Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Warning: Post May Cause Extreme Drowsiness. Marginally Interesting Insults Aimed at a Bad Book Contained Herein. Read At Your Own Risk


I'm up in Lawrenceville again today. My mom's at a quilt guild meeting and I'm here to take the dogs out should any prospective buyers drop by to look at their house. No one yet. I finished watching the third season of The West Wing this morning and when mom called to ask me to house and dogsit, I decided that to do at least ONE productive thing with this day, I would bring a book I ordered used off of Amazon called Blind Vengeance: The Roy Moody Mail Bomb Murders (pictured to the left -- I'll bet you'll never guess where I got the image from), and I would start reading it. The reason I bought it in the first place is because there's a pipe-bomb explosion in my still-in-progress-novel, and I wanted to see how the pipe-bomb murder was investigated in real life. It's written by a Pulitzer-prize winning jounalist so I thought, at the very least, it would be well-written.

Not so. The author, Ray Jenkins, is indeed a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, but he won the award in 1954 while working for a very small Georgia newspaper. He wrote the book almost forty years later in 1992. Judging by Jenkins's level of writing ability exhibited in this book, he was either too old to write in '92 having lost his writing-mojo from when he was a younger man, or, and I think this may be the case, they gave them the Pulitzer not because Jenkins' story was well-written, but because a conservative, bigoted newspaper in the conservative, bigoted Southern state of Georgia had published a series of stories about an injustice perpetrated against a black person by a white person. Because this was unusual and progressive, the award was political. This was my conclusion after slogging through a 25-page introduction that had nothing to do with Roy Moody, the mail bomb murders, or any of the victims, but everything to do with Ray Jenkins himself. Jenkins doesn't actually get to the bombing until 3/4 of the way through the book. The investigation itself is largely ancillary. Jenkins's point in writing this book seems to be to tell the story absolutely no one was even slightly curious to hear: how the stories of the bomber and his two victims neatly describe the opposing sides on the race issue in the South during the Civil Rights era. Yawn. I guess I should have known better. Judging by title, which people should obviously never do with a non-fiction work, I thought the book might have had something to do with Roy Moody and his mail bomb murders. Oh well. I'm the dummy.

The dogs are now growling for me to take them out, so I'm gonna.

11 comments:

blankfist said...

Post 'My' Cause Extreme Drowsiness?

You know, I step away from your blog for a couple days and when I return this is what I get? A misspelled title? Sheesh! Well, I guess I have some reading to do so I can catch up with your blog. Damn, man, don't you ever sleep?

JudgeHolden said...

Ha, it's not misspelled anymore. And yeah, I do sleep. I just don't work.

blankfist said...

Um, still misspelled.

blankfist said...

Shit. Not fair.

blankfist said...

By the way, I was watching TechTV the other day, which is now called G4TV, but at one point it was G4/TechTV, I believe, and... well, I guess whatever they're naming themselve these days isn't altogether important. Anyhow, I was watching and some guy from Lawrenceville, GA called into that show Attack of the Show. That's not so odd, except not more than a year or two earlier, someone from my hometown of Graham, NC called into the show when it was called The Screensavers. I know, I know, different show. But, not really.

I guess after a while it isn't so odd when your city pops up out of the 19,355 incorporated cities in the census, right? Nah.

By the way, Crane, have you picked up Half Life 2 for the XBox? They say it's got some of the best gameplay and graphics for a current gen system. It looks so good, it almost makes me want to go out and buy a used Xbox from EB Games... almost. Right now, I have too many games to play and not enough time to play them, so I best NOT get another system. I've got N64 on the way, and Goldeneye waiting at home for it to arrive. Maybe I should break up with my girlfriend so I can play all these games? Nah. Then I'd be lonely. Oh well, it's a lose-lose.

JudgeHolden said...

First, I thought you were talking about the title of the book I was talking about, so I corrected the word "vengeance". Then I realized you meant "My Cause" should be corrected.

Yeah, Lawrenceville and Gwinnett county seem to pop up on the national radar frequently. Just today on Fark, there was a link to a story about a south Gwinnett high-school teacher who got fired for showing the R-rated Elizabeth to his students. Even though it was nominated for about five Academy Awards, apparently the parents and the school board thought it was pretty close to porn. He'd worked there for like thirty years, too. Also, one of the hijackers on Sept. 11th used to live in Lawrenceville and took flying lessons at our little airport. He worked out in a gym next to what used to be the KMart. Some days, I think Lawrenceville is a weird kind of nexus that attracts bad and ignorant people and compells them to do evil things. That's my hometown.

As for Half-Life 2, I have the PC version and it is a good game, but I haven't really been playing it. I'm sure it's also good on the XBox though. I watched a few trailers for games for the XBox 360 and I'm not too impressed. They really still look like regular XBox games. Maybe the PS3 will be the system to get. We shall see.

noahkey said...

I've seen Elizabeth and it is a great movie. It's R for violence, not sex so the Porn arguement is out.

Elizabeth has a third act that mirrors the end of the Godfather. This poor guy was probably trying to illustrate to kids how interesting that period of history was and not just a bunch of fussy people in wigs. These kids grew up on text messaging, the internet and video games. He improvised in an unfair war.

And these were seniors in high school. In an advanced class. And he had five minutes to decide whether to resign or be fired because of the threat of an investigation. Not an ACTUAL investigation. A whole five minutes. for thirty years.

Yes, Crane. That town is filled with douchebags.

blankfist said...

The only time I see Burlington or Graham on tv is whenever I watch 'Police Videos' on Spike TV. I wish I was joking, but I'm dead serious. And, while I went to school in that po-dunk town, I remember watching Romeo and Juliet (the one from the 80s with nudity) in class, and no one was fired. Of course, the trick is to get the parent's signature. See, that guy that got fired should've gotten signatures from the parents. He was kind of being dumb, if you ask me.

Also, Crane, it looks like soon you shall be publishing your novels! You see, 50 Cent is to publish novellas, so then after him I'm thinking all that would be left is maybe Carrot Top, so you have to be next! Here's the link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/4441910.stm

Although, I'm sure the above link will be truncated by the comment page. Oh well. Hey, did any of you see the article about the chick who was 'interrogated' at McDonalds? No? Got to zfilter.com and scroll down until you find the link. You have to watch the video. It's pretty crazy. You won't believe where it goes. You'll swear it's a hoax.

Anonymous said...

here's the link for the zfilter thing for those of you who can't find it:

http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/story?id=1297922&page=1

I'm outraged!! I knew people were fucking retarded after the last couple of presidential elections, but after seeing this, it's obvious that this country cares more about teaching people about Noah's fucking ark, then about their basic rights as human beings living in a free America.

What a fucking pile of shit this country has become. I swear if another republican wins in 2008, Brian and I are moving to Canada or Germany or maybe even China . . .

JudgeHolden said...

Oh. My. God. That McDonald's strip search thing is incredible on sooooo many levels. It's so incredible that were it not for John Quinones doing the story and all the VO, I'd swear it was a hoax. The woman manager and her fiance should get as much time as the caller for being the actual perpetrators of the crime. What kind of 58 IQ-having son of a bitch thinks that having a 17-year old girl perform fellatio on him is going to assist in a stolen-purse investigation conducted over the phone? What kind of person thinks ANY kind of police investigation is conducted over the phone?! How is it that the manager woman was all right with the 17-year old and her fiance doing that? How was she able to rationalize that for herself? I bet the fiance-guy suspected what was going on, knew it was wrong, but figured it was his lucky day and so went on with it. I feel so bad for that girl. I mean, she's probably not at all bright, but even if she were bright enough to refuse participation in this opera of ignorance, I get the feeling that that woman would have detained her and forcibly strip-searched her anyway. I hope McDonald's pays that girl through the nose -- that manager woman was in their employ at the time of the incident, and McDonald's deserves to pay some serious cash for making it a policy to employ people this stupid. Why does this make me so mad? Is it because people are this stupid or is it because this was an instance of gross abuse of underage, minimum-wage employees by their direct employers? I think it's a little of both. Are we not teaching the Bill of Rights in our public schools?

Ahem. Still, in the back of my mind, I'm thinking Heath is going to say "Bloop bloop!" and reveal the whole thing as a total hoax. I don't know how it's possible, but this thing is so outrageous it seems impossible that something like this happened, much less in 40 (was it 70?!) other fast food restuarants. You got to post that on Millen, Heath.

blankfist said...

BLOOP BLOOP!

I didn't make this up. How could I? Come on. Being that what the news conglomerates think is 'news' really isn't newsworthy, I thought this claimed 'injustice' would stop after they mentioned she was being 'held to interrogation' and forced to 'empty her pockets'. But, when they mentioned that she had to get naked, I thought it was a sham. Then, it got worse.

I'm not sure it was fellatio, as you say, Crane. They said he was being charge with sodomy, and so if I were to make an educated, albeit gross, guess, I'd say the 'cop' on the phone wanted him to perform a cavity search -- not fellatio. I know they said 'sexual act' but possibly inserting a finger inside the, er, yeah that thing, is considered to be sexual when not a clinical procedure? I don't know, I think all of them involved are absolutely detestable.

I'm just as outraged as you are, Crane, and I too cannot for the life of me put my finger on the definite reason. Mad because they're stupid? Yes. Mad because they used authority and coercion to strip and abuse this teenager? Yes. Not sure which one infuriates me more, to be honest, although I feel it should be the latter, but I really hate incompetent and stupid people.