Woohooo. Jehovah Witness propaganda in Saturday morning cartoon form.
From The Smoking Gun:
APRIL 9–A Florida woman who used a live Internet video feed to monitor the interior of her home was shocked yesterday when she saw two men burglarizing her residence in real time. Jeanne Thomas, 43, was seated at her office desk when two strangers appeared in her living room (the intruders got into Thomas’s Boynton Beach house through a doggie door at the rear of the home, according to the below probable cause affidavit). Thomas, who set up the live video stream after her home was burglarized last October, immediately called 911 to report the burglary. Cops raced to her home and arrested the two men inside the house.
This book has divided the world. The French love it, and gave it not only the Prix Goncourt but the AcadÃ©mie FranÃ§aise’s Prix de la LittÃ©rature as well. The British are split – Antony Beevor loved it, Peter Kemp hated it. The survivor-writer Jorge SemprÃºn admired it; Claude Lanzmann, the maker of Shoah, first hated it, then changed his mind. Most Americans and Canadians loathe it.
Why? And who is right and wrong?
That should be a naÃ¯ve question, since wildly differing responses to the same book are perfectly normal. But here there is, I think, a right and a wrong answer, though not simple ones. Those who admire The Kindly Ones are right, but those who loathe it are not completely wrong. It is half a work of genius and half a work of gratuitous perversion.
The first thing to note is that it is not in any ordinary sense a novel, despite its publisher’s designation. It is 992 pages and dense with argument; hundreds – perhaps even thousands – of characters march across its pages. As many readers will know by now, it comprises the memories of an ex-SS officer whose career took him to all the worst places of the war: Babi Yar, Stalingrad, Auschwitz, Berlin in the last days, including Hitler’s bunker. What is extraordinary about it is the minute and mountainous detail of these events, the making of them as ordinary to us as it was to those who lived through them, by the sheer weight of facts and thoughts, and the time it takes to read them.
A novel follows a handful of characters through a handful of events – few enough so that we can remember them and care. In The Kindly Ones we meet all the people – soldiers, victims, politicians, bureaucrats – whom Maximilian Aue comes across in the course of five years of war; you’d need to be Funes el Memorioso to remember them all. If The Kindly Ones were a novel, therefore, it would be a bad one. But it is not a novel. It is a work of history – animated by Aue’s hate and fear (he has no love, or only one, as he often tells us), but a work of history nonetheless. That is one of the reasons why Antony Beevor admires it; and why I do too. If you want to know what mass murdering was like, from the point of view of the perpetrators – the anguish and the ordinariness, the in-fighting and career-building, the reasons with which they deluded themselves, as men do in every war, just and monstrously unjust alike (the trick is to tell the difference) – read The Kindly Ones. If you want to know what Stalingrad was like for them – how Germans starved and froze there as their victims did in Auschwitz, how they had to wrap their penises in cloth to pee, while others held their frost-bitten hands in the warm stream – read The Kindly Ones. If you want to read some of the best-expressed, most terrible arguments about why people become sadists, or for ‘there but for the grace of God go we’ – read The Kindly Ones.
A panda sneezing.
It’s a Monday afternoon in November, and I’m driving down Ventura Boulevard with Jill Price, the woman who can’t forget. Price, who is 43, has spent most of her life here in Los Angeles, and she remembers everything. In the space of two minutes, she tells me about the former motel lodge with a bear in front, the Courtyard hotel that used to be a Hilton, and a bowling alleyâ€”since replaced by a Marshallsâ€”where a Nicolas Cage film was shot. All this comes pouring out so fast, I wonder aloud whether Price has had too much coffee. She laughs, says no, pulls slightly at her blond hair, and starts up again.
Right over there, she says, is a car wash: “I was talking to the guy there last summer, and I was telling him about the first time I ever went to the car washâ€”on August 30, 1978. And he was freaking out.” Soon, Price, generally a gentle soul, has moved on to a rant about a TV program she just saw: “It was about an event that happened in 2002. So they kept going back to Saturday, June 19, 2002. Well, June 19, 2002, was not a Saturday! It was a Wednesday. It was pissing me off.”
Diane Sawyer interviews Jill Price on ABC News.
I first saw Price last May in a YouTube clip of her on 20/20. Diane Sawyer asks Price, an avid television viewer, to identify certain significant dates in broadcast history. When did CBS air the “Who shot JR?” episode of Dallas? When was All in the Family’s baby episode shown? And so on. Price nails every question. She not only gives the date for the final episode of MASH but describes the weather that day.
The most remarkable moment comes when Sawyer asks Price when Princess Grace died. She immediately answers, “September 14, 1982â€”that was the first day I started 12th grade.” For once, it seems that the memory lady has blown it. Sawyer laughs nervously and tries gently to right her guest: “September 10, 1982.” Price misunderstands, thinking she’s being prompted to identify another eventâ€”the possibility that she’s being corrected apparently doesn’t occur to her. No, Sawyer says, she has made a mistake; according to the book that 20/20’s producers were using as a source, Princess Grace died on September 10. Price stands her ground, and not 60 seconds later, a producer breaks in: “The book is wrong.” Price is right after all!
One star Amazon reviews of classic movies, music and literature. Today we take a look at Lolita:
It is a fitting testament to our times that this novel, which should never have been published in the first place, has come to be regarded not only as a modern classic, but as the finest novel of the last century. Only a thoroughly immoral man could have written it and only a thoroughly immoral age would celebrate it. The review cited on the cover – describing it as the “only convincing love story” of the century – is the perfect punch line to this absurd joke: what better way to demonstrate your unimpeachable sophistication than by characterizing an explicit account of pedophelia as a love story? If you want to read erotic descriptions of children and sickeningly-detailed depictions of child molesting, the law is apparently powerless (or at least unwilling) to stop you, but please, please, don’t hide behind “art.” Admit, at least to yourself, what you’re really doing; admit what you are.
1.) I’m bored 2.) He uses too many allusions to other novels, so that if you’re not well read, this book makes no sense. 3.) Most American readers are not fluent in French, so to have conversations or interjections in French with no translation, is plain dumb. 4.) Did I mention I was bored? 5.) As with another reviewer, I agree, he uses a lot of huge words that just slow a person down. And it’s not for theatrics either, it’s just huge words mid-sentence when describing something simple. Nothing in the sense of imagery is gained. 6.) Also, to sum it up, it’s a story about a pedophile, whether you interpret it as something else or not, is up to you, but there’s the main plot for you. I would not reccomend this book to any of my friends.
I agree with trauma expert Judith Herman’s analysis of this book, that it is the most beautifully written apologia for child rape ever put to paper. That this book is highly regarded speaks volumes to the hatred of women and of children that pervades our culture. I guess it should come as no surprise that in a culture where 25 percent of all women are raped in their lifetimes, and another 19 percent have to fend off rape attempts, that a book celebrating the sexual abuse of a child would be considered one of the best books ever written.
All this hoopla about Lolita made me curious enough to read it. Don’t tell me this is about love. This pedophile clearly stalks young girls. Maybe his first true love could never blossom, but to carry that feeling throughout his life screams psychological problems, not love.
I thought I would like this book after reading the reviews, but I tried to start it and it went NOWHERE! Plus, it was really hard to read. And boring. Ugh. I don’t recommend this book.
I bought this book with a great excitement for reading it. Once I got passed the first chapter, which took a fairly long time, I guessed that the rest of the book would be better considering it gets such great reviews. I was desperately wrong. The book is disgusting and never kept me interested. I watched the old movie as well to try to get into the book and that was very uninteresting as well. Overall, I don’t recommend this one.