In crime fiction, we tend to portray the police as the good guys. Our characters are dedicated investigators bringing perpetrators of serious crime to justice. After all, that’s what our readers expect to find in a murder mystery. They’re not looking for stories of police brutality.
Unfortunately, what we’re seeing in real life is examples of the police as perpetrators of violent crime. We’re seeing videos of police officers murdering people on the streets of America. We’re seeing footage of heavily armed officers brutally attacking peaceful #blacklivesmatter protesters with batons, rubber bullets, and tear gas.
It’s tempting to see what’s going on as an American problem. It’s not. It happens in too many places, across all forms of government. It’s happening where you live, even if it’s not happening to you.
There appears to be a lot going on in the world at the moment.
I suspect that what we think is happening depends on who we are, where we are, and what we use as our information sources.
I believe we can only come to a common understanding by listening to each other. There is no right or wrong answer since none of us has all the details. There is only a multiplicity of views which, when woven together, will create our common whole.
So, this week, instead of telling you what I think is going on, I invite you to share what you think is going on in the comments below.
Welcome to the world of self-isolation – the place where we stay at home.
If you can work from home, you’ve got something to get on with during working hours, but if you can’t, then you have some extra hours to fill.
Even if you are still able to work, the range of after-hours activities available to all of us has been seriously curtailed. The pubs, bars and eating places are closed. The theatres are closed. They’ve cancelled the football and basketball. They are telling us to stay home.
So, what are we going to do while we wait for the ‘all clear’ to resume our normal routines?
Here’s another social issue I slipped into After. This snippet comes from chapter two, where Sgt Marie Wood ponders why Josie Ford may have decided to take some time out.
She turned her thoughts to Josie. Why would an apparently happily married mother of two teenage boys disappear first thing in the morning? Well, she was a teacher. The things they had to put up with would be enough to push anybody over the edge. Teachers didn’t get much respect these days and it was becoming fashionable to blame them for everything that was wrong with today’s young people. So much for parental responsibility. Now it was all some teacher’s fault for not disciplining little Johnny or not teaching him properly. Parents were even going into classrooms and threatening teachers when their little darling was called to account for his latest outburst of anti-social behaviour and it wasn’t just the boys mucking up in schools. Just last week she had attended the local high school when an angry parent had turned up and threatened to shoot the principal.
A thought-provoking extract from After, book 1 of the Inspector West series.
The bus arrived at his stop in the city. He got off and ambled towards the bank. No point in rushing in for another routine day in the world of banking.
Paul started his day, like he did most mornings, sharing a cup of coffee with Henry, his team leader for the last two years. It was an opportunity to sort out the day’s priorities and discuss the state of the world before they got down to the serious stuff.
Your worldview is determined by your exposure to the world. If you stay in your home territory, you see the world as an extension of your home. You live in a belief bubble.
It’s hard to imagine things being different someplace else if you’re always in familiar surroundings – whether those surroundings are physical, intellectual, emotional or spiritual. Continue reading “Opening your mind.”