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.