Once again, a blog that I wrote I put aside-- but at least that one will show up next Saturday as it was about a truth I wanted to discuss. It just doesn't fit today with the week America just went through.
In terms of news analysis, I see no reason to discuss here what everybody could be following if they had interest. If they did not, then they didn't want to, and I won't try and shove it down their throat.
My week though revolved around the news and several items which all swirl into a whole and worked for me as a voyeur of life. When you write, you use things. You absorb. Most of the time you cannot afford to take what you observe personally or you'd go nuts-- which does happen to some writers. In my case I feel emotional connection to some of what I hear because of the old-- there but for the grace of god go I-- although in my case I don't believe that. I think it's fate and what fate is, that I have no idea. Is there a purpose and plan? No clue. But I do know that my week had a lot of elements that are beginning to build an emotional whole regarding a story germinating in my head. How does it happen such things coalesce? I haven't a clue but they often seem to do so.
So I have been reading books about a period of Oregon history in the 1860s where Eastern Oregon was enduring a lot of violence. It was coming from many sources. The Indian tribes were not happy that so many settlers had come into their traditional homes. They saw potential to rob and kill as a way to enrich themselves but also force the interlopers out of the area. That meant the interlopers struck back and between cavalry and civilians, there were attacks on both sides. Much blood was shed.
Some people like to think they are living through a particularly bad time-- mostly those who think that way have no real clue as to the meaning of that. How terrible a child would go to a Marathon and lose his life. Yes, but my parents lived through the fear that polio would do the same thing. Before that there was no treatment for so many illnesses. Danger isn't unique to one time or period in history. When it happens to us, it's the worst, of course; but reality is life has always had dangerous periods.
When things happen like the Boston Marathon bombing, humans want to find someone to blame. Ironically the blame this week has been pushed onto the far right by the far left and the far left by the far right. Both sides have those who are blaming Obama but for different reasons. That's the irony of life and especially of political decision making.
Then we had the Senate voting to not extend background checks to gun shows-- again massive blame games. I've heard a lot of lies regarding this bill but here is what it actually says
Why anybody wouldn't want that is beyond me but by the time the right wing got hold of what was going on, people like Rush Limbaugh had twisted the facts so badly that they had no clue what was in it.
This battle for sanity on gun regulations cannot be considered over. We who wish to walk into a mall, we need to continue with the battle for reasonable gun laws while we recognize that won't help with bombers with political or life grudges. We will also be confronting those who fear guns and we who own them with the idea they can get rid of all guns as a way to reduce violence. It isn't going to be easy to hit the middle on this, but the middle often does win such battles-- if they stick to it.
Politics is a messy business and I was reminded of that when we watched Lincoln this week. That is a great film on politics and the impact they have on ordinary lives including that of those who make the laws. Names and parties may change but a lot of the mentality we are seeing argued through right now was in that period of time also.
How do you get things done that you consider important? Well avoid hysteria. Stick to it. Understand the big picture. Do what is required which won't always be what you wanted.
For me that means donating to political candidates in other states who have my view on guns-- which is that they are legal for some citizens to own but they need to be regulated as to what kind of guns can be owned as well as who. I don't want someone who has been identified as dangerous, by law enforcement and mental health officials, to be able to walk into a Walmart and buy a gun. I do want to keep my guns so long as i use them responsibly. For people who are afraid of guns, don't own one. If you want to see me as part of the problem because I do, I consider that your problem not mine.
So quite a week for discussion of violence. Then I chose something voluntarily to add to it. I watched an HBO documentary which I thought was very good on the psychology of war and those who cover wars-- How far to the front? created by Sebastian Junger on the work of a photojournalist who was killed in Libya but had lived a life recording war until it finally got him. Even if upsetting, it is an excellent film on the psychology of war-- but war should be upsetting.
Everything that happened this week is helping me put together the background i needed for the book I will start in a month that will be about the war in Eastern Oregon 1866-67 (approximate on the years), about the military of that time and of course, a love story. Politics, violence, emotion, danger, nature, love. It will have it all. My favorite kind of story to write.
Last week was definitely not my favorite kind of week to live because even though most of us were a long way from Boston, we can so identify with those there. How sad it is that some live to hurt others but at the same time encouraging that there are others who live to make this a better world. The amazing thing was that they were able to take the second suspect alive. Maybe we will get some answers but I won't hold my breath for that.
The photos are from an assortment of years and places and a reminder that life is good despite bad times. When those bad times come, we just have to get through them-- hopefully with the help of each other.