Mow the lawn, trim the shrubs, solve the murder

TaylorI have a rule that contends

Uncle Joe and Aunt Mabel were not the models for the characters in the novel you are reading.

My experience with the habits of general readers, even avid general readers, is that they have a tendency to latch onto something familiar, like a character who reminds them of Sister Kate, and then to make the mistake of reading the narrative as if it was actually about Sister Kate, even if subconsciously. The reader’s discussion of the book then tends to slide into anecdotes about Sister Kate and the actual text is shoved aside.

The same thing holds true for the setting: that house might remind the reader of Sister Kate’s house on Martha’s Vineyard, but it’s not Sister Kate’s house.

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Early Terrorism in the 20th Century

A Statement of Peace, or an Epitaph

Robert Scheer, Truthdig

HiroshimaAugust 6 marks 68 years since the United States committed what is arguably the single gravest act of terrorism that the world has ever known. Terrorism means the deliberate targeting of innocent civilians, and targeted they were, with the cutely named “Little Boy” atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima at a location and time of day when, as the Strategic Bombing Survey commissioned by President Harry Truman conceded, “nearly all the school children … were at work in the open,” a perfect opportunity for mass incineration.

“That fateful summer, 8:15,” the mayor of Hiroshima recalled at a memorial service in 2007, “the roar of a B-29 breaks the morning calm. A parachute opens in the blue sky. Then suddenly, a flash, an enormous blast—silence—hell on earth. The eyes of young girls watching the parachute were melted. Their faces became giant charred blisters. The skin of people seeking help dangled from their fingernails. … Others died when their eyeballs and internal organs burst from their bodies. Hiroshima was a hell where those who somehow survived envied the dead. Within the year, 140,000 had died.”

Read the complete article at Truthdig. It should be mandatory for all Americans.