Archive for November, 2012

This Week’s Bones Episode

Posted November 15, 2012 By Jandy

Whether you normally watch the television show Bones or not, I highly recommend this week’s episode,  “The Patriot in Purgatory”. The forensic pathologist interns are investigating cold cases. They find a body of a homeless man that was found in September, 2001, in Washington D.C. The timing of the man’s death is very close to the time of the Pentagon attack on 9/11, so the story is focused on the events of that day.

It’s an excellent episode. The interns include a young West Virginian, a Muslim, a black man, a white man who has depression problems, and a white man from the New York City area. There is a speech by the Muslim that is extremely powerful about how that day degraded his religion and his God. All of them end up recounting their memories of 9/11 and what it did in their lives that day.

The episode also shows how we have moved on in this country in the past eleven years, yet haven’t forgotten.

Normally when I watch a television show I’ve recorded for the week, I delete it from the DVR as soon as I have finished it. But this time I hit save. This episode of Bones needs to be watched again.

When our oldest daughter was a toddler, her father declared she wasn’t dating until she was 30. It is difficult for most fathers to see their daughters grow into sexual beings. Older men know that young men have sex in their brain. They want to protect their daughters and keep them chaste as long as possible.In Nathaniel Hawthorne‘s “Rappacini’s Daughter”, Rappacini devised a unique solution to this problem. As a botanist Rappacini knew how to work with plants. He created hybrids and new species of flowers. He developed a plant with extraordinary blooms for his daughter. These amazing purple blossomed plants were infused with a poison that she absorbed. No one could touch her without dying from that poison. No man was going to mess with HIS little girl!

When Giovanni saw and pursued her, Rappacini took notice. Giovanni became the focus of Rappacini’s interest and experiments. He allowed the suitor to meet his daughter, but then had him endure a rite of passage to win the young woman. Giovanni had to start his own purification to win her. The young man didn’t realize it, but he began accepting the surrounding poison into his own body.

Giovanni’s mentor recognized the poison and disclosed the girl’s nature. Giovanni rebelled against Rappacini’s test. Instead he accepted the mentor’s potion that should release her from her prison. He wanted to free her from her father’s bonds, so gave her the antidote. What Giovanni didn’t know was how it would release her from her poisonous lifestyle. The antidote killed her.

Rappacuni was an overprotective father who wouldn’t accept his daughter’s growth to sexual maturity. Even as she reached to another, Rappacini had to put the man through a test to prove himself worthy of the lady. Instead, Rappacini’s action protected his daughter’s sexuality, then ultimately destroyed her.

Works cited:”Rites of passage” (1997) In Green, T.A. (ed.), Folklore. (pp. 732-733). Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, Inc.

Reading Oddities

Posted November 6, 2012 By Jandy
Every once in a while I find myself reading books with connections that I doubt someone else sees just because of what I pick up when. This is one of those times.

For my RL book club we are reading Helen Simonson’s general fiction novel Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand. It’s about an older, retired Engglish gentleman who knows what’s honorable, proper, and right. He knows what should or shouldn’t be done – within the culture he has always known. Then he finds he is attracted to Mrs. Ali, the Pakistani English widow who owns the local store. Although she was born and raised in England, she is still foreign to the neighbors because she’s different. The Major learns a lot about himself and his neighbors in this gentle novel as he turns from what he “always knew” to what he knows is right. I finished it last week.

In contrast, I am now reading a tween to young adult futuristic dystopic science fiction novel called The Boy From Ilysies by Pearl North. It is one I received for review after I had enjoyed the first book in the series, Libyrinth. Po, the main character, is the only man in the Libyrinth from a matriarchal country. He now lives among people who consider all of themselves equal Other men around him come from a patriarchal society. Po keeps making cultural mistakes. He doesn’t understand the others’ cultural mores, nor is it easy for him to believe he is equal to a woman. He keeps deferring to them even when they don’t want that. Po has to learn a whole new way of living – a new culture. (Of course, since this is a young adult adventure book as well, he has to end up on a quest to save the Libyrinth.)

The odds of anyone reading and mentioning these two books in the same breath are slim to none. Yet here I am, struck by their similarities. When life around us changes, we must adapt or break. Both Major Pettigrew and Po must change their thinking and adapt to improve their own lives. They are both products of their culture, breeding, and upbringing.

I hope there’s not a lesson there I’m about to have to learn…