Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Good Story 065: Kirinyaga

Join Julie and Scott as they drop everything and head to Kirinyaga. Koriba said it would be pretty great. Episode 65 - Kirinyaga by Mike Resnick.

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  1. I got to this one early this week! Great discussion!

    I have not read Kirinyaga, but from what you've described it has a lot of parallels in themes and ideas to Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.

    It reminds me a good deal of it, especially when you mentioned the baby. Though I think there's a far more horrifying scene near the beginning of Things Fall Apart because it seemingly happens for no reason other than that Okonkwo wouldn't allow himself to show emotion and allowed it to happen. I understand that such scenes exist because they happen in life, but it really doesn't make it any easier to read.

    If you want a story that is about a society that gets stripped of a lot of the things they've grown to understand, that's probably the book. Though Mr. Achebe thankfully doesn't portray the 'invaders' as demons like most modern stories would, he's not that shallow.

    I feel a little odd reading books like Sunshine Sketches Of A Little Town while you guys are reading books like this, though. Completely different themes and ideas in both!

  2. "Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town" sounds interesting! Was Leacock an influence on Garrison Keillor?

    1. I have seen quite a few people drawl the parallels, but I can't say for sure. I would definitely say Leacock got a lot from Twain, though.

  3. Great discussion! A few points, in Judaism there is a famous saying- It is not up to you to complete the task, but you are not allowed to abstain from trying.
    In other words - no one expects you to bring Utopia - but you must strive to make the world a better place even if that task is never completed.

    The inflexibility of the non believers is almost laughable - if it weren't so sad. I have close Christian friends - we can argue theology, but being Jewish, there is common ground. The insults I get from non believers - who profess to be kind and open minded - is mean and nasty.

    I've had many non believers pooh-pooh kosher laws - outdated and unnecessary - but not that one of their Gods' is health, they want to restrict what everyone eats because of how it affects 'the planet'

    When people stop believing in God, they don't believe in nothing -- they believe in anything. by GK Chesterton

    And finally, looking forward to your discussion of Ushpizin (Scott pronounced it right). First of all it's an Aramaic word that means visitors. During Succoth it is an obligation to have visitors in one's succah (hut) which explains why this very poor couple hosts the jailbreakers. Also, it was filmed right around the corner from my mother's appt. Fun seeing familiar streets. (Actually the courtyard was part of an old army base that is no longer there, but many old neighborhoods in Jerusalem look like that.
    Also, notice, the husband and wife never touch - of course a husband and wife touch (except for the 10-12 days of the period and a week after) But the actors are Orthodox (what we call Baal Teshuva - returnees from secular life to Orthodoxy - so the two actors would never touch one another, or be in a room alone -not a problem with cameramen around.

    If you have any other questions about Orthodoxy before your discussion on air, let me know, I'd be happy to share. It is a wonderful movie, so glad you chose it.

    1. I love that saying!

      On the "God is health" attitude, I was just helping with a retreat where all the conversation was about cross-fitness training, Paleo diets, the horrors of high fructose corn syrup, and suchlike. It was quite boring to anyone who doesn't care about such things and made me think about how health continues to be America's funnybone (thank you Dr. Graham, etc. for that legacy).

      So fun to think that you have such a close connection with the neighborhood of Ushpizin. It is an entirely charming movie on many levels and we found that it explained Succoth really well just in the context of viewing the first time. I'm looking forward to seeing it again.