Dark Places

And no, I’m not talking about the current political climate.

Sad and infuriating and black-hearted as it is.

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I’m talking about my latest addiction:  Gillian Flynn’s books.  What smart, fun escapes they are from the uber-serious novels and memoirs I’ve been holed up in for so many months.   I’ll get back to them.  I will.  But for now, I’m in escape mode.  All this work on my Me-Moir has me running for other, gentler hills, away from tales of family friction and racism and religious-politics and distant loves.  And yet, ironically, these stories all take place in Missouri.  My home state.  What are the chances?

Unfortunately there are only 3 Gillian Flynn books and I’m about to start the last one.  I even made a special trip to the bookstore today to pick up DARK PLACES, on a day where I had no business adding more errands to the list.  After this, I’m moving on to Amor Towles and THE RULES OF CIVILITY.  I know I’ll love it, I really do, if I can just get over my Gillian Flynn obsession.  After all these dark places, it might be time for some rules and civility.

And speaking of rules and civility, I’m turning off the dark places known as American politics and getting quiet.  They all say they’re after the “undecided voter,” and that’s not me anyway.  In fact, that’s not anyone I know.  I think they’re making this “undecided voter” thing up, don’t you?

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23 thoughts on “Dark Places

  1. nancy

    I dunno, the news reports said a lot of Republican voters said they’d never heard of Paul Ryan before he was named as the vice presidential candidate, so I guess they could be those ‘undecided’ voters. No, wait: They said they were going to vote for him anyway. Never mind.

    1. Teri Post author

      Ha!! I’m not even undecided about dinner, so really. Come on. I think they talk of the “undecideds” as a way to keep talking and wasting money. I could cast my vote today. Or last month. I’d like to know (really I would!!) if there’s anyone out there who really doesn’t know yet.

      1. nancy

        So here’s my actual theory: This country is now so polarized that there is probably no one old enough to read or listen to the news who is undecided. However, there are probably a lot of people who are undecided about whether or not they are going to bother to vote. Both parties are trying to get those people to believe that it’s worth their while to go vote, because the other party might win otherwise and that could make everything even worse than it is. And, in my opinion, one of the parties is right about that.

      2. Teri Post author

        That is the problem, isn’t it. Who will be bothered to vote. I will never forget where I was when I heard that Mr. Obama had won Pennsylvania. I had a 3 hour night class, and we were all itching to know, even the professor, though he tried to keep class as usual. On our break, I immediately turned on my phone and announced the Pennsylvania win. it was almost a done deal. The professor grabbed his heart and leaned back hard in his chair. I thought I’d cry.

        And of course I did cry like a baby when I got home later and saw what happened. What a relief it was. What a joy.

        My hope this election season is that people are still feeling that, and voting.

  2. lisahgolden

    I have such an uncharitable opinion of undecided voters. Not only am I better off today than I was when President Obama took office, I’m better off keeping my mouth shut. Because if I start running it, I’m likely to end up in bar brawls.

    Let’s talk books. Escapism is where I’m spending my time these days.

    I’m looking forward to reading the Gillian Flynn books. I hope you enjoy The Rules of Civility. I loved it.

    1. Teri Post author

      But the politics …. imagine what our lives would be like right this instant if John McCain (and Sarah Pailin!) were in office. What were their plans?? No tarp, no saving the auto industry (which is doing well now), no healthcare, no nothing. Romney/Ryan don’t seem to have a plan either, other than “opposite Obama” which is not a plan. I admit, I’m scared.

      1. lisahgolden

        It’s hard to even think about, isn’t it? I want to write about the conversation I had with one of my colleagues about union membership, but I haven’t figured out how to write about it without PUNCTUATING the essay with variations on the word FUCK.

      2. Teri Post author

        This is what punctuating was made for.

        I remember when I saw Mr. Romney say recently that no one ever asked him for his birth certificate. Of course not. He’s a rich white guy. We don’t ask rich white guys questions like that, and sometimes we don’t ask them questions at all.

