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As the World Burns: 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Stay in Denial Paperback – 8 Nov 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Seven Stories Press,U.S. (8 Nov. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583227776
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583227770
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 224,152 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A truly brilliant comic book that should be required reading for everyone. It takes you on a rollercoaster ride through your emotions, at times funny or infuriating, it is an attempt at a wake up call for true Climate Change revolution. Without a global revolution we are doomed as a race and although this book has a 'happy' ending, it leaves the reader with an almost bottomless sense of despair, because we all know that human beings are too selfish and uncaring to bother even saving ourselves, let alone a beautiful, wonderful, diverse planet such as ours. As great educational tool this book may sadly be at least a century too late, i hope not.
Read it, pass it on, encourage the fight, Viva La Revolution
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By Lees on 7 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is actually written in cartoon form and has a great take on the whole question of gold and other precious metals and our absurd way of putting value on these things even though mining for them causes huge amounts of environmental degradation. The book is about pollution and our inevitable destruction of the planet.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 25 reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Bunny Terror Alert 11 Jan. 2008
By doomsdayer520 - Published on
Format: Paperback
The anarcho-primitive activist and post-civilization philosopher Derrick Jensen really knows how to make an impact. Readers who agree with his general philosophy need not agree with every single one of his positions, though you can't deny that he's very effective at advancing them with deft use of persuasion and polemics. This tongue-in-cheek graphic novel came as a bit of a surprise, because I assumed that the "stay in denial" portion of the title would be directed at anti-environmentalists. On the contrary, the book is actually directed at environmentalists who have fallen for popular rhetoric about how their individual actions (recycling, buying new light bulbs, driving a hybrid, etc.) may actually make a major difference in the health of the planet. I don't totally agree with Jensen's disdain for personal virtue, but it's hard to deny that casual environmentalism detracts attention from the true causes of the world's problems. The status quo in business, economics, and politics is the real problem, and to save the planet we might just need a revolutionary structural overhaul of modern civilization. While this fictional story is simplistic and a bit forced, and comes nowhere near the intelligence and emotion of Jensen's other works, as an entertaining graphic novel the message is quite compelling. The low-key but expressive artwork of political cartoonist Stephanie McMillan surely adds to the effect. Perhaps this type of quick-hitting storytelling, rather than lengthy technical and philosophical screeds, will inspire caring folks to take real action. [~doomsdayer520~]
35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
"Stop insisting on your growth economy, on acquiring more and more until you consume the entire planet." 17 Feb. 2008
By Jessica Lux - Published on
Format: Paperback
Derrick Jensen and Stephanie McMillan's As the World Burns is a revolutionary graphic novel decrying the failure of the green movement. We have become a self-congratulatory society of "green" consumers, recyclers, yogi mediators, and letter-writers. Utilizing pigtailed girls, a one-eyed eco-revolutionary bunny, and a wise bird, the authors expose the fallacies of patting ourselves on the back as we continue down an unsustainable consumption path headed straight for world destruction. Some quick math performed by Kranti (a character from McMillan's Minimum Security cartoon) reveals that even if everyone (100% of the US population) changed our light bulbs, recycled half our total waste, cut our driving in half, installed low-flow showerheads, and adjusted our thermostats by two degrees, the end results would be a ONE-TIME 21% reduction in carbon emissions, which given our current rate of growth, would be offset in 10 years.

The real culprits in our ecocide? Corporations and the government they have in their pockets. And what are they doing? Running marketing campaigns and releasing movies to convince individual consumers to take the blame. In As the World Burns, a former-politician-turned-activist conspires with corporations to distract individuals from the systemic predicament, knowing full well that green consumers will pay more to feel good about themselves.

As the World Burns is much more than sharp dialogue about the futility of eco-friendly consumerism. Aliens have also arrived on the planet, intent on eating up all Earth's resources, and expecting to have to fight the planet's current residents. To their surprise, the Bible-thumping Dad-worshipping President gladly gives away the planet in exchange for bars of gold, which the aliens know is absolutely useless, not even giving the humans a buzz, but they go gaga for it. The plot thickens even farther as a pill-pushing therapist tries to medicate away our heroine's societal discontent, the one-eyed Bunnista starts his own campaign to free tortured animals, and the government locks bunnies and any suspected bunny sympathizers in terrorist detention centers.

