Thursday, September 13, 2007

Happy New Year

Kudos to Kevin Guilfoile for his painstaking research on Dr. Cornbleet's murderer. We agreed as a group that he had important insights on a story that was not getting appropriate press attention; that's why he wrote several consecutive posts on the subject. Kevin scooped big media and all of us at the Outfit are mighty proud of him.

I had originally planned to use my post to comment on the convictions of five defendants in the Calabrese family secrets trial for racketeering and fraud, but the jury is still out on the more serious charge of first-degree murder, and sentencing also lies in the future.

Anyway, today is Rosh Hashannah, the Jewish New Year, a time of starting over, thinking afresh about life, about the unnecessary baggage we carry with us. There should be one day of peace in everyone's life from time to time; I chose today to turn off my e-mail, to do no work, to enjoy the beautiful golden day in Chicago with my dog and with friends. And I thought, too, about all the ways that in my life and work I fall short of a mark that I wish I met. One of those ways is to demonize people who oppose ideas and ideals that are fundamental to my sense of self. A friend of mine who's a theologian and does a lot of work on issues around reproductive rights commented recently how much both sides of the abortion battle need each other; we demonize one another, she said, and use the demonic acts the other side commits as ways of galvanizing support for our own positions.

I want to cast off many things this Rosh Hashannah--tormenting myself about my work, wasting the precious time in front of me--but I want also to cast off demonizing people who don't agree with me--if I can make an exception for Dick Cheney and George Bush. As John Donne wrote, “How many men that stand at an execution [who] ask, For what dies that man? should hear their own faults condemned and see themselves executed by attorney?”

For all who visit this site, I wish you a year of health and peace, and pray that the one who establishes peace in the high places will, against all odds, grant peace to all the world.

Sara Paretsky

38 comments:

Michael Dymmoch said...

Happy New Year, Sara.

Anonymous said...

Blessings for the New Year to you and yours, Sara! And yes, you may make that exception and still achieve your goals :o)
I never thought of demonizing as a way to describe people who were 180 degrees from my own point of view, but it does make sense,and I do it I'm sure. The resolution to see those 'opposites' as humans with their own opinions sounds like a good one for me to make and attempt to follow, even before January. What's interesting is that my daughter already knows how to do that. She's much wiser than I am in that regard.
Peace and all good things for the coming year.

Kevin Guilfoile said...

Well said, Sara.

Happy New year!

Libby Hellmann said...

Generous thoughts, Sara. I wish I were as noble. And tolerant.

L'Shana Tova!

JD Rhoades said...

Happy New Year, Sara! May the year to come bring you joy.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to everyone for your good wishes. Libby--I'm not tolerrant or noble--I was born with a chip on my shoulder. I only want to want to be tolerant!

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