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Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Loss of Perspective: Political Hysteria

     Recently, in The New York Times Book Review, Mary Morris reviewed a book called A Memoir of Steel and Grit by Eliese Colette Goldbach. The memoir is a tale of woe involving a young woman having to work a dirty, dangerous job in a Cleveland steel mill to pay off the money she borrowed for a useless degree. An excerpt from Morris' review:

     "I [the book reviewer] flinched at her original choice of college: the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio. Many memoirs have at their heart a trauma that must be approached obliquely and transformed into a turning point. During her first semester away, Goldbach, drunk and possibly drugged at a party, was raped by two upstanding young men, and everything she did in the aftermath--confide in a friend, confess to a priest, report to the institutional authorities--had the worst possible outcome. She tells us at the outset that she has a genetic and biological propensity for the bipolar disorder, and it is in Steubenville that it emerges. Unhinged she returns to Cleveland." [She eventually graduated from another college.]

     "A third sign or portent appeared when the author, exhausted by a stretch of 12-hour days and swing shifts [at the steel mill] and feverish from a cold or flu, takes a blanket to work with her. Clinging to the blanket is a desperate gesture to stay warm and hide, and it's not going to work. The rodents in her apartment get bigger and bolder. Her boyfriend breaks up with her. And Donald Trump, nominated by the Republican National Convention in Cleveland that summer, slouches toward Washington." [Italics Mine.]

     Donald Trump? The success of a presidential candidate Goldbach didn't like, in terms of causing her misery, is placed right up there with working in a factory she hated, rape, bipolar disorder, the breakup with her boyfriend, and rat infestation. After reading this gratuitous knock on Donald Trump who had nothing to do with this woman's miserable life, I completely lost interest in the memoir.

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