Thursday, July 31, 2014

behind the beautiful forevers

Generally I won't bother reading a book by a Pulitzer Prize winner. I've read too many that are boring and tedious. But the topic held my interest, it was at Costco for $9.99, so I gave it a shot. And discovered that Katherine Boo is an exception to my loose rule about prize winning authors. Seldom does a book grab me and hold onto my head as this one did. I told everyone I saw the day I’d almost finished it—even the bank teller—that they had to read it. Consciousness raising, yes. Soul impacting, possibly. And all without bias, or tugging at heart strings, just the facts, allowing the reader to make up his or her mind about how their choices and actions, in an effort to maintain a sense of worth, to feel any level of peacefulness, might be what keeps bullying and thuggery the status quo. No matter what economic condition or country examined. This book spoke to me in a way that clarified how the urge for self-preservation can, and often does, overshadow morality. How each of us will ignore those oppressed until they rise up against that oppression to cause damage to our own world—be it large or small. Thugs exist as long as their thuggery gets a payoff. Perhaps some people are genuinely compassionate, while others only make real changes when their way of life is actually threatened. And as soon as the threat is stopped they go right back to ignoring the underlying cause of the threat. Even politicians and corporate magnates can be looked at from the point of them being fearful that their world could collapse should they do much of anything to change the state of their world. Enough is never enough when that old Malthusian principle comes into the dynamics of thought—whether conscious, unconscious, or sub-conscious—that there isn’t enough to go around. Democracy becomes: let the mongrels sleep in their own feces, and fight among each other, unless they become a thinking pack.