The Daily Dose/Saturday, May 4, 2019

The Daily Dose/May 4, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Capsule Book Review: Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Why it took us so long to read this mainstay of American letters is beyond us. We can only say that books one reads are similar to flowers blooming: both happen in their own good time.

Published in 1852, Uncle Tom’s Cabin was the biggest selling American book of the 19th-century not named the Bible and its influence on antebellum America was profound, providing no small amount of fuel for abolitionists in the 19th century. Characters such as Uncle Tom and Simon Legree have become familiar faces on the American landscape, their names long epithets for subservience and greed. The book follows the lives of assorted slaves and their masters, chronicling escapes and pursuits, sales and separations, supreme triumphs and mind-numbingly heartbreaking tribulations. These are circumstances common to us now, but such insights were rare back then.

There are many themes in the book, including religion and we found it interesting that two who are deeply religious – Uncle Tom and Eva, the daughter of Tom’s master – both die far too young while two slaves – George and Cassy – who believe God has failed them because of their bondage and do not believe, manage to escape, though both find religion while free.

Uncle Tom’s faith is unshakable. Despite being sold away from his wife and children and despite brutality and degradation seemingly beyond tolerance and endurance, his faith lasts to the end, as strong as it is triumphant because what good are religious beliefs if they don’t keep you from fearing death? Some of his final words are uttered right before he died, two days after a savage beating:

…tell her the Lord stood by me everywhere and al’ays, and made everything light and easy.

Which, when you get right down to it, is what humans have been asking their gods to do since time immemorial and which the gods, sometimes, are wont to do for us.

Final Ranking: A – The very best our human experience can offer. Uncle Tom’s Cabin is written in the sentimental novel style common to the era and may not be the easiest of reads, but keep at it, it’s as good, profound and important a book as our species has produced. Mrs. Stowe does a splendid job of cutting right to the heart of our human experience, which is what you pay us writers to do.

Today At The Site
The Diary of a Nobody:
Sparrow is back in the gym and it’s a slow day at the VSO. Today’s Diary.

Doc from the Legion came by for a chat this morning…Doc was always a big fan of my time as post commander and is on record as hoping I’ll take command again one day…Anyway, he came to ask about VA medical care for his son, a local veterinarian who served in both the Army and Marine Corps…Doc brought muffins, too, giving me my choice between raspberry and poppy seed…After a couple of seconds of thought – the raspberry muffin came with an actual raspberry – I went with the poppy seed muffin.

It’s Sparrow, an average man passing an average life.

Endless drivel: please click on the button to read The Diary of a Nobody. $5.99 includes all entries, past, present, and future.

Criminals, Courtesans, and ConstablesFriends, my latest novel is now available, for $3.99 until later this week when the price goes up a couple of bucks. Criminals, Courtesans, and Constables is about a nice guy who runs high-class call girls in and out of 5-star suites and throne rooms, collects ransoms and runs from the constables. Hilarity ensues. Seriously.

Click here to read excerpts and a sample chapter.

On This Date
In 1970 – At Kent State University in Ohio, members of the Ohio National Guard open fire on unarmed students protesting the Vietnam War, killing four and injuring nine.  The shooting involved 28 soldiers firing approximately five dozen rounds and was over in 13 seconds. Eight national guardsmen would later be indicted and all were acquitted in a Cleveland, Ohio bench trial in 1974.

In 1966 – Willie Mays of the San Francisco Giants becomes the National League’s all-time home run leader, hitting his 412th home run off of Claude Osteen of the Los Angeles Dodgers in a game the Giants would win 6-1. Mays broke the record that had been held by Mel Ott, also of the Giants. Mays ultimately retired with 660 home runs. Both National League and major league home run records are now held by Barry Bonds who hit 762 home runs with both the Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates.  

1968 – Honey by Bobby Goldsboro is at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 for the fourth of five consecutive weeks. The song also went to #1 in Australia, Ireland, and Canada, would later spend three weeks at #1 on the country chart and was Billboard’s third biggest song of 1968. By chance, Honey was the Hot 100’s 200th #1 song and remains Goldsboro’s only #1 pop and country hit.  

In nature there is no alienation. Everything belongs.
Deng Ming-Dao
365 Tao

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
In addition to Fred Toney’s 10 inning no-hitter in 1917, there have been four other such games: Sam Kimber (11 innings, 1884), Hooks Wiltse (10, 1908), Jim Maloney (10, 1965), and Francisco Cordova and Ricardo Rincon (10, 1997).

Today’s Stumper
Where does Willy Mays rank on the major league all-time home run list? – Answer next time!


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