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text 2018-08-18 15:00
Reading progress update: I've read 110 out of 190 pages.
The Solitary Summer - Elizabeth von Arnim

Back to Solitary Summer, and to anybody who thinks this is just fluffy garden talk, I'd heartily recommend to read the section on the disastrous intersection of poverty, prejudice and ignorance in the village, particularly insofar as it concerned the children. 

"There is a great wall of ignorance and prejudice dividing us from the people on our place, and in every effort to help them we knock against it and cannot move it any more than if it were actual stone. Like the parson on the subject of morals, I can talk till I am hoarse on the subject of health, without at any time producing the faintest impression. When things are very bad the doctor is brought, directions are given, medicines made up, and his orders, unless they happen to be approved of, are simply not carried out. Orders to wash a patient and open windows are never obeyed, because the whole village would rise up if, later on, the illness ended in death, and accuse the relatives of murder. "

No wonder Elizabeth's heart broke every time she went there -- especially knowing that any and all attempts at providing real help would be rejected out of deeply inbred prejudice, and being left with this conclusion:

"At least I had discovered Lotte and could help her a little, I thought, as I departed down the garden path between the rows of scarlet-runners; but the help that takes the form of jelly and iced drinks is not of a lasting nature, and I have but little sympathy with a benevolence that finds its highest expression in gifts of the kind. There have been women within my experience who went down into the grave accompanied by special pastoral encomiums, and whose claims to lady- bountifulness, on closer inquiry, rested solely on a foundation of jelly. Yet nothing in the world is easier than ordering jelly to be sent to the sick, except refraining from ordering it. What more, however, could I do for Lotte than this? I could not take her up in my arms and run away with her and nurse her back to health, for she would probably object to such a course as strongly as her mother; and later on, when she gets well again, she will go back to school, and grow coarse and bouncing and leathery like the others, affording the parson, in three or four years' time, a fresh occasion for grief over deadly sin."

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text 2017-12-24 23:12
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol: Ignorance and Want


“Forgive me if I am not justified in what I ask,” said Scrooge, looking intently at the Spirit’s robe, “but I see something strange, and not belonging to yourself, protruding from your skirts. Is it a foot or a claw?”

“It might be a claw, for the flesh there is upon it,” was the Spirit’s sorrowful reply. “Look here.”

From the foldings of its robe, it brought two children; wretched, abject, frightful, hideous, miserable. They knelt down at its feet, and clung upon the outside of its garment.

“Oh, Man! look here. Look, look, down here!” exclaimed the Ghost.

They were a boy and girl. Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish; but prostrate, too, in their humility. Where graceful youth should have filled their features out, and touched them with its freshest tints, a stale and shrivelled hand, like that of age, had pinched, and twisted them, and pulled them into shreds. Where angels might have sat enthroned, devils lurked, and glared out menacing. No change, no degradation, no perversion of humanity, in any grade, through all the mysteries of wonderful creation, has monsters half so horrible and dread.
Scrooge started back, appalled. Having them shown to him in this way, he tried to say they were fine children, but the words choked themselves, rather than be parties to a lie of such enormous magnitude.

“Spirit! are they yours?” Scrooge could say no more.

“They are Man’s,” said the Spirit, looking down upon them. “And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased. Deny it!” cried the Spirit, stretching out its hand towards the city. “Slander those who tell it ye! Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse. And bide the end!”

“Have they no refuge or resource?” cried Scrooge.

“Are there no prisons?” said the Spirit, turning on him for the last time with his own words. “Are there no workhouses?”

The bell struck twelve.


Ignorance and Want

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quote 2017-02-15 12:20
“A library is like an island in a vast sea of ignorance.”

~ Justice Strauss in A Series of Unfortunate Events

Source: bibliophileanon.tumblr.com/post/157248083135/a-library-is-like-an-island-in-a-vast-sea-of
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review 2015-09-24 00:00
Ignorance, Thy Name Is Bucky: A Get Fuzzy Collection
Ignorance, Thy Name Is Bucky: A Get Fuzzy Collection - Darby Conley Thanks so much for the laughs! I loved the cousin from England. My friend loaned this book to me. Our shared love of this comic has brought us even closer together.
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review 2015-06-07 10:02
Outstanding Novel of Ghosts, Wiccans, Death and Love
In the Air Tonight - Lori Handeland

"Religion as a human phenomenon is as riddled through with potential for both good and evil as any other phenomenon." -- Richard John Neuhaus

"The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding." -- Albert Camus

Ignorance. Illiteracy. Hubris and insecurity, mad obsession. "Once upon a time, long ago, in the bad, ignorant, evil times of King James and his Danish queen, there was a great storm. James, an ignorant, religious fool, thought to himself, “Such a storm can only have been caused by witchcraft!” And in his ignorance and fear, he called to himself Roland McHugh, witch hunter, who he placed in charge of a secret society, known as Venatores Mali – Hunters of Evil. And from those savage beginnings there began an age of slaughter, of blood and death of innocents such as hearkened to war. And Roland McHugh spread his evil across Europe, spraying blood and hatred in his path. . . Roland McHugh – who, "according to his Wikipedia entry, “had burned more witches than anyone in history.”"

