Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


Dan Perkins, whom Kurt Vonnegut calls “the wry voice of American common sense, humor, and decency,” is better known as Tom Tomorrow, creator of the award-winning syndicated strip “This Modern World.” This year, he published his third anthology, The Wrath of Sparky (New York: St. Martin’s Griffin).

Mother Jones asked Perkins what he’s been reading lately. He suggested re>Wired (New York: HarperPerennial, 1996):

“This Wired parody captures the magazine’s smug, self-contained, and ultimately empty techno-libertarianism while satirizing digital elitists Nicholas Negroponte, John Perry Barlow, and Wired co-founder Louis Rossetto (here ‘Lewis Risotto’). Unfortunately, while the concept is on target, the follow-through tends to fall flat. But the two-page spread that takes Wired‘s read-me-if-you-can design to its logical extreme is worth the price in itself.”

Perkins also recommends:

A cynical, charming, and unpredictable road novel-slash-romance set in and around Alamogordo, N.M., Cathryn Alpert’s Rocket City (New York: Vintage Contemporaries, 1996) begins with a classic opening line — “Three melons and a dwarf sat in the front of Marilee’s ’72 Dodge, but the cop was not amused…” — and it just gets better from there.

On Grown Man (New York: Virgin Records, 1995), Loudon Wainwright III sings about aging, infidelity, genetic predetermination, his acknowledged failings as a father (in a brutally honest duet with his daughter), and his response to a female friend who idly wishes she was a lesbian (“…now at that point,” he sings, “I wanted to say, you mean you wish you were a lesbian, because grammatically…”).

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate