September 07, 2003

It's gotten obscenely hot again. I'm beginning to contemplate moving in to the refrigerator.

Finished reading Second Glance this week. I'm surprised how much I enjoyed it; I don't usually go for mysteries. I'm never able to see the clues, so when the sleuth/narrator makes a big announcement, I always feel like he's just pulling conclusions out of thin air. Second Glance, however, while heavily layered and complicated, unfolds in a logical fashion. An evocative, poetic story of love, loss and genetics spanning 70 years with some interesting ethical debates along the way. Extra points to the author for including the ethics but always keeping them subservient to the story.

Watched Rabbit-Proof Fence last night. It's story takes place in Australia during the same timeframe as half of Second Glance plays out in Vermont. I had no idea how widespread these various programs to purify the human race were. The proponents of selective breeding and sterilization among humans truly believed they were doing the right thing, the humane thing, for everyone, improving the life of the native by making him more white, improving the life of the good, church-going, tax-paying citizen by relieving him of his charitable burdens. We look back on those activities now with shame. I wonder, though, what are we doing now that will shame those who come after us? We are no more saints than those who came before.

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