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Crackdown

Crackdown

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The Age of Dis-Consent

The Age of Dis-Consent

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 112 Reasons to read Crime Fiction

The morning started with a grenade attack at the international airport in Bangkok, leaving one person dead and dozens wounded. This afternoon the Constitutional Court has dissolved the main political party and banned their executives from public office for five years. Close to where I live, over the past week two bombs have been tossed from the flyover onto Rama IV below near Klong Toey market. I heard the explosion. Both times. Police are guarding the flyover this morning.

 

But this isnít one of the reasons to read crime fiction.

 

It is easy in these circumstances to feel scared, helpless and hopeless about what has happened and may happen next. People are numb with fear. I was at the Emporium, an upscale shopping Mall, and the ground floor is decorated with Christmas trees and White Christmas is playing on the sound system. Some people walking around dazed, staring at the Christmas trees, trying to make sense of what is happening. Bangkok and its people occupy a zone of immense contradictions.

 

But this isnít one of the reasons to read crime fiction.

 

Smiles and sadness. Friendship and hatred. Hope and despair. You have a choice in life. You can choose to give into the fear or you can find a way to make a difference.

 


Again this isnít the reason.

 

The chance of anyone in Bangkok being killed or injured by a grenade or bullet is small. Of course, if it happens to you, then that is little comfort. What has placed the current chaos in perspective was a call my wife received from a woman upcountry in Thailand. This woman several years ago started taking in abandoned or abused children. Things like this always start in a small way. Someone hears about a kid who has nowhere to go. She took him in. Housed him. Fed him. Saw he went to school. Another child found her, then another. For the last twenty years, Suthasinee Noi-in has sunk her life saving into Baan Home Hak (Love Center), which has become a place to feed and shelter 112 children between ages of newborn to 19 years old. She lives in Yasothorn Province. The kids include AIDS orphans, abandoned kids, kids with AIDS, and kids who are victims of domestic violence.

 

 

The thing is, sheís run out of money. It gets worse. Suthasinee Noi-in has intestinal cancer and is dying. Sheís got six months left. Maybe. And upcountry it has turned cold. As everything is upside down in Thailand, she doesnít really have anyone to help her.

 

Today I received an order for a copy of the Special Edition of A Killing Smile from Bruce Comstock. The limited edition cost $275.00. The money from Bruceís order has been used to buy 112 sweaters that will be shipped upcountry this week. There are crimes and then there are true crimes. Not helping in a case like this would be, for me, a crime. Money has to have some meaning in life, and part of that meaning is finding a way to see that it gets to the right people and the right time. Bruce, in my eyes, is a hero and my wife and I will let the kids upcountry know that there is one Canadian out there whose money made a difference to their life.

 

During this season, if anyone else wants to offer some help, I will personally see more clothes, medicine, school fees, and supplies reach the 112 children. Think of this as 112 good reasons to read crime fiction. Buy a book. Send a greeting to them for me to pass along. Once long ago someone did something for me, refused any compensation and said, pay me back by doing something to help someone else.
In a small way, I am paying him back.

 

Posted: 12/2/2008 2:32:18 AM 

 

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