Total Pageviews

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Writer's Life 5/31 - Fighting Back

Two fascinating stories have similar themes -- private citizens fighting off crime. Mexican soccer player Alan Pulido, 25, disappeared in his hometown on Saturday night when he was intercepted by gunmen after leaving a party with his girlfriend, who was left behind. He escaped his kidnappers by punching the guy guarding him, snatching a cellphone and calling for help. Pulido called Mexico’s emergency services around midnight on Sunday after the fistfight. Security forces located Pulido within minutes of his call, as they were scouring the area nearby. Police have detained the captor, one of at least four involved, who belonged to a criminal gang... Thousands of miles away, in the Bronx, a man received a call from his wife, who was fighting off an intruder trying to rape her. The husband raced to the sixth floor of the building, met the fleeing man in the hall, and a brawl ensued. He beat the creep, who has a long rap sheet, into submission with a tire iron, sending him to a hospital, where he died. The husband was arrested. It will be interesting to see how the case turns out. If the facts are as they seem, I doubt a jury would convict him of even assault.

Another type of fight is in the news. Hundreds of thousands of people have become unhinged about the orangutan that was killed to save a boy who fell into its cage. Although I am in no way an animal lover, I don't like zoos, but shouldn't the benefit of the doubt be given to staff trained in these matters? How can people not even within shouting distance, let alone miles away, with no experience in such situations, be certain of what occurred and what the right course of action should have been?  
And what would a day be without another counter-punch from Donald Trump, who was bashed by reporters for supposedly stiffing a group of veterans for whom he helped raise nearly six million bucks? He called the political press "completely dishonest." I'm sure many agree.

Last night This-TV, channel 111 on Cablevision in NYC, ran A Bridge Too Far (1977), Richard Attenborugh's adaptation of Cornelius Ryan's book, the second of his WWII trilogy. The Longest Day was the first, The Last Battle, which chronicles the taking of Berlin, the third. A Bridge... features an all-star dream cast: Bogarde, Redford, Connery, Caan, Caine, Edward Fox, Schell, Hopkins, etc.. Looking back almost 40 years later, three of the principals seem oddly cast: Ryan O'Neal and Elliot Gould as American commanders, and Gene Hackman as a Polish general. The first two were at the height of their popularity, so their inclusion isn't surprising, although they seem the antithesis of military leadership. In the case of Hackman, it's hard to believe a more appropriate actor wasn't used. Anyway, the film is solid but falls far short of greatness. It details one of the allies most stinging defeats, a bold bid to bring a quick end to the war, devised by British General Montgomery, who is not represented in the film. It was as massive an undertaking as D-Day, and the casualties were even greater. The basic plan was to send paratroopers behind enemies lines in Belgium to take several bridges and hold them until relief arrived. The British high command does not come off well. According to the scenario, the plan is undertaken despite signs that the Germans are not in the complete disarray that was believed at the time. Hindsight is always 20-20. Was the disaster the result of ambition, hubris? I'll leave that to historians to fight about. Despite the heroism on display, the narrative has an anti-war feel, especially as the carnage mounts. Although it's heavy-handed, no reasonable person would disagree that human beings should not have to go through such horror, Unfortunately, they have and, apparently, always will. Art, however great, is not going to change that.

The fight to sell books had mixed results today. My thanks to Jimmy, who bought Testimony, a collection of essays on the Holocaust, Stephen King's Revival, and Christina Schwarz's Drowning Ruth, an Oprah selection. Thanks also to the gentleman who donated a bag o'books that contained eight Danielle Steele paperbacks in pristine condition, and the woman who donated a hardcover romance.
Vic's Short Works:
Vic's 5th Novel:'s 4th novel:
Vic's 3rd Novel:
Vic's Short Story on Kindle:
Vic's Short Story Collection:
Vic's 2nd Novel: Kindle:
Vic's 1st Novel:

No comments:

Post a Comment