Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I'm am a Terrible Blogger - or - Don't Pass Judgement Too Quickly

The lack of internet at home and the crazy work days have certainly combined to equal no blogging lately.  I also haven't done a lot of reading, but I have two books I've been meaning to write about and I get frustrated every day that I don't have time to write.  Both should inspire their own thought provoking posts but instead, one quick jot on the page (er... blog) is all they're going to get.  Better late and short than never and long but only in my brain.

Guilty Until Proven Innocent
I finished John Grisham's The Innocent Man a few weeks ago and I had plans to write a big long post about how strangely awful the writing was.  For someone who excels at crime dramas, Grisham sure missed the mark in his writing style on this one.  The writing was boring and almost too fact driven... but the story was so horrifying that I plowed through and would recommend it any day.  I get that it was a non-fiction work but all of his books read like non-fiction - why he was suddenly drab, I don't understand.  The book is about a murder in a small town and the men who are accused of her murder.  Plain and simple, the cops screwed up in this case.  There was no concrete evidence tying them to the case and there was a (correct) suspect right in front of their noses the entire time.  What was more disturbing was the fact that the jury convicted him!  Grant it, this took place 20 years ago but still.  How backwards of a society are we that we can't really presume anyone innocent until proven guilty anymore?!  Are we really that cynical? 

The answer, of course, is yes we are.  The book left me disappointed in our judicial system but more so disappointed in myself.  I couldn't help but wonder if I would have judged him the same way if I were in their shoes.  We are desperate for answers when bad things happen.  I understand that.  But we judge that way regardless of the evidence in front of our face!  And we judge that way whether it is something requiring answers or not!  I know I'm not the only person who judges people on the sidewalk, at work, at the grocery store, for things that don't require judgement.  How often do we misjudge?  How often do we pass judgement without all of the evidence?  How often do we decide people are guilty - whether for something petty or for something much larger - before they have any chance to prove otherwise?!

The book made me think, obviously.  I finished it weeks ago and it's been on my mind ever since.  He may have been a bit dull in this writing, but Grisham found a perfect first true story to rehash.  It disturbed me to no end.  And yet I still find myself jumping to conclusions and passing judgement almost daily. 

I think I'll skip writing about the second book for now.  I've got myself all worked up again.  Damn books - always getting into my brain.  I need to go to the library this weekend.  I don't even have anything new to read.  And Food and Wine Magazine doesn't count.

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