The book I’m Perfect, You’re Doomed – Tales from a Jehovah’s Witness Upbringing by Kyria Abrahams is a hoot, a tragedy, and an education… all at the same time.
Abrahams knows whereof she speaks, having been brought up in the strict tradition of this most particular denomination. Her childhood centered on the local Kingdom Hall and its many demands in terms of her time and devotion. The necessity of separating herself from non-JWs, those who according to her faith were doomed to die horribly at an Armageddon which could happen at any moment, put her at odds with the world around her and gave her a perspective which was at the same time reassuring and terrifying.
The unforgiving God of the JWs looms heavily over her childhood, watching suspiciously for the least infraction which could doom even a little girl to eternal damnation. This book brings home the trepidation of a child growing up under the unsleeping, all-seeing eye of Jehovah who stands ready to destroy not only all who do not subscribe to the “One True Religion” but even those who do subscribe but fall short of the exacting terms of His service.
Written with sharp wit and self-deprecating humor, Abrahams’ book outlines her journey through and finally away from the narrow Jehovah’s Witness way. You will laugh, you will cringe, but you will also learn to sympathize with those who find themselves trapped by birth and even those who knowingly choose this narrow and difficult way of life.
The Old Lady just enjoyed reading “FORDLANDIA” by Greg Grandin, and not only because she shares her last name with the main subject.
Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, had some very strong ideas about how to restructure society to suit his modernized, mechanized world. As the inventor of the assembly line he held very rigid values about what the new world should be like. In fact, you may remember that “… a religion based on the worship of Henry Ford is a central feature of the technocracy in Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World”, where the principles of mass production are applied to the generation of people as well as to industry.” (Wikipedia)
In his later years, as Ford launched a multimillion dollar attempt to raise rubber trees in Brazil to supply his automobile industry, he applied his principles to a huge plantation named FORDLANDIA in the Amazon jungle. Building a model village that could have been transplanted in entirety from the American Midwest, he imposed his idea of American culture on the indigenous Brazilian people and on the rain forest. The ruins of his mad dream still remain in the jungle and his influence on modern industry continues to facilitate the destruction of that habitat.
This book not only contains a great deal of information about the life of Henry Ford, it provides insight into how he shaped the world we live in today. This is a must read for anyone who is not only concerned about where we are with this planet and where we are headed, but in how we got to this place.
It is also a damn good read.