Review: Sex, Bombs and Burgers & They F*** You Up

Sex, Bombs and Burgers: How War, Porn and Fast Food Created Technology as We Know ItSex, Bombs and Burgers: How War, Porn and Fast Food Created Technology as We Know It by Peter Nowak
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sex, Bombs and Burgers is a fascinating look into how our obsessions with war, fast food and porn have evolved our everyday technology rapidly over the 20th/21st century. WW2 affected how we cook and preserve food, porn changed the video versus betamax war, and genetically modified foods are seen by some as a way of waging war and reducing the desire in third world countries to join terrorist cells. While detailed, the book doesn’t require prior knowledge of science or engineering, as it explores and explains the information about the technologies very well.

This brilliant and entertaining book will have you gasp with surprise as you learn how intricate and essential something as horrid and destructive as war has been to how the technologies from it has changed how we live. This is in no way a defence of warmongering, but explaining the connections gives you a better understanding of the world in which we live. Between all three vices, robots are becoming more advanced in their sexual programming and responses, the taking of fast food orders, and war drones to prevent more causalities.

It’s interesting how the things we have the biggest problem with in society – some say porn is corrupting young minds, fast food has helped the rise in obesity levels and war is always a terrible thing – these are the very things that have inspired and evolved technology to affect our lives in the biggest and smallest ways that we don’t even recognise anymore. Who questions a cameras past, or a microwave, or deodorant?

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They F*** You Up: How To Survive Family LifeThey F*** You Up: How To Survive Family Life by Oliver James
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is not a blatant attack on parents on how they raise children, but They F*** You Up is an examination on deliberate parenting and encouraging you to look within yourself. It’s not just how you were raised, but how you perceive how you were raised and how you deal with that information as an adult and in your relationships.

James, while he allows for the nature/nurture debate and genetics, definitely leans on the side of nurture. The process of building personality and traits is incredibly complex, as you would expect, but the detail is not that of a textbook with unexplained jargon and dry information. There are a lot of celebrity profiles that flesh out and perhaps make this book more accessible. They are certainly very interesting!

How you have been raised can affect your sexual consciousness, your morals, confidence, jealousy and so much about you. One of the main ideas is that of a ‘family script’ – the position your family gives you, whether that of the little mother, the lazy one, the boy etc. James even explores his own past of how he was raised compared to his sisters, and his parent’s expectations and responses to his schooling. Any parent claiming equal love and attention for their children is just deceiving themselves, it seems.

This is all much more than just ‘Daddy never hugged you enough’, which is a rather ignorant way some people dismiss feelings or even mental illness. It can seem quite depressing that the first six years of your life that you can hardly remember has moulded your brain and chemicals in such a physical way, but he insists that it is not the be all and end all – after all, you are reading this book! -it is something to make you more considerate and thoughtful of yourself and perhaps others too.

Warning: There are some sections and character profiles which could be triggers for those who have been victims of abuse or violence.

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