Memoirs

My first sweeping generalization will be that everyone enjoys a good memoir. Well, let’s not even use the word “good,” I’ll say interesting. Interesting enough to finish at least. The memoirs I’m thinking about now however, either don’t exist, or most certainly lack the inherent qualities of Running With Scissors or I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. To my knowledge, there are eleven memoirs written by presidents that cover periods of time prior to their presidency. Two of them of course, are by our current president, the people’s champion; Barack Hussein Obama. Barry as he is often called  by his family members in Dreams Of My Father. I recently finished listening to this memoir, as opposed to reading it because the president was the orator which made it that much better, and I wish I would have listened to it years ago. This isn’t to say that I believe or enjoyed every word of it, or to say that it was an amazing book. I wouldn’t call it bad either, but it was definitely interesting. I tend to be skeptical about things to such a degree that it is to my detriment, so this election season I am loading up on pre presidential memoirs as opposed to speeches, which will be my primary source for solidifying or forming opinions about every candidate who has one. Of course Hillary has two, still overshadowed by the books about her being the Antichrist, Jeb Bush is likely working on one, Ben Carson has one, Elizabeth Warren isn’t running… But anyway, there are plenty to wade through, likely with a clothes pin on my nose, but I think it will be worth it. A memoir, no matter the author’s intention, will certainly tell the reader much more about the person than any announcement speech, media interview, press conference or debate. We are more likely, or hopeful, to encounter hints about a candidates level of literacy (that’s important), sense of humor, drug use, criminal activity, relationships, how often they have been out of their comfort zone, how they have dealt with stress, their belief systems and those of their family members, etc as we turn the pages on a tale devoid of (or of limiting) media scrutiny. It’s plain to see that candidates compulsively change long-held ideologies along with the tides, the winds, public pressures or financial backing, e.g. Rand Paul. What I think I will like most about my memoir adventure is that even if I read hundreds of pages of lies and absolute nonsense (which is likely) it will at least provide a feel for what the individual wants the reader to believe.