Love Wallace and Gromit!
As far as I know, people who don't like cheese may have a deep chemical abreaction, like those who hate mango or coriander from childhood, something smells off or too pungent or iffy, the taste is never an uncomplicated pleasure.
I'm having a horrible week, nothing to drink over but now that I'm battling this intermittent bloody depression that persists and saps my energy, everything feels overwhelming. An old friend is having major surgery for cancer growths around the gall bladder and pancreas. He won't talk about the details and has lost weight, is very weak and exhausted. I try to stay optimistic and hopeful, feel scared and dread hearing bad news.
TRIGGER WARNING but general enough not to freak anyone out. Don't Google the book though if you have trouble reading about child abuse.
Last week I was sent a new documented expose, a book titled The Lost Boys of Bird Island, about paedophile army generals abusing and torturing boys from poor families during apartheid. This wasn't news, many of us had heard the rumours about Bird Island during the 1980s and '90s. I couldn't read the book and put it aside for a 'feeling stronger' day. This morning I heard that one of the co-authors, Mark Minnie, has committed suicide -- though there are questions about whether he was murdered. When I opened the book and felt queasy and shaken, I thought how traumatic it must be to write and work on a book like this and I know the inhouse editors struggled with the material as it went through fact checks and lawyers. I keep thinking apartheid will never be over.
Sending a hug, Mary, hope you're feeling better.
Doesn't sound like a book I would read - I'd read the review, but that would be enough. That's how I get through much of the NY Times now - the headline or the opening paragraph is enough.
I have been reading all these personal reminisces of Naipaul this week. Seeing the lists of his books, I realized that I have read almost all his fiction of much of his non-fiction. Opened up whole new worlds for me. But such a complicated man - not happy in his own skin - would come to mind.
It's interesting, I recently read a biography of the physicist Ernest Rutherford. He was a New Zealander who went to Cambridge where he was always look down upon by all the "native" English - so much so that even though he was very successful as a physicist there, he took a job in Canada when it was offered, only coming back to England after he was famous. So it's not just racism that makes foreigners uncomfortable in England.
Yes, Rutherford would have experienced class issues and contempt for 'colonials' seen as bumpkins from inferior colonies, not quite good enough. Class consciousness is disappearing in Britain but slowly. If you read someone like Nevil Shute, you see him trying to counter assumptions about Australians as poorly educated and uncultured before and after WWII.
I read a great deal of Naipaul -- his brilliant A House for Mr Biswas and Bend in the River. I didn't agree with his later work and often wondered what happened to make him so cynical and prejudiced about people in developing countries he hardly knew. I think his views were rigid and formed in a more naive era. Certainly Edward Said and other Indian (Rushdie, Ghosh) and Caribbean scholars were at a loss to explain his sweeping, partial, negative or offensive generalisations. I agree with you that he was a complicated and troubled man, discontented and deeply unhappy, never feeling as if he belonged anywhere. I also seem to recall his envy and resentment of other younger writers from the 'tropics'.
sorry you are dealing with this depression, Mary.
as for the content of that book...reminiscent of the Residential School experiences here...over but not. effects and destructions carry on, generationally.
i read a fair bit, as i see it as a piece of me doing my/a part of acknowledging and changing.
Thanks, Margit. That history of the residential schooling and what happened to indigenous children has many echoes with South Africa's apartheid era, the repercussions and revelations that go on for generations. Awareness is so important, to bring skeletons out of cupboards and remember the past.
And this depression is something new and very unwelcome. I'm reading as much as I can, just hoping it lifts. I've had anxiety and depression before, triggered by upsetting incidents or crises and the emotional lows passed when the distress or fear had been worked through. This persists. I can't afford therapy or medication -- in part because I have hardly been able to work this year, another side effect of the depression, but I do enough to keep going and try to stay connected to sober friends and a depression support forum online.
really sorry to hear it persists and the usual avenues of help, therapy and medication, are out of reach, Mary.
racism and other "isms" here in Canada i find rampant, often in the thoughtless variety that yet, when challenged and pointed out, does not get acknowledged nor examined. one part of that i run into often is that so many say it doesn't exist here.
no looking at something that doesn't exist, is there.
Margit, until recently the same was true of more liberal/progressive Cape Town. The changes after apartheid were evident and applauded -- less obvious were the persisting inequalities and micro-aggressions, the 'overlooking' or minimising of of black concerns. Then angry and 'woke' concerns were voiced about the 'blind spots' of white privilege, the historical wealth and connections and 'social capital' taken for granted by most white and some returned black expats. The debates have changed and there is an uncomfortable awareness now of those unexamined assumptions and biases. But a long way to go still--
Just posting here to mark a place for myself and check what this thread looks like.
Heatwave right now, the kind of heat we usually only get in December. The days are intolerable but the nights are balmy and wonderful to sit out in, solong as there aren't too many moths or mosquitoes.