Ending Veneer.

My wife Kari has a review of a great new book, Veneer: Living Deeply in a Surface Society. She begins:

Sometimes a book impacts us by introducing something new–ideas, facts, information, thoughts.  The impact is in the novelty or newness, and we’re changed.

Other times a book impacts us because somebody says exactly what’s in our hearts but could never put into words.

I recently read a great book that did just that. It’s called Veneer.

Veneer is about living deeply in a surface society. I read it cover to cover hardly coming up for air, and told Jeff, “I’m not sure if I love the book so much because it challenges me or simply because it says all the things I’d like to say but have never known quite how.”  With grace, humility, wit, and intelligence, Tim Willard and Jason Locy share history, facts, and cultural critique with the aim of a sharp-shooter. And they point at themselves first.

They point out the fact that historically people purchased items for functionality, need, and pleasure. But in the 1500s Queen Elizabeth I recognized the need for a unifying force for her country and decided that she would become that force, so she recreated herself as an icon, a godlike figure that a nation could love and cherish.

In order to do this she lavishly spent, ridiculously spent in order to create an awe and splendor always about her that gave her the aura of a goddess. Naturally, the effect trickled down. The noblemen began that same sort of spending, as she set the standard for nobility all those around her began to follow suit in order to keep up with the social competition within the court.

Trickle, trickle, trickle. We’re doing it today.

Read the rest.

More on this good book in future posts here at the blog. Let’s end Veneer.

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