Don’t Let The Bastards Grind You Down.

‘Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.’

My nerdy son informs me that the phrase originated with a WWII American Army General called Joseph Stilwell whose caustic personality earned him the sobriquet ‘Vinegar Joe.’ I’m certain it would give old Joe pause for thought to know that his motto has become a slogan of feminism and individuality.

I have read and enjoyed a half dozen of Margaret Atwood’s books. The Blind Assassin is one of my all-time favourites. But, to be honest, I was afraid to read The Handmaid’s Tale in the same way I remember being afraid to go to the cinema to watch Schindler’s List. I don’t enjoy being horrified. Ever since Virginia Andrews‘ Flowers in the Attic was passed around my school classroom, I have been careful to avoid any books that might fall into the genre of horror.

The word dystopia has become a throwaway descriptive…

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