Od Magic, by Patricia McKillip, was the latest book I finished. I picked it up at the library when getting Butcher's Small Favor (which I already finished, but need to think more on before I write much).
While it had a few elements very much in common with my favorite of her series, The Riddle-Master of Hed, it was all about meeting the unknown.
And in that vein, it was very appropriate to current events.
People, in general, will react with either love or fear of the unknown. Personally, as an outgrowth of my firm belief in the Golden Rule (the original, not the more recent, very cynical, perversion of it), I've always tried to meet such things with wonder.
This is why Miyazaki's My Neighbor Totoro is one of my all-time favorite movies. Nothing else captures the wonder of everyday life, and seeing the world as a child again, like that movie.
Getting back to the relevance to current events, this is what drives most of the political discourse these days. Somewhat less so, since Obama was elected, but it was the driving force for almost everything the Bush Administration did. And they stayed in power for a second term by forcing that fear of the unknown onto a hefty chunk of the population of the US. This is why we've spent hundreds of billions of dollars killing brown people.
Some powerful people are afraid of what those people can do. They missed the main point, though, I think (likely deliberately); those people, even in the direst predictions made of their putative abilities, never were, and never will be, an existential threat to the US.
That is, they can hurt us, and kill a lot of people, but to destroy the US, you'll need to do more than kill a few (million, perhaps) people. Occupation would be a necessity for that mission. And how many people would that require? I'm not sure, but I'm thinking that the number is in the millions (maybe single-digit millions, but still more than hundreds of thousands).
Are there millions of terrorists? Of course not. The very idea is ludicrous. If there were that many of them, they'd form their own army (to go straight to the most practical of arguments).
So the idea that terrorists could ever be an existential threat to the US is absurd.
Ok, that went considerably farther than I think was useful. My whole point is that we should all try to be more like Yar, in the book.
Update: I forgot to add that conformism was another topic that was very central to this book. And this has been a very relevant issue in recent years, as well.
The previous administration spent a lot of time and effort trying to force conformity on the entire country. The entire push about the dangers of 'islamo-fascism' was one of the biggest farces in the country. In fact, 'islamo-fascism' as a term is almost self-contradictory. If you're not sure why that is, look up the definition of fascism. The idea that a religion (even a small religious sect) could be pushing fascism is absurd on its face. Fascism is all about conformity and nationalism. Unless you're in an explicitly muslim state, the concept is impossible. And much was made of the terrorists not being part of any state (that was the whole argument for declaring captured terrorists as 'unlawful combatants', remember (ignoring, for a minute, how few of those captured were actually terrorists)).