Added to my reading list: You Will Die: The Burden of Modern Taboos by Robert Arthur
You Will Die: The Burden of Modern Taboos: Robert Arthur: 9781936239436: Amazon.com: BooksRob Arthur defines a taboo as “a topic that a culture prevents its people from discussing freely,” and this book is based around the philosophy that “taboos are a burden on society…[and] hinder progress toward greater happiness.” Anyone who has been reading this blog for a while knows the truth of that statement: if it weren’t for the general ignorance about sex in general and sex work in particular, an ignorance maintained by sexual taboos, no reasonable person would accept laws against consensual sexual behavior and the ridiculous lies about the harms which supposedly result from sexuality would be widely recognized as the ravings of miserable prudes. Arthur also discusses taboos against drugs and bodily wastes, though the latter doesn’t get nearly as much space as sex and drugs because there is no vast, expensive and oppressive “War on Poo” whose chief result is human misery. In a sense, You Will Die is two books in one; it is written in a pleasant, conversational style and presents fascinating, often obscure facts in such a way as to make it a great pleasure read, but is both exhaustively researched and so extensively footnoted that it will make an important addition to my reference library.
A book that vigorously defends heroin users and sex workers? In You Will Die: The Burden of Modern Taboos Robert Arthur does that and more to demonstrate that taboos are not relics of primitive societies. America has its own ridiculous phobias and beliefs that cause tedium, suffering, and death. The government and the media use these taboos to lie and mislead. It is not a conspiracy, but by pushing panic for votes and viewers they thwart our pursuit of happiness.
You Will Die exposes the fallacies and the history behind our taboos on excrement, sex, drugs, and death. Arthur uses racy readability and rigorous documentation to raze sacred shrines of political correctness on the left and of conventional wisdom on the right. From the proper way to defecate to how to reach nirvana, anticipate the unexpected. It is not simply a novel exploration of sex and drugs, but also of individuality, liberty, and the meaning of life. You Will Die gives readers a new way of seeing their world and allows them to make a more informed choice about living an authentic life.
Winner of the 2008 Montaigne Medal awarded for most thought-provoking independent book.
“… ya gotta fight back against the Sarah Palin ‘idiot herd’ with something.”
Wayne Coyne, Lead Singer, The Flaming Lips
“… one of my favorite books …”
Mark Frauenfelder, Editor, Boing Boing
“This book is a MUST READ! I loved it.”
Dr. Mark Benn, Psychologist, Colorado State University