Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Things are still not quite right.

Here are a couple of books I read last week. While they are about strikingly different topics, I think they both illustrate something very similar.

Realityland, by David Koenig is an unauthorized look at the development of Florida's Disneyworld, from Walt Disney's dream of an Experimental Prototype City Of Tomorrow to the parks that we have today.

The book vividly illustrates many of the problems with the rides, exhibits, staff, management, local government and guests that have been dealt with over the years. It also tells about accidents, injuries, lawsuits, legal issues safety and security.

After my experience the last time I went to Disneyland, I was morbidly interested in seeing other problems that the Disney corporation has faced, and this book illustrates the many problems of Disneyworld.

Son of Hamas is the story of Mossab Hassan Yousef. Yousef is the son of one of the founders and leaders of Hamas. In this book, he tells of his journey as a young man growing up adoring his father and following Islam, but coming to an understanding that Islam leads to suffering and death. He comes to understand that his father, who is a caring compassionate man, cannot condemn suicide bombings and violence based on the teachings of Islam.

Mossab shares with readers how he comes to work for the Israeli intelligence in hopes of saving the lives of innocent Palestinians and Israelis and how he comes to be a follower of Jesus. Both of these are considered a terrible betrayal of everything he was a part of, including his family, culture and community.

I find that both books illustrate the problems, corruption, danger, difficulties and disillusionment that comes from our own attempts to make everything in the world better. Whether it is the dream of making the happiest place on earth, or putting our trust in a system of religion, we discover that we simply cannot fix the problems of the world or make more than a place where we can hide the problems that come up.

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