I’m starting late today on this post, so yet again I’m going to jump right in.
True Tales of Terror in the Caves of the World by Paul Jay Steward, copyright 2004, published by CAVE BOOKS
I should be starting the book for this month’s mystery book group, Death of the Mantis, but how could I pass up this gem which was waiting in the wings? According to the blurb on the back: “The stories in this book will take you on a journey across the globe and into the depths of the earth where some of the most vile and cruelest acts imaginable have been committed. You have been warned.” Eeeeeeeeek! I’ve been warned. You have to say that deadpan though, eeeeeeeek. Still, this book promise to have a higher body count than anything ever picked by the mystery group, except maybe Child 44
I also found the preface to be quite laughable. Or was that mercenary? One of the two. Perhaps both. “For as long as caves exist, someone will use them for places of unspeakable horror. And I, of course, will have another book to write.” Well, lucky you! Now, let’s start our count of the horrors.
The Lobelia Saltpeter Cave, West Virginia – 1975. I’m guessing this is a distant and much maligned relative of Lobelia Baggins.
Body Count: 1
Description: A 19-year-old male “buried under a pile of rocks . . . a blanket and plastic bag were wrapped around is head and secured with bailing twine, along with a rope around his chest.” He had been “sexually assaulted and shot once in the neck and twice in the forehead with a .25 caliber weapon.”
Blackman Cave, Japan – 2000
Body Count: 1
Description: Caucasian female “. . . badly decayed and dismembered . . . her nude body was cut up into eight pieces and her head was encased in a cement block.” Sounds like the Black Dahlia killer became more adept with a knife and moved to Japan.
Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico – 1979
Body Count: 0 – Zero? Zero? What about the unspeakables? The horrors?
Description: Cavenapping (you read me correctly, a cavenapping) by 4 men frustrated by “inflation, gas shortages, politics, government and the recession.” They were probably former Kent State SDS members. The cave WAS shot more than 200 times though, and survived.
So far not much vileness and evil going on by my count. Two people and 1 cave. I’m only giving you the cave tidbits worth reading, but I’m at least 1/3 of the way through the book already. The name of the publisher should have given the quality of this book away. CAVE BOOKS? Sounds like he might have printed this puppy up at home along with a few twenty-dollar bills.
Kent State: What Happened and Why by James Michener:
I’m beginning to think I’ll never finish this book. Had Mr. Michener actually stuck to the facts and not rambled off on topics that had nothing to do with the riots and shootings in Kent, this book would be about 300 pages shorter and a great deal better.
Personally I still find the SDS members, such as Joyce Cecorca, to be complete whack-jobs. She states, “. . . if the university does not stop politically repressing SDS, they (the SDS) would burn and level the campus.” I’m inclined to believe that she would find jail rather more repressing than a university campus.
Below is a listing of their latest demands, given the Sunday night before the shootings:
1. The ROTC program must be removed from campus.
2. Total amnesty to be granted to all persons charged with burning ROTC.
3. Total acceptance of all demands made by the Black United Students, whatever those demands might be.
4. All National Guard to be removed from campus by Monday night.
5. The curfew to be lifted immediately.
6. Tuition for all students to be lowered.
Oh, hey yeah, we’ll get right on that. These demands remind me of the Star Trek episode The Naked Time. Remember that one? The one where Lt. Kevin Thomas Riley demands that “in the future, all female crew members will wear their hair… loosely about their shoulders. And use restraint in putting on your make-up. Women, women should not look made up. And now, crew, I will render Kathleen one more time!” His demands made about as much sense. At least Riley could claim he was nuts at the time.
Another SDS member, named only as a “young man” claims that he was “the principal negotiator with the National Guard and the police that night. Nobody elected me to the job. I simply saw that if the students remained in the street breaking curfew, and if the Guard waited around long enough with their rifles at the ready, something had to happen. Neither side appeared willing to give an inch, so I said to myself ‘Why not me? Somebody has to get things started.’ ”
If that’s not a claim to blame (Ha! another rhyme), then what is? Someone had to start things? Really? Why is that? And what was it he started? More violence. His mother must be proud.
On a final note for today, the “quite liberal” Janette Wise stated that on Sunday night “it gave you the feeling that you were living in a police state. It was 1984 and George Orwell was in the background smiling.”
It’s nice to see she didn’t totally waste her education and at least remembers a little bit of her literature course. However Ms. Wise, George Orwell was the author of the book and was making a statement against police states. It would have been Big Brother in the background smiling. Secondly, if Kent was now a police state, the SDS and associated students brought it upon themselves. So I believe a resounding Pffffffffffffffffffft! is deserved here.
Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick:
An estimated 600,000 to 2 million dead of famine in 1998, two-thirds still supplementing their diet with grass or weeds in 2008? Da Fug? And yet, Kim Jong-il, while still alive, could not or would not “tolerate people going off to gather their own food or buying rice with their own money.” No doubt these poor sods just got busted.
Apparently, “telling people to solve the food problem on their own only increases the number of farmers’ markets and peddlers. In addition, this creates egotism among people.” Better dead than egotistical as Freud often said. Stephen King has NOTHING on North Korea. Not even Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House can beat this book for horror.
Currently Drinking: Not enough to hold up to what I’m reading! Sheesh. So far today has been a water and ice tea (Good Earth original) day. A Mike’s might be in order later on. I’m thinking a mix of the Lemonade and the Blood Orange.
Currently Watching: No TV or movies were consumed today. Not to worry though, Alex Cross will be coming in soon from Netflix. Sorry, but it’s the hubby’s turn to pick the movie. Next will be Sinister which can’t help but be a better horror film than Silent Hill Revelation. I hope.