The authors of As the World Burns argue that modern industrial society is inherently unsustainable, requiring a no-compromise stance from activists who truly want to change the direction of the global population. In the novel, a raccoon advises, "Stop insisting on your growth economy, on acquiring more and more until you consume the entire planet." We can no longer ignore the natural world, but as the wise bird educates us, humans lived in harmony with nature for thousands of years and could learn to again if we were willing.
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Someone had to say it 19 Nov. 2007
By Howard M. Switzer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Another excellent work from Derrick Jensen. The so-called green movement is being co-opted by the very mega corporations who are doing the destroying of the planet. They make the big decisions, they rig the elections, they own the mass media and public mind control technologies, they control the economy, the money and they will not stop. Al Gore described part of the problem and told us what we can do, but Derrick does the math. If every man woman and child did them all, and they never would, it only adds up to 21% of the carbon that the US spews. The rest comes from the mega industries and their carbon spew increases about 2% per year so that savings won't last long. Buying green products will not save the planet. We need to find a way for people to understand that they are being bamboozled so they can step into their own power. For those who will say this book is short on solutions I say that is because there really isn't going to be any solution until a lot of people quit believing all the green-wash hype. How we get everyone talking to one another and getting out of our mass denial, so we can do something effective, is the project that we need to focus on. Derrick has described what we are denying, now we have work to do. We see the enemy and it is us, ...but mostly its them.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
How to Teach Resistance: Assign "50 Things" 29 Jan. 2008
By CLWriter - Published on
Format: Paperback
This graphic novel presents a satiric view of the most destructive elements of our society: human beings, especially the ones who are devoted to money, progress, and technology. The story line follows a disparate group of characters: space alien robots, corporate CEO's, government functionaries, children, a "terrorist" bunny named Bunnista, and an assorted cast of various animals, plants, and even fish. The first panels depict two girls discussing why changing your light bulbs and recycling bottles aren't enough to save the planet. The plot thickens as space alien robots pay corporate and government agencies for the right to consume all the earth's resources (except for a token 70 trees, 70 rocks, 70 fish, etc.) Bunnista releases animals from a research lab, the authorities round up ALL rabbits in retaliation, and the scene is set for a big confrontation between rabbits, animals, children, and indigenous people against the evil forces of the aliens/government who wish to annihilate all life forms that do not directly lead to corporate profit.

The comic-style drawings are amusing, appealing, and at times heartbreaking, as when a little bear says goodbye to his mother as she runs off to do battle with the aliens. There is most definitely a message in this fine stew of eco-tragicomedy: Jensen and McMillan have teamed up to provide a rationale for activism that goes beyond putting a few things in the recycle bin each day.

This graphic novel would work well for high school students, 14 and up. Art classes, history or government classes, leadership classes, journalism classes, or literature classes could hold some fine discussions after reading this book, or selections from it. Teachers could assign students to create their own social commentary by way of a comic strip or graphic novel. Highly recommended for adults as well. Danger: this book will make you feel as well as think!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Delightful and dead serious 17 April 2008
By Lierre Keith - Published on
Format: Paperback
Follow the adventures of a too-observant young girl and a mysterious one-eyed stuffed bunny as they face down a liberal best friend, a sell-out psychiatrist, Al Gore, vivisectors, prison guards, and space aliens, on the way to the revolution! Sound like an unlikely plot? Yet it somehow works, with a story that finds its own edge between naturalism and the mythic, perfectly illustrated by Stephanie McMillan's naif-style illustrations. You'll be cheering by the end, ready to join the determined army of the wild rising like the tide in a last-page effort to save the planet. And where the story ends is where we have to begin.

Funny, grim, delightful and dead serious all at once.
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