Ignorance. It was, of course, a filthy, superstitious time – a time when the Christian church was doing its best to wipe out any other religion, subsuming beliefs, co opting holidays and celebrations, changing peaceful pagan ritual instruments into Christian tools of torture. And what better victims than those who healed the sick, assisted the elderly and weak, assisted in the birth of children, and stayed by the dying on their way to wherever souls travel? Who worshiped outside, under the stars and moon, often led by women, instead of in a cathedral, led by men – men who wanted to control everything from medicine to beliefs to (most importantly) wealth? What else to do but declare them evil, devil worshipers, monsters who should be slaughtered, burned at the stake, pulled apart by horses? Women. Men. Children.


McHugh’s wife died in childbirth, McHugh waiting too long to summon the midwife, allowing her to bleed out before help could arrive. There was nothing Prudence Taggart could do to save either wife or child. Witchcraft. Witchcraft, of course, what else could it be? So Prudence, and her husband, Henry, were burned at the stake. But not before they were able to cast a spell – for all that they were goodness and purity, lovers of the world and humanity and nature, they actually were witches – witches of healing, witches of creation and beauty. And as they died, they set a spell in motion, sending their three infant daughters, three days old, far into the future. Far far into the future, where “no one believes in witches any longer.”

But even now, the Venatores Mali have returned, slashing a path of fire and slaughter in their wake. The slaughter of Wiccans. Wiccans – whose one main belief, one true calling and law, is Do No Harm. The murders are horrific, murders of men, women, children. All slaughtered, all burned to some degree. Horrific actions, all carried out in the name of McHugh. Of the Vanatores Mali. Of a god who I would hope would shudder and turn her head away from what is being carried out in her name. But who must, certainly, no longer care, or no longer even watch. Why else such a nightmare of a world?

Raye Larsen is the very definition of a foundling. She was found tossed on the side of a highway, no clothing, no blanket – simply a tiny infant, left beside the road to die. Adopted by the Larsen’s, a good New Bergin, Wisconsin family, Raye never knew who left her by the side of the road. She never knew why she saw ghosts. She did, however, know that her ‘father’ told her ‘mother’ one night, after Raye had once again been caught talking to someone who wasn’t visible, “Take her to a psychiatrist?” my father repeated. “I was thinking of taking her back.” Talk about feelings of inadequacy, of fear, and loneliness, of an incessant need to please. “If I wasn’t “right” I could be returned like a broken chair or a moldy loaf of bread.” What a terrible way to live, always fearful that the only family you have ever known could throw you away like trash. So, she stopped, as best she could, interacting with ghosts.

But now, someone is trying to kill Raye. Someone who has already killed one woman in New Bergin. In fact, they have tried to kill her twice. And when a New Orleans detective, Bobby Doucet, shows up in New Bergin to verify a strange brand on the neck of the first victim, to verify that the serial killer who struck New Orleans a year ago is now killing again, far to the North of NOLA, the deaths fall hard and fast. There are things Raye knows – things she can’t tell Bobby. Bobby, who thinks anyone who is determined that, “The dead don’t come back… Anyone who says so is a liar. Probably a thief and a charlatan too.”  And as things become more and more tense, more dangerous, Bobby Doucet’s prejudice may just be the death of both of them.

Bobby’s pure, pigheaded stubbornness was the only thing about the book that really irritated me. As you get into the book you realize what caused his disbelief, and you can’t help but hurt for him. But when you get hit over the head several times and still don’t understand that someone is standing behind you hitting you on the head with a 2”x4”, well, I still stayed irritated at him. Then, that’s just me. Honestly, I adored this book. Absolutely adored it. I did it in one sitting (yes, it flippin’ rained again today – downpour, lightning, thunder, the whole nine yards. Oregon wasn’t this wet.) and finished at 2AM. And yes, I have already preordered the next in the series. They are all three up on Amazon (three sisters, three stories – though no one knows where the youngest sister ‘landed’ as of this book.) I love it. Raye is  believable in her reactions to everything, the ghosts are awesome, and the Evil just that – believably evil.

Bobby:“How could a seventeenth-century Scottish witch-hunting society kill someone in America in the twenty-first century?

Raye: “There are still Nazis.” “Any society can be revived. For that matter, any one can start a society and slap any name on it that they want. It’s America.”

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review.
Note to the Publisher:
Guys, Really! I never would have picked up the book on my own, based upon the cover art and title. It comes off as a very young Young Adult novel if you simply look at the cover. The title has only a passing reflection of the book contents. “In the Air Tonight” sounds like a Harlequin Romance. Just sayin’.

Source: soireadthisbooktoday.com
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