Tag: 2020 October Group Writing

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I know some of you hate horror films or at least avoid them, but I love them. I think it’s partly the adrenaline rush. When horror is done well, I appreciate seeing imagination run wild, but I think one of the biggest reasons I enjoy horror films is that life outside the theater is less […]

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Although Gibb was a greasy little stain on the collective name of economic historians, I was quite sure that he wasn’t feigning his quirked eyebrow at my tired appearance. Age might have left me thick, gray curls and a firm posture, but it had still taken its share away, and the deep lines drawn expertly […]

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The Bad Counsellor: A Story in Two Movements (One/”It Was a Dark…”)

 

It was a dark and stormy night, but that wasn’t too unusual for London in December. In fact, I think most tourists, and even residents, would have been disappointed with anything else. London without fog is like Russia without political dysfunction, simply unrecognizable. 

As I regarded the mottled Ionic columns that faced authoritatively onto Great Russell Street, I took a moment to consider my presence here. Ten years ago, I would have been part of the woodwork, now I was an unwelcome harbinger of uncomfortable questions. Though maybe that characterization wasn’t entirely fair. Uncomfortable questions were how I ended up in this spot in the first place. 

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Black mud boiled beneath a torrent of furious rain. What fool could hope to spy movement in such a riotous storm? But Jack had to know. It was happening everywhere. To everyone. Even to the genteel, sensible folk of Spring Valley. Or so they claimed. Thunder growled from the nearby woods. Good, Jack thought. Where […]

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Group Writing: The Yankee Gale

 

“The Third of October, 1851, brought perhaps the greatest marine disaster in [Prince Edward Island] history. The afternoon was warm and still…the sky heavily clouded. The north and north west had a lurid, glassy appearance about sunset. It was a Friday, perhaps the best remembered Friday in P.E.I. history. A violent gale and wind arose from the East-North-East, which continued for two terrifying days. Before it was over, the New England fleet, fishing off our shores was devastated – nearly 100 vessels were wrecked or stranded, and hundreds killed.” — From the collection of T. W. Stewart

“On Friday night, