Well, the sun eventually came out and I took the puppy down to the river. She looked at me very suspiciously as it is normally Vikki that walks her, but she was busy. As far as Skully (puppy) is concerned, I am trouble. But we had a nice time. I never thought I would have a dog and, now I do, I feel an overwhelming protective urge over her. The amount of times I nearly get in arguments with people if they make any disparaging remarks. Anyway, let’s get on with it!
I am literally minutes away from watching the documentary I am about to mention. In my pre-planning (yeah, I do actually think about these blogs before writing them…well, kinda…) I was going to choose a bizarrely fascinating documentary called “Cocaine Cowboys”, but I have just sat through “An Eye For An Eye”. It tells the story of a Texan who, after 9/11, went on a brief violent spree toward anyone he perceived as from the Middle East. It resulted in the deaths of at least two people and, in return, the State of Texas put him on Death Row. The film-maker interviewed him from behind bars eventually forming an unlikely bond. As the film unravels – intersperced with some poetry by Mark, the inmate – it is clear that he is changing. The skeptical might think it some sort of ploy to attempt a stay in execution but it is fairly clear that these are geniune moments of enlightenment by a man who knows he has wronged. Unbelievably, one of his victims actually starts campaigning to stop the execution. This extraordinarily moving film ends with the state killing of Mark Stroman. The film represented every reason why I am so against the death penalty. Right now, I can hear 50% of you saying, “Yeah, but what if someone killed someone you loved?”, which is a nonsense argument. I am a person, not a country. In the same way that Mark Stroman sought an emotional revenge to an event he didn’t have the facilities to process, so might an individual want revenge as a direct response to a murder of a loved one. Both could be seen as crimes of passion. Take the individual out of the equation, however, and you are left with a country or state saying “thou shalt not kill” by doing that exact same thing. What kind of message does that send? You know what would have been a much stronger message in a case like this? If a rehabilitated racist white supremacist was allowed a voice to educate and help others wake up in the same way he had. A racist upon hearing of his execution for his crimes would be angry that he was killed for simply “defending” his country. No doubt, he was looked up to by people with that mindset. If he were allowed to address them directly, they would listen and so much more good could be achieved. Mark kept a blog on Death Row, which can be read here.
“Free State Of Jones” was the movie of the week. Racism seems to be quite a big theme for movies in this house. It is a fascinating and quite bewildering thing to study, especially as some of the most deplorable acts such as lynchings are still in living memory. “Free State Of Jones” is the true tale of a Confederate man who was so against slavery, he refused to fight the Union and built a militia instead. The film takes a while to get going but, once it does, it is gripping and Matthew McConaughey gives a great performance (if a little mumbly!). Lengthy, but worth sticking with.
Well, I was about half way through “The Making Of The British Landscape: From The Ice Age To The Present” by Nicholas Crane when a printing error meant that pages from an entirely different book were inserted. After a baffling few moments trying to work out what Zelda the witch had to do with the formation of hedgerows, I realised wtf was going on. The pages inserted replaced about 20 or so forcing me to step reading, which was a shame as it was (is) a great book. I have been sent a replacement, which looks fine, but I started reading a different book in the meantime, “Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook” by Tony Robbins. He has a real knack for getting to the meat and potatoes of any problem or situation making complex ideas easy to comprehend. If you have ever wondered or worried about your financial future and are thinking about investing, or are already investing, I would recommend it (so far, assuming he doesn’t say “send all your money to me” at the book’s climax).
Anything by Hopsin. A great rapper in the same vein as Eminem – quick and smart. Has a horror tinge to the music and samples. If you are a fan of that kind of Hip Hop and haven’t checked out Hopsin, I sincerely recommend you do right now.
I bought one of the coolest things ever this week. A 2 feet high carved wooden knight. I know nothing about it but could not resist it. I had it less than a week when…
…someone bought the damn thing! It is always the way. I find something I really like, hope to hold on to it for a bit then sell it. Ah well, someone else can enjoy it. And at least I have the pictures to remember it by *sniff*
I started the ball rolling on book number 2. I want it to be out for Christmas. I’m about 3/4 or 2/3rds of the way through so decided to get the graphic artists to start work on the layout, forcing my hand to actually finish the damn thing. So keep an eye out for “Now What?” news and updates!
You know what? Nothing to grumble about this week. So I shan’t spread negativity when I don’t really need to. So, until next time…