Day 26 – A book that changed your opinion about something (30 Day Book Challenge #2)

This is another hard one to answer, which sort of makes me think that maybe I’m a bit stubborn if it’s that hard to change my opinion about something. Or maybe I’m just firm in what I think. Oh well.

scartissueMy mind has ended up flittering to biographies, which can often change your mind about a person – you can ending up liking them more or finding them more interesting (because one of these two must be true for you to have read the book in the first place), or you can end up loathing the person, or thinking they’re the dullest person to ever walk the earth. Sadly, when I read Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis, I found the latter of these two possibilities happened.

I grew up listening to Red Hot Chili Peppers, the band which Kiedis fronts and sings for and has done for over 30 years now. I remember hearing Under The Bridge as a kid and loving it, even though I had no idea what darker meanings were lurking beneath those lyrics. As a teenager, Californication was one of those albums that was just everywhere you went, for a solid year or two, and even now, 15 years later, that album is still played heavily on the radio around the world. I saw the band perform in 2002, and it was one of my favourite ever concerts and easily my first big stadium concert.

So I was pretty disappointed when I read Kiedis’ autobiography and realised he’s basically a self-indulgent brat. I mean, okay, I understand that a lot of rockstars are this way, and a lot of rockstar biographies read more or less the same, but Kiedis was just horrible to so many people and he doesn’t seem to understand what he did wrong half the time.  About halfway through the book you stop caring that he’s yet again become addicted to drugs for the twenty billionth time, or that another girl has left him because she’s realised she can do better. It’s like through all his experiences he should have learnt a few more lessons than he did, that he should have grown more as a person so he would have something more profound to say about himself. But he didn’t, and he doesn’t.

Funnily enough, not too long after I read this, I lost interest in RHCP a bit. I mean, I still like a lot of their music, but their last couple of albums were lacklustre to say the least. And as for this book, while I’m glad I read it, I don’t intend on reading it again. My mind is definitely made up now.

What’s a book that changed your opinion about something?

9 thoughts on “Day 26 – A book that changed your opinion about something (30 Day Book Challenge #2)

  1. I can’t think of anything that I have read that has changed my opinion about something, but I can recommend a great rock star bio! I read Life by Keith Richards a few months ago and loved it! I’m not a Stones fan and I have never really listened to their music, but the cover of the book and the small knowledge I had about Keith was enough to get me to read it. It’s so matter of fact when you read it and I don’t think he ever comes across as self indulgent – he’s just a guy who worked hard at what he was good at and became a superstar as a result.

    • Yeah, it’s funny how hard it is to think of a book that has changed your opinion hey? I was surprised by it actually.
      I have been curious about the Keith Richards book, which is funny because yeah like you I’m not much of a Stones fan. I mean I have a best of or something lurking around somewhere but they’re not a band I’ve devoted much time to at all (compared to a lot of other bands from that era). I’ll definitely have to give it a read when I get a chance, thanks for the recommendation! 🙂

  2. Me neither, I don’t think I have read a book that changed my opinion, or perhaps I have but I have forgotten how many. :s Most books are stereotypical, and while it’s always jocks-are-bad-but-cool politics for YA it would be interesting if a newer perspective about everything was brought out there. For example, while I am a conspiracy theorist I believe in Holocaust denial to a certain degree (now don’t jump me) but after reading the diary of Anne Frank I was quite sure that although History lies to us almost 98% of the time (quoting Michael Jackson), no rumor starts from scratch. Interesting what books can do. I don’t know how I’ll feel if I read Eminem’s biography, for example, as he is my favorite – his songs already tell me so much about the details of his life that I’m not sure what the potholes may be.

    • Hmm some interesting thoughts. History especially is an interesting one in books, and documentaries. I showed my high school history class last year one of the newer JFK documentaries, The Smoking Gun, which is based on a book of the same name. It was my introduction to the topic for them, and I wanted to see how many of them gobbled it up (4 of the really bright ones didn’t, which impressed me). We then dissected the documentary as a class, exposing all the major flaws in the arguments (and comparing it to the book where the research came from, and ripping that apart too in terms of historical accuracy). Then I sent them off to do their own research and come up with their own theories, and they went off and came up with close to 30 different ideas – so even though we tore a book and documentary to shreds, it provoked them enough to change their opinions anyway.
      I do sort of think that if an artist expresses who they are through their artistic endeavours, whether it be music or painting or whatever, then that is probably going to be more truthful (or at least how they see themselves) than if they just tried to write about it. Unless they’re a writer I guess (like, for example, Stephen Fry’s two memoirs).

  3. The Hunger Games changed my opinion on extremely popular series. I usually avoid them like the plague because well, i guess i don’t like to follow the crowd. I sound like such a snot. Anyway as you know, i read The Hunger Games and loved the series, and found them really well written so now I’m not as quick to write off extremely popular series anymore. I don’t think I’ll ever be interested in Twilight though…

    • Hahaha, it’s okay I totally understand what you mean. I am still cautious about popular series (I will definitely never be interested in Twilight, and I am yet to read Harry Potter but I might try it one day). But yes The Hunger Games is a good reminder that not all popular series are just trash – it’s worth giving them a shot sometimes at least. I used to be the same with music, avoiding popular music because I thought it’d be crap. Thank god I got over that hahaha, I would have been missing out on a lot of good stuff (though a lot of crap does become popular still, but you get my point). 🙂

  4. I agree that Anthony doesn’t come off very likeable in Scar Tissue, but at least it is an honest account of someone battling addiction (and all the shitty things he did!). I think opinions are difficult to change but your perceptions can definitely be swayed by fiction and non-fiction you’ve read forever (eg Orwell’s 1984).

    • Well that’s true, at least he is honest for the most part it seems (you wouldn’t lie about a lot of that stuff haha). And that’s true, fiction can change perceptions, and Orwell is a great example. I often forget how much the books I studied at school and university probably affected my perception of the world.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s