What is domestic violence?
Domestic violence incidences at their core are about one individual’s desire to have absolute power and control over another person. When a perpetrator begins to feel that power eroding, they will do whatever they can to regain power, including killing the people they seek to control. In the end, the perpetrator ensures that the victim cannot leave and start a new life. Children, other family members, neighbors, co-workers, and innocent bystanders are all put at risk if they are near when the violence erupts. Domestic violence affects every aspect of our community. It is not just a problem for those in a particular economic class, age group, ethnicity, religious group, or of a particular sexual orientation. (Santa Clara County Domestic Violence Council 2011)
What can be done?
Uprisings, riots, war and terrorism are a daily features on news media but Steven Pinker, taking an historical perspective, makes the argument that the world is getting less violent. Literacy, the rise of government, commerce, travel and education all have played a part in helping us to control impulsive behavior, consider opposing viewpoints, expose jingoism and chauvinism and make the world a better place. The Better Angels of our Nature makes fascinating reading, but be warned, -- it is many books in one and you’ll need time to stop, think and ponder Pinker’s insights.
Cormac McCarthy is probably better known for his other works, including No Country for Old Men, The Road, and All the Pretty Horses, but many consider Blood Meridian to be his greatest, and indeed one of the finest examples of contemporary American fiction. A master of narration, McCarthy portrays the contradictions of the Wild West, depicting brutal, gruesome scenes of savagery with a stark and lyrical prose.
In 1847, a 14 year old Tennessee boy known only as "the Kid" wanders into the Southwest, where he eventually joins with a group of bloodthirsty men who hunt Indians for a living. Led by the mysterious and learned Judge Holden, the band kills and terrorizes their way across the lawless West.
Not for the faint of heart, this book could be described as a work of Horror as easily as it could be called a Western. This novel jabs a thumb into the eye of the romanticized Wild West and reminds the reader how the West was really won...through blood and slaughter.