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Reading Slothfully

I was told in elementary school that I only could read at half the speed for success in college. Oh well, one benefit of slow reading is you get to live with the characters a longer period of time. I read in a vain attempt to better understand people. At my other homes, I'm known as a spouse, pop, guy in the choir, physical chemist, computer/web dilettante and child-care provider. In theory, I'm a published author, if you consider stuff like Quenching Cross Sections for Electronic Energy Transfer Reactions Between Metastable Argon Atoms and Noble Gases and Small Molecules to count as publications. I've strewn dozens of such fascinating things to the winds.

Currently reading

A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens
The Way Some People Die
Ross Macdonald
Envy of Angels
Matt Wallace
The Fellowship of the Frog
Edgar Wallace
Code of Conduct (The Jani Kilian Chronicles Book 1)
Kristine Smith
A Good Death
Christopher R. Cox
The Black Cargo
John P. Marquand
A Highland Christmas
M.C. Beaton
Tales from Moominvalley
Tove Jansson, Thomas Warburton
Moominland Midwinter
Tove Jansson, Thomas Warburton

Kingsblood Royal

Kingsblood Royal - Sinclair Lewis Neil Kingsblood is a banker in a small city in Minnesota. He lives a Dick and Jane life in the suburbs with his wife, Vestal, and his 5-year old daughter, Elizabeth, known as Biddy. Neil's father gets him interested in some old family lore about how they might be related to royalty and convinces Neil that he should do some geneological research. What Neil learns is that he had a great, great, great grandfather who was a negro and who married an Chippewa Indian. Thus, Neil, had a drop of "tainted" negro blood, making him "tainted" as well.

What to do? Should he tell Vestal? His father? His boss and co-workers? It doesn't help that Neil lives in a horrifically racist society. More racist by ignorance than direct intention. So, first of all, he decides to befriend some negroes and try to learn a bit more about them. It turns out, that negroes are mostly normal people, just like the rest of us. This revelation doesn't help Neil all that much. He still needs to know coping mechanisms for dealing with the racism of others. He still worries about his marriage and his "tainted" child. After all, if no one knows about his tainted blood, what's the harm?

But, he can't help himself. He admits to one person and another about his taint. Naturally, no individual person is prejudiced, but, you know, "other" people will begin to complain, and that will be bad for business, or lower property values, or whatever.

It's weird to read this stuff thinking that we've come a long way in the last 70 years, then realize that we just elected a President who is totally ignorant about the basics of government, ethics, the Constitution, Christianity, you name it. But, he knows how to play on people's race fears. For the first time since 1948, it became "safe" for the Klu Klux Klan to publicly endorse a Presidential Candidate. Yeah, we're so over racism in the U.S. ["Oh, but it's not me, but we do have to worry about our business model, and ...."]