Friday, September 12, 2008


Couldn't write about this yesterday. Still too real for words. But then I remembered a passage from a writer who seems to write what I think, only better! So, here goes...

Commander Vimes is recruiting men in an effort to maintain peace in the face of racially/politically motivated war (from Jingo by Terry Pratchett).

"And then he realized why he was thinking like this.
It was because he wanted there to be conspirators. It was much better to imagine men in some smoky room somewhere, made mad and cynical by privilege and power, plotting over brandy. you had to cling to this sort of image, because if you didn't then you might have to face the fact that bad things happen because ordinary people, the kind who brushed the dog and told their children bedtime stories, were capable of then going out and dong horrible things to other ordinary people. It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Us, what did that make Me? I've certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We're always one of Us. It's Them that do the bad things."

And then we march off to war to keep Them from doing bad things. If they wont stop we will blow them up.



Pen+Ink said...

Ah yes, Mr Pratchett says it again.
How does someone with such goofy story lines still manage to be one of the most qutable authors around?

Can't really not blog about It can you? Managed to dodge many conversations around The Day on Thursday. loaded.

Daphne said...

I didn't read Terry Pratchett for so long. My husband and one of my friends read them all as they came out, but from their description they seemed just too silly. I like a good humor book, but really.... Then he was the guest of honor at the world scifi convention in my home town of Boston in, I think, 2004. I had to read one of his books because I like to at least know something about the guest of honor when I go. They told me to read "Small Gods" so I did. It was wonderful. He isn't just a writer of humorous silly books. He is a philosopher as well. He just couches it all in humor since as humans we do such silly things. BTW he is a fabulous speaker too. The best was when he was with Neil Gaiman and they were one uping each other. I couldn't stop laughing the whole time.

jack-of-all-thumbs said...

I'm grateful that one of your readers steered me to Pratchett a couple of months back. I'm only two into the series but will slowly track them down, savoring each one.

If subsequent ones are as good as the first two, I may follow John Updike's lead from an interview he gave years ago. They asked him who his favorite author was and he replied, 'Dickens'. He then continued to praise Dickens indicating that he'd read all but one work. That work he was saving until life held no more appeal for him, until he was (for whatever reason) ready to die. At that point, he'd allow himself to read the last gem of Dickens.

I look forward to the pleasure and the profundity of Mr. Pratchett.


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