A little bit about books, a little bit about life.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Booking Thru Thursday--villany

Today is the 7th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I know that not all of you who read are in the U.S., but still, it’s vital that none of us who are decent people forget the scope of disaster that a few, evil people can cause–anywhere in the world. It’s not about religion, it’s not about politics, it’s about the acknowledgment that humans should try to work together, not tear each other apart, even when they disagree.
So, feeling my way to a question here … Terrorists aren’t just movie villains any more. Do real-world catastrophes such as 9/11 (and the bombs in Madrid, and the ones in London, and the war in Darfur, and … really, all the human-driven, mass loss-of-life events) affect what you choose to read? Personally, I used to enjoy reading Tom Clancy, but haven’t been able to stomach his fight-terrorist kinds of books since.
And, does the reality of that kind of heartless, vicious attack–which happen on smaller scales ALL the time–change the way you feel about villains in the books you read? Are they scarier? Or more two-dimensional and cookie-cutter in the face of the things you see on the news?

Before answering the Booking Through Thursday question, I have to share an excerpt from an e-mail from my sister in law Meghan (the one with the exceptional children...and me, being their Aunt, must say I agree. LOL )
This just struck me as relevant to today's question...

"from Meghan:
I was trying to tell the kids this morning that this is the anniversary of the terrorists attacks... and of course, it is impossible to explain to them or for them to understand without being scared. They ask nonsensical questions and offer alternative outcomes.
'the people should have jumped from one building to another'...'the plane should have flown AROUND'...'I would have punched them in the face and thrown them off the plane' and lastly Devin's question about the many who died that day ' was one of them named Bill?' which made me smile...thank God for her!"

So while we "lived" that history and it could color what we choose to read, children will only see it as something that happened in the past and they can never fully understand what we all felt that day and for days to come. It will never impact the books they read, or their view of the villain in literature.

I mean no-disrespect, but my answer is no. 9-11 hasn't changed my view of the villain or the type of books I read. I like a wide variety and can read anything.
9-11, changed the way I watch movies tho. Seeing the violence is much harder for me than reading about it. I think it's a whole different way of processing that information. Books give me the time, or at least the chance to put the book down if I need to, and process it before continuing.
I do think, tho, that it's better to have a balance in the books I read. A total diet of suspense and thrillers, terrorist thrillers, would be too much of a downer, so it's good to keep that in perspective and balance my type of books.
Life is full of laughter and sadness, happiness and tragedy, wonder and disappointment and I think the books I choose have a good balance of all those things and more.


Susan said...

I love the comment from your sister in law! How precious it is to see things through a child's eye.

I agree about the movies being harder than books. The visual is what we will always remember.

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

I agree that I can read about things that I can't watch on TV.

The same goes for language and some other things that seem less offensive to me as I read them than if I hear it.

Smilingsal said...

Balance is wise, I know, but I prefer to remain an ostrich!

SmallWorld at Home said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. Sounds like we've had similar book disliking experiences!!