Project Gutenberg is a gold mine of books that are old enough to be copy right free. I download them by the bucket load. Came across a book that was pretty mind-boggling so I decided to try my hand at reviewing books.
Title: A Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies Or, a faithful NARRATIVE OF THE Horrid and Unexampled Massacres, Butcheries, and all manner of Cruelties, that Hell and Malice could invent, committed by the Popish Spanish Party on the inhabitants of West-India, TOGETHER With the Devastations of several Kingdoms in America by Fire and Sword, for the space of Forty and Two Years, from the time of its first Discovery by them.
Author: Bartolome de las Casas, Originally published in Seville in 1552
Original archaic spelling and punctuation retained.
My Review: Holy Crap!
The title alone clearly indicates that this man had a burning desire to say something. What he had to say was so horrific that after a few pages my brain went numb. However, when ever coming across this in historical narratives I think of my current peeve. The main stream news. Every time I listen to current overblown news it is the same old stuff, passed of as new stuff. “This horrible thing is so God-awful this is the worse thing that has ever happened, it is definative proof of the decline of civilization.
I call it chicken little-ism. The sky if falling, bawk, bwaaak. Then there is a media frenzy about whose “fault” it is. Those horrible people on the other side of what ever ocean we live are greedy nasty people who eat their babies for breakfast. Trust me if the sky was falling we would all know it. We wouldn’t need to find out about it on the Telebox.
I may be old-fashioned and have a tendency to oversimplify things. However, when a person commits a heinous act it is the fault of the person who committed said heinous act. Not his/her mother, brother, classmates, the Twinkie manufacturers or the phase of the moon. Until science comes up with a mind reading machine, how can we really know what is in some else’s mind, if anything.
I do not mean to make light of suffering, but when I hear a hysterical rant on TV news or radio, I want to rip my hair out. “This is the worst it’s even been ever in the history of the mankind and the earth.” Well no, actually it’s been worse. A lot worse. I’m really glad I wasn’t here for that pesky ice age, the meteor that killed the dinosaurs, the Inquisition, or the Black Plague. The only difference is that now we get to hear about it all day, non stop, in your face, up to the minute.
Even weather reporting has jumped on the hysteria band wagon. Some poor bedraggled reporter standing there at 3:00 am. “Yes folks, heed this warning so that you can prepare for the worst. The news from the national weather service just in informs us that yes, there is more than a 30% chance it might rain tomorrow. Oh my God, honey get the shovel, we need to dig a storm shelter.
Mr. Husband and his mother both watch news almost 24/7. I don’t know how they get any sleep. If they are not watching it, they are worrying about it. A typical conversation with husband follows:
Wife: Hey babe, let’s go see that new movie on Friday.
Husband: Well in light of this economy, the prime rate falling, the fact that we are on the brink of inflation, the price of gold is skyrocketing, and the price of PC gamer magazine increased by 25 cents…. Do you think that’s wise?
Wife: Bite me.
Privacy, or the lack there of , is big issue with almost every married woman, mother, sister, daughter, and friend I’ve ever talked to. It also seems to be a rather vaguely defined issue. I will tell anyone who cares to listen where the line is for me. Where do you end and I begin? The bathroom door. When I am in the powder room to shower or what-ev-er. The closed door is intended to be a metaphysical “do not disturb” sign. And no, I do not care to carry on a conversation from behind that door either.
My two children, a boy and girl, are grown and have long since flown. When they were little, one of the things that would drive me insane is the sudden urgency that developed when they heard the bathroom door quietly click shut. Yea, I would try to sneak in there, you got a problem with that? The little darlings would immediately manufacture a crisis, or develop a burning need to know why leaves are green or where babies come from.
It never occurred to me, when entering into a new life with Mr. Husband a few years back, that I would have to go through the whole process all over again. Evidently he did not master the “leave the woman the hell alone, when the door is closed” concept before I came along in his tender middle age.
This lack of understanding is only compounded by Murphy’s law # 872 – the phone rings at the exact nano second you get in the shower. At our house the following chain of events transpires. I let out a deep contented sigh and step into a nice soothing hot shower. Then I hear a faint knock on the door followed by a cold blast of air.
As the steam clears, I see the husband standing there, phone in hand. He announces, with a look of grave concern and urgency, “the phone if for you.” I state that I don’t care and demand to know why he is standing there without my previous consent or invitation. He dodges the question by countering with “but, it’s your mother” (sister, brother, mailman, the donate a kidney fund.) I usually end up stating through gritted teeth “I don’t care, I’m IN THE EFFIN SHOWER, get out…please”. To which he responds “well fine” and stalks off to mope about it.
Is it just me? Was I out to lunch the day the cosmos announced that’s it is now ok to knock on a door and then barge right in without waiting for a reply? Does this practice now fall in the category of the pseudo polite greeting “hi, how are you” when no one really wants to know?
Been trying to think of some kind of practical joke that would impress on Hub-man to not open closed bathroom doors without the prior consent of the person on the other side of the door. I thought about a bucket of water over the door, but that would probably backfire. He wouldn’t bat an eye if he walked in on me hanging by my toes from the ceiling fan, so that’s just right out.
In the end the solution was so delicious, so delightfully low tech. Why didn’t I think of it years ago? Found an old rubber door stop in the junk drawer. Works like a charm.
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