Friday, July 17, 2015

To Kill a Mockingbird

Three things come under the sights of a rifle in that book.

  1. Here is your first rifle Jem. Shoot all the pesky starlings you want but it is 'a sin to kill a mocking bird.'  Why? Because mockingbirds do no harm but do sing their hearts out to our enjoyment.
  2. There is a mad dog, and it is an unpleasant duty to dispatch same. Atticus used a krag. Which is a nice touch for us gun enthusiasts, but neither here nor there.
  3. And finally, Tom Robinson falls under the sights of a firearm and is shot trying to escape custody. Or maybe shot trying to 'escape' if you know what I mean. That is left up in the air. We don't really know the firearm, but that doesn't matter. We can perhaps assume a rifle, but, again, doesn't matter.

And the whole book is about whether Tom is a like a Mockingbird, being kind and helpful busting up chiffarobes, or was he a mad dog that need to be put down before he harmed more folks. We, the reader, know, but the people of 1930s Maycomb are of two minds.

Now, after some elder abuse, the family of Harper Lee have published a 'sequel'. Something we are to believe she never wanted published, and her sister helped protect her once her brains started to go to dementia, but now the sister is dead and their is money for her other family members to make so... published it is.

And it turns out fictional Atticus is a man whose only real exemplary principle is a singular belief to the rule of law.  (if reviews are to be believed, I refuse to exacerbate the poor woman's legacy by buying it) A principle he adheres to come what may, at any hazard. But he is also a man of the 1930s. And this was written about in the 1950s. And it turns out he a typical man of the 1930s, where even Settled Scientific Consensus backed up racist theory (see: Eugenics). He's not some enlightened Progressive superman with all the 21st Century happy thoughts on race everyone is suppose to think. So maybe this crappy sequel that highlights that fact is a good thing. Because the snooty white upper class Left isn't near as racially enlightened as they think they are. Maybe one or two will have some self-reflection on this matter.

Especially the ones that named a child for the Anti-Racist and now worry that other people will think they named him after the Racist Atticus.  Relax, Prog, no one will think that, as you send the brat to a private school in Manhattan.  The provost would never let an icky racist's child on the property, and the other parents know it.  So YOUR lil' Atticus is ok.  How do they know if those other people are racist or not?  Do they say nice things about super-conservatives Guiliani or Christie?  There you go.  Right?

No comments: