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Posts Tagged ‘civil rights’

CJ Verburg’s Another Number for the Road  has all you could ever want from a murder mystery set in two iconic periods of American history: the 1960s: Free Speech, Free Love, Stop the War, Civil Rights and sex, drugs, rock and roll; and 1980s: Reaganomics, Cold War Collapse, Punk Rock, big hair and bigger shoulders.

Rock journo cum detective, Cory Goodwin (who has as many names as identities) goes on a “Magical Mystery Tour,” and then some, to recover her true inner self which has been consumed and subsumed by the demands of her multimillionaire son-of-the-founder-of-a-cosmetics-conglomerate husband’s boardroom betrayal of all they meant to each other as writing romantics who eloped in creative Paris and crashed in corporate necessity in Boston.

Cordelia Goodwin Thorne had many years of protest activism and rock star groupie antics to keep her from sinking into the paradox of her journo daydreams and her cosmetic charity dinner reality.

She joins the “Magical Mystery Tour” when she learns that The Rind is the mystery band—a group she interviewed for a magazine as a teenager. She aims to rekindle her past admiration for the much-maligned strongman of the band, the appropriately named, Dan Quasi, who, after the brutal murder of his friend and co-band member, Mickey Ascher, takes a runner and hides out for the twenty year hiatus, having lost his wife and his French bit to aforementioned co-band member.

Did this Quasi musician kill his best friend? Or was it the French bit? Or possibly her jilted lover and third band member, also appropriately named, Roach? Or has the mild-mannered Terry, fourth band member, been hiding a violent temper all these years?

The process of discovery is further energized by the author’s experience as a playwright and director. CJ Verburg makes use of the theatrical technique of juxtaposing two scenes on stage at once: flashbacks, backstory, supposition and real time, one upon the other, while skillfully  juggling a cast of characters that would daunt Cecil B. DeMille and D.W. Griffiths.

Another Number for the Road  will satisfy all fans of complex, convoluted whodunits who remember the Sixties with longing and survived the Eighties, Nineties and are in deep with the Twentieth Century.

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When I was a young writer, my mother gave me good advice: “Never put in writing what you don’t want people to read.” Now that I am employed in a law office, that advice is reinforced on a daily basis. Every word must be scrutinized with the matters of law and interpretation firmly in mind.

This is a hundred times more critical on the Internet.

However, the freedom of speech is too important to be undermined by the actions of those who disagree with any given personal opinion. As Voltaire declared, “I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

The recent vilification of Brendan Eich for expressing his personal opinion in the form of a political donation is only the latest example of the infringement of freedom of speech by those who disagree with him. In my opinion, this can only be seen as another form of fascist bullying.

No matter how much our opinions may differ, none of us have the right to silence anyone. Neither do we have the right to hound another person into submission. Those who do this are guilty of the same behavior of which they accuse others.

The more we attempt to silence one voice, the easier it becomes to be silenced ourselves. And if we allow others to be silenced, we have no right to claim the freedoms granted by the Bill of Rights for ourselves.

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