Friday, July 11, 2008

Witnessing a different world

I've blogged before about The Mole People. Last week, we watched a documentary called Dark Days. Focused on an underground community in the Amtrak tunnels, it documents not only the basics of how they live, but also covers an attack on one community member that forces change. The people talk a bit about their past, and the stories are not pleasant.

Towards the close of the film, Amtrak declares that all tunnel occupants are evicted and will be forced out into shelters. The ACLU intervenes and manages to get the residents into a federal housing program where they get their own, real apartments. The last we see of the former tunnel dwellers, they are settling into their new homes, and dreaming big.
A bit of a spoiler that, perhaps - but I needed to tell you that in order to make sure you watch the "postscript" feature in the special features list - sorry I don't remember exactly what it was called - it gives vignettes of life after the tunnel for the key subjects of the documentary.

Striking, all told.

Book #13 - The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon. Yes, the description of what happens to the dog is a bit nasty. Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed this. Narrated by an autistic teen who is determined to write a detective story and, through his discoveries, forced to experience more of life than might be expected, this is incredibly well done. I feel like I got a great glimpse into the mind of an autistic person. And I discovered some logic that seems to explain some of my, well, issues - ones that probably afflict many of us to some degree.

Book #14 - The White by Deborah Larsen. I have to say, I was a bit disappointed in this. A novelization of the story of Mary Jemison - the "white woman of the Genesee" - kidnapped as a teen, who passed up several opportunities to have her freedom redeemed to remain with the Seneca (I believe) family she became a part of, to me it failed on the "novelization" side. Mary told her story to a doctor in her later years, and this book reads like I believe that would. Not that I don't like the style and cadence, the sparseness of the prose, etc., but I expected more. For what I got, I would rather have read the doctor's edition of the tale and bypassed a modern interpreter. I thought I'd get more depth.

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