Not much to report today except a whole ton of rain. Chaos at home and the road to work was also closed due to flooding. What do you do when you’re late for work and the highway which you usually take is now under water? I took a long diversion through town and listened to all the flooding stories on the radio.
The weekend was cold and wet but pleasant. P and I visited my parents at Betty’s Bay and the house is looking really good with the couches and carpets and all the pictures. My dog curled up in front of the fire and was happy as can be. P and I made a chicken and mushroom risotto (inspired in part by Di’s risotto the other day) which was really good.
I don’t know what’s going on with my reading but I seem to have ditched a few books mid-stream and started two new ones. Enjoying “A Memoir of Love and Madness” by Cape Town author Rahla Xenopoulos, which describes her life with bipolar disorder. I want to write something about bipolar as a trendy diagnosis (the diagnosis du jour) and also reflect on how well her memoir works (or doesn’t work). I’m halfway through and am liking it so far. She’s a drama queen is Rahla but it makes for an entertaining read.
Much more disturbing is “Columbine” by Dave Cullen. Cullen was one of the journalists who covered the school shootings at Columbine High in 1999 for the New York Times. After nine years of extremely thorough research, he has produced what I guess would be called a riveting, disturbing but also quite necessary book on the tragedy. I’m interested to know what led two seemingly ordinary teenage boys (Eric and Dylan) to want to go and kill their schoolmates. The ordinariness of their lives is part of what makes this so disturbing. I’m sure most people will have seen (or heard of) Michael Moore’s documentary “Bowling for Columbine” which caused quite a stir at the time, partly because of the seemingly casual attitude towards guns and gun control that pervades much of US culture.
This book covers all the main players in the tragedy and also provides an excellent psychological background to the two killers. One thing that worries me at this stage is how an antidepressant such as Zoloft can perhaps fuel psychopathology (in Eric’s case). And then there are the parents who seem to do nothing when their son is caught and sentenced for making a pipe bomb. In retrospect that was a big warning light for the parents (and school authorities) to take note of but I’ll be interested to see what (if anything) they did about it.