation toward this no-brainer.

The Business of Being Born Another film documentary, this one delves into the birth industry — yes, I said industry — and how the U.S. compares to other nations in our over-medicalization and profitization of birth. (Hint, lots of people move to Europe for saner births.)  Being a midwife-loyal myself, this info wasn’t new to me, as the electric car info was, but I’m still glad the film was made to get folks thinking about how we have gone too far in this country in taking birth out of the hands of those closest to it, and turning it from something to be cherished into something to be feared.

Lars and the Real Girl This light-hearted but deep indy drama really surprised me.  When I heard it was about a man who takes a life-sized doll as a girlfriend, I was kind of dreading a Weekend at Bernie’s farce.  But, it couldn’t have been farther from that.  This little film was actually a quite touching look at community and human nature, and what people can do for one another if they step out of their boxes and try.  DH and I both enjoyed this, and I especially loved that the writer never took it to “easy” cop-out places, but kept it real despite the out-there premise.  Lovely.

Above All, Be Kind: Raising a Humane Child in Challenging Times I read a lot of parenting books these days, and some are more notable than others.  This one, written in 2003 by Zoe Weil who founded the “humane education” movement, was probably my favorite of the summer.  She lays out a straightforward outline for teaching children to be compassionate — by providing them information, teaching them critical thinking, offering them positive choices, and instilling  in them reverence, respect and responsibility.  Through many examples, and an urging to look at our own behavior first, she makes a clear case for the kind of education I am trying to give my children, and gives me some great tips to do it well.  It’s worth a look, and it was at my local library.

There are more, but these are the ones that jump out at me in this moment I am stealing at my trusty computer.  If you’ve seen or read these and have comments, please share.  If you haven’t and decide to, I hope you enjoy them as I did.

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The Truth About My Stay-cation Fall is in the Air

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jena  |  August 17, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    “Who Killed the Electric Car” left us crying into our popcorn. Then we watched “King Corn” – and I will never eat my popcorn the same way again.

    Reply
  • 2. Zoe  |  August 18, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    What a boost to read your blog recommending my book, Above All, Be Kind! Thanks Megan – so glad you found it worthwhile. Your blog is great!

    Just FYI, I have a new book coming out in January title Most Good, Least Harm: A Simple Principle for a Better World and a Meaningful Life. And I had the first in a children’s series (for 8-12 year olds) published last year. It’s called Claude and Medea and it follows the adventures of 2 7th graders who are inspired by an eccentric substitute teacher to be clandestine activists in NYC, righting wrongs when they see them.

    Keep up your great blog and efforts.

    Warmly,

    Zoe

    Reply

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You are visiting "Having Enough (In a Have-It-All World)"...

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To spark conversation about redefining success (as individuals, families and institutions) and to counter "never enough" messages currently circulating in our culture.

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Megan Pincus Kajitani: Writer, Editor, Former Academic Overachiever and Career Counselor, Mom, Wife, Feminist, Gen Xer, Californian who believes that change is possible View Megan Pincus Kajitani's profile on LinkedIn

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