37 Following

Seriously, Read a Book!

Thoughts on books, often interpreted through the high-brow prism of cartoon (read: Archer) references. Wait! I had something for this...

Currently reading

The Sketchnote Handbook: The Illustrated Guide to Visual Notetaking
Mike Rohde
The Antidote
Oliver Burkeman
The Kind Worth Killing
Peter Swanson
Data Points: Visualization That Means Something
Nathan Yau
James Buchanan
Jean H. Baker, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.

Blood Beneath My Feet: The Journey of a Southern Death Investigator

Blood Beneath My Feet: The Journey of a Southern Death Investigator - Joseph Scott Morgan I assume that Joseph Morgan wanted people to read his book, which is why it doesn't quite make sense that he's basically calling you an insensitive a**hole for being curious about his job throughout his stories. Morgan waxes poetical about death for a solid ten pages before the book devolves. He's bitter on every level (which he fesses up to freely), and seems to have a terminal case of the "poor me's" - his is the only job that goes misunderstood and unappreciated.

It's possible that, having read [b:Twelve Years a Slave|18478222|Twelve Years a Slave|Solomon Northup|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1378793462s/18478222.jpg|160246] just prior to this book, I was being particularly sensitive, but I found it hard to stomach some of Morgan's reflections on life in the South in combination with his characterizations of minorities. I'm all for respecting his ancestor veterans, but as the book goes on I started getting kind of a weird vibe...

Morgan asserts that:
"...if the Yankees had understood the... matriarchal familial structure in the South ...the War of Northern Aggression would have been shortened by half and the North would have handed over half of its own territory to booth..."
just pages before getting into his experience at a crime scene in the projects (which he describes as ...pretty much standard: a black male lay dead on the bare dirt courtyard of a public housing unit) where he encounters what he calls "clowns" hovering along the margins.

They will be yelling things like, “Naw, naw, naw, dat my boo!” or “Dat my brother!” or the ever-popular “Dat my baby’s daddy!” Soon after that, the scene tends to escalate into someone clutching their stomach or their head or screaming at anyone who tries to help them, “Get yo’ fuckin’ hands offa me!” or “Lawd help me, I gonna kill me a motherfucker tonight."

Ignoring for a moment the whole "War of Northern Aggression" bit (South Carolina and Fort Sumter ring a bell?), his experiences at the scene were what they were, but for someone who goes on at length about the lack of compassion for the dead, you would think he'd allow for, well, something. It certainly doesn't help that five pages later he reminisces:
If Southerners had their way, all the roads would still be two lanes, Jeff Davis’ birthday would still be a state holiday, and everyone who did not attend church would be publicly chastised.

Was he trying to be ironic when, two pages later, he takes great care to portray the injustice of his stepfather using forsythia branches as a "switch"?
As the first lash stung my flesh, my toes curled in pain. Six more followed, leaving red stripes on the backs of my legs.

This book was $1.99 on Amazon, and some irrational decision-making mechanism in my brain convinces me that if I don't buy it I'm basically losing money... Hopefully this is a lesson learned.