Sunday, 14 May 2017 – The Sunday New York Times & Finishing John Safran

Orange Beach to Mobile

Sunday morning I rode over to the local Publix and picked up a copy of the Sunday New York Times. They are full of “Trump angst” @ the NYT, but there were also some negative articles by some conservatives – namely Ross Douthat and Charles Sykes.

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Douthat

The Sykes article was particularly good, noting that Trump isn’t really a conservative, but the fact that he makes a lot of liberals so angry is sufficient for a lot of his followers. We live in interesting times.

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Sykes

***

When we got home in evening, I finished John Safran’s God’ll Cut You Down. It’s not a bad book, but it limped to the finish. Safran has a good 250-page book. The problem is that he wrote 350 pages. I’d give God’ll about a 6/10.

Safran deserves praise for presenting the ambiguities involved in race and in other aspects of our world. He can also be self deprecating in discussing his motives for writing the story and for admitting that he hoped that the story would contain facts that would conform to his preconceived notions.

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Safran (left) with Barrett

But the downside is that there really is no one to cheer for in the book. The murdered segregationist – Richard Barrett – is a “piece of work,” a mysterious, one-in-a-million character but still wholly unlikable. The murderer (Vincent McGee) is young, but in his brief Times outside prison walls had already proven himself a violent felons many times over.

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Vincent McGee

Safran couldn’t overcome Barrett and McGee’s “imperfections.” He was with pages of verbatim quotes from the inarticulate McGee. God’ll Cut You Down is worth a look if you are a “race Trekkie” like Safran (i.e., if you are obsessed with stories involving human enthnicity). But if that’s not a burning interesting, you will find the book the be only mildly interesting.

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About mobilemojoman

I have been a Mobile resident for about a decade. Working as a college professor keeps me off the streets and pays the bills. I am married to a woman (the MojoWoman) who is a much better person than I am and we have two beautiful girls who keep us both jumping. My interests are varied - food & drink, sports, politics, exercise, books, travel, Mardi Gras, and all of life's rich pageant. In the future, I'd like to learn more about sailing, photography, Cajun/Creole cooking, making beer and wine, and writing.
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