      3. lisahgolden

        Maddening. I’m so sick of low info and misinformed voters. My colleague and I were discussing unions (we’re both employees of a labor union and we belong to one) when my Republican colleague told me that Republicans and Conservatives dislike unions made up of gov’t workers, but they support unions of workers in private industry.

        This guy, my colleague, is one of our union’s elected reps. He couldn’t be more wrong about his vote for Republicans. My single political ally (one of the pilots) and I gave him search terms to follow so that he could see what kinds of things Republicans have said about ALL unions over the years. Like when they accused the unions of killing manufacturing, the car industry, the, um, airline industry.

        Here’s hoping he does his research because even if he chooses to vote for Republicans, then he can do so knowing that he’s voting against his own best interests.

      4. Teri Post author

        My aunt votes against Mr. Obama because, well, we all know why. Yet she desperately needs healthcare, and her 5 grown children and their families need healthcare. This makes no sense to me.

      5. Averil Dean

        People are constantly voting against their own interests. It’s mind-boggling that anyone can look at our situation and the recent history of the Republican party and have any reservations about keeping Obama in office.

        Bill Maher had a right-winger on his show last Friday, and the guy refused absolutely to accept the science of climate change. As if it’s a political issue and not a global crisis. As if it’s still up for debate, like dinosaurs and the age of the earth.

        Infuriating. Seriously, I feel my blood pressure rising.

  3. Lyra

    Is there anything better than finding a writer that you love so much you just can’t wait to read everything they have written? I haven’t had that happen in some time. It happened with Richard Russo, Kurt Vonnegut, David Foster Wallace (essays not books), Colm Toibin…it’s the very best sort of love affair.
    I saw Gone Girl at some point recently and I almost got it based on your love of her writing. I just wasn’t in the mood for dark and everyone that talks about her talks about how dark it is.

    1. Teri Post author

      Now, she’s no Styron or Vonnegut, but she weaves a good escape and her sentences are sharp and surprising. You’d like her wicked and edgy sense of humor, and how her most vile characters seem like somebody you’d meet next door.

  4. jpon

    My non-political science theory: since every adult can (theoretically) vote, political ads and speeches must appeal to the LCD, the Lowest Common Denominators among us, the poorly educated to whom every issue is black and white. Political thinking holds that anyone more intelligent will tolerate the stupidity in the name of party and/or patriotism. That’s bad enough, but since that’s how politics works, it attracts the same kind of people to run. That’s why we have the Todd Aikens and Anthony Weiners and Mitch McConnells and Sarah Palins and John Edwards etc. etc. I worked in politics for about 15 years. I had to get out. I hope I’m still sane.

    1. Teri Post author

      I’m glad you found your way out, Joe. Your theory sound spot-on, which makes the amount of money spent on these campaigns all the more tragic.

  5. Catherine

    The political future sounds really scary to me. From warmonger Bush to health-reform Obama and then?? Italian politics are a farce and I have zero patience and little interest. It’s just too disturbing if you think the next generation will pay for all the misjudgements being made now. Argh!

    ‘Sharp Objects’ is a great title. I’d pick that one up! Me too I need some lightening up – my reading choices are so heavy…

    1. Teri Post author

      I’m wondering, though, when the political future wasn’t scary. I will say, I’ve had ONE civil political conversation and ONE civil religious conversation in the last few weeks, so I should call that progress.

  6. LauraMaylene

    On going quiet: I have gone underground during this election. I obviously know who I’m voting for and maybe I’m being a coward but I feel my mental and emotional health is vastly improved by staying out of it for now.

    1. Teri Post author

      Every season I say I’m keeping my big mouth shut. But I find I can’t suffer through all of the other big mouths, lest they start to think I agree with them. Fortunately my limits are in conversation. You will never find me posting crazy quotes and slogans and photos on my FB page or in an email, and I admit I continue to be shocked about the stuff people post out there, or what they’ll send in a “group” email message. Last week I got one of the worst group emails I’ve ever seen. It took everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, I had to ignore it. I even went to bed hours later, still fuming about it.

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