23 May 2017

Discworld

This time I decided to talk about my favorite author. Someone whose books I read and re-read countless times. Actually, the reason why I stopped writing book reviewers is that I started re-reading Terry Pratchett Discworld.
I started with Discworld again, because one of my Facebook contacts mentioned how reading The Truth is sort of appropriate for today's US in the midst of all this turmoil.
So I read it and enjoyed profound insights about our own society and our own miserable, stupid ideologies hidden in the superbly written and entertaining text.
Then I went through my own favorites, Small Gods, Monstrous Regiment. And rounded that up with the series about Vimes and his merry band of the officers.
Particularly poignant was the quote from Jingo, where Vimes faced rather sobering realization.


 “It was because he wanted there to be conspirators. It was much easier to imagine men in some smoky room somewhere, made mad and cynical by privilege and power, plotting over the brandy. You had to cling to this sort of image because if you didn’t then, you might have to face the fact that bad things happened because ordinary people, the kind who brushed the dog and told their children bedtime stories, were capable of then going out and doing horrible things to other ordinary people. It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were US. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone’s fault. If it was Us, what did that make Me? After all, I’m one of Us. I must be. I’ve certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We’re always one of Us. It’s Them that do the bad things.”

And it was poignant to me because I survived one war, and knew that Us can do horrible things. I’ve seen how kids I was playing with and growing with, end up being war criminals. It was so easy, especially when one starts considering Them non-human in some way.
Currently, I’m going through Witches adventures, another set of great characters. And now I’m pondering about the truth of Granny’s comment that the biggest crime is treating a human as a thing. Because, that attitude is at the root of every other, more terrible crime.
Ah, well, I should stop.
Anyway, you can see, Terry Pratchett Discworld series is fantastic, entertaining and thought-provoking. Worth reading and re-reading.

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