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By Christopher Stipp

Archives? Right Here…

Instead of manning-up and actually going the emotionally hard route of being outrightly rejected by publishers, I’m rejecting them first and allowing you to give my entire book a preview, let you read the whole thing or, if you like, download the whole damn thing at no cost. Download and read my first book “Thank You, Goodnight” for FREE.

It feels good to be in the presence of someone who makes you want to be a smarter person.

All through college I appreciated the chance to learn and appreciate what the collegiate system, I thought, was supposed to be about: to sit amidst the free flowing of ideas from various peer groups, the chance to gain wisdom from those who were hardwired to espouse thoughts related to lectures or, ultimately and hopefully, have the possibility to have your knowledge base raised a notch or two after the sixteen weeks was over.

For me, it was exactly like this. I learned and gleaned just as fast as I could. Unfortunately, I paid the social cost of turning my weekends into extended learning time but there’s something I was frustrated I couldn’t do after I was given my bachelor’s in English: tell you why the world has turned out the way it had. I don’t know why this was such a sticking point with me but, through divine intervention, as I crammed in 12 credit hours in one summer I had to take a sociology class entitled Social Problems. It was taught by Professor Pete Padilla at Arizona State University and it pushed my understanding of the underhanded things or government is capable of to its veritable limit. To understanding what Sea Lines of Communication means to our overall military strategy and how it will impact whether we’ll defend Taiwan in the case of a Chinese assault on that island to the blatant and glaring reality that as long as you have the control you can spin any story you want, even if it’s how the ATF and FBI had a hand with what ultimately happened in Waco, Texas some decade ago.

The thing is, though, I had my eyes opened to a whole new world and when the class was finished I felt there wasn’t a way for me to keep the intravenous information flowing into me. I was tossed into the Working World and lost my sense of sifting through the messages I was spoon-fed on a daily basis through all forms of media.

It was about 4 years later when I found Ted Rall.

Ted was an instant touchstone for me from the standpoint that his cartoons, which somehow sounds awfully minute and insulting when I say it aloud as you compare his work to the other funnies out there for your base amusement, represented something more than just jokes. They were actionable in that they reached out and made you agree with what he was saying or it made you want to scribble down a death threat or two as evidenced by his “Terror Widows” comic which ran five months after September 11th:

His thoughts almost always have a heft to them when he has something to say. His book, America Gone Wild, showcases some of his own hits and misses with commentary to tell why he’s more than happy to say when he thinks his point wasn’t a very clear one or when something was written too hastily. Ted’s writing some of the most profound commentary on our modern society, with a voice that is unequaled in its ability to attract thunderous protestations from those on both sides of the political arena but, and here’s the most important part, he’s been an active voice against a presidency, the Bush presidency, that knows no limits with how far it will go to lie, cheat or steal its way into your hearts.

Rall’s disdain for the current administration is certainly out there for all to see in its Generalissimo El Busho glory but it’s also his essays that cut straight to the quick about what’s on his mind with the world or his books on what’s happening in the Mideast or Central Asia. And it’s the latter, entitled Silk Road to Ruin, that I read after picking up at the 2006 San Diego Comic-Con which not only kicked open my closed sensibilities with regard to caring for countries I couldn’t pronounce but it made me acutely and severely aware of what is coming on our political, military and, possibly, environmental horizon with things like Lake Sarez being poised to be our next great world disaster waiting to happen.

I had the privilege to talk to Ted for a few minutes regarding Lake Sarez, politics, whether Bush is, indeed, the worst president ever, airport security and what it takes to develop an acute sense of reading between the lines we’re fed by an anxious media.

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Download SDCC Ted Rall Interview:

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