Saturday, July 24, 2010

an epigraph

I've started reading John Michael Greer's Druid blog, from the beginning, partly because I decided I was too cheap to buy one of his books. On May 24, 2006 he wrote:

Knowing many stories is wisdom.
Knowing no stories is ignorance.
Knowing only one story is death.

I like these lines, though I'm not sure why. Perhaps I don't like them so much as I want to use them for my own purposes, like using someone's favorite six iron as a hoe. Also noted on May 24, 2006, by the LA Times:

A driver ran over three children and two women in the parking lot of a McDonald's restaurant in Covington (GA), police said. One witness described the man as having a smile on his face. A 2-year-old girl was in critical condition; two other children and a pair of adult sisters were in stable condition, authorities said.

That's a pretty compelling story. Probably this makes for a good writing exercise: find synopses such as these and write an accompanying of two pages, double-spaced. The driver of the car (a green Honda Accord) was 46-year old Lanny Barnes (not to be confused with the female American winter biathlete), described by family members as having "mental problems," namely depression. The restaurant was closed for the remainder of the day and counseling was provided. The little girl succumbed from her injuries the next day. I learned from a conservative blogger who was outraged by this incident that Lanny Barnes was black and that his victims were white. His outrage, by the way, was in reaction to the fact that Mr. Barnes's mothers initial reported response was "he's been suffering from depression" rather than an expression of sympathy for the victims. Of course, we don't know what Mrs. Barnes was responding to, but probably a question like, "why would he do such a thing?" The author of the blog does not provide his name (though he calls himself Shamalama) but he does tell his readers that he hails from Conyers Corners, GA and is of Irish descent.

I learned from another blogger (StinkyNigs) that Lanny Barnes died of leukemia in October of 2008 while serving a life sentence at Valdosta State Prison. StinkyNigs concluded his obituary (entitled "A nigger who deserved worse") with the following: "His funeral was the one that wasted my time as it went by, but at least the Sheriff's department didn't waste any more money renting a hearse for that piece of shit nigger. Rot in hell with your nigger kin, Lanny, you fucking shining example of all things nigger. You more than deserve it. Only it should have been at the end of a rope."

The story just gets better and better, and worse and worse. In April of this year, a man was run over in another MacDonald's parking lot, though this time the deceased was a man and the driver a woman, who did not intend to hit him, or run him over. This was in Seattle and the restaurant was not closed for the day. The respective races of driver and victim were not provided. Bloggers first speculated that the victim (67-year old George Ketah) was lying drunk in the parking lot, which was why the 37-year old woman ran him over. But it looks like he was walking, was knocked down by the car, and then run over. I learned this from a personal injury lawyer blog looking for business: in this case, the family of unfortunate victims like Mr. Ketah.

As they say, "you couldn't make this stuff up."

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