In a previous post, I made a half-jest noir that given the plethora of unjustified police killings, that perhaps such murders were a ritualistic “making bones.” Along similar lines comes the news that the NYPD has awarded Detective Ralph Friedman a Police Challenge Coin created in recognition of his service, notably shooting four people to death and wounding four more. The coin features four skulls to represent the four dead. All in all, Friedman has been in fifteen gun battles. (I wonder what the average is.) At the bottom of the coin is a black cross, evocative of the Nazi Iron Cross. Friedman is quoted as saying, “I was never traumatized. I never felt bad.”
I question how representative this attitude is. I was brought up to believe “The policeman is you friend.” When did that change? I welcome your thoughts.
Pat Conroy – My losing Season. I’m a Conroy fan. We both write of abusive fathers. We both endured The Citadel’s plebe year. And we both were ensnared by southern belles and fell into relationships that didn’t last. However, this is about his book, My Losing Season, which, if I liked basketball, I likely would have appreciated it more. The play by play descriptions of each and every game became a bit tedious for me with way too much attention paid to fanny pats. As much as the book is about his senior year playing basketball, it is equally about relationships: relationships with a tyrannical and abusive father, a similarly minded coach, with teammates, and with The Citadel itself. Conroy’s perseverance, and tolerance in various adverse situations provide illuminating insights into his character, although I found his capacity for forgiveness remarkable and upon occasion, unbelievable.
ANTHROPOCENE – Noun – this is a word we’ll see more frequently in the near future. It refers to the geological period marked by a significant human impact on climate and the environment. It is regarded as the time from the start of the Industrial Revolution onward.
In keeping with the word of the blog is Arizona State University’s hosting of a Climate Fiction Short Story Contest. There is no entry fee. First prize is $1000 with the winner being published as well. Maximum word count is 5000. The theme is the future of Earth and humanity as impacted by climate change. The deadline is 1/15/16.
Regarding the motif if abusive father-son relationships, I describe my own experiences in Escape From Xanadu: A Memoir of Survival, Adventure, and Coming of Age. It’s available at Kindle for the next thirty days for .99. Paperback is $1o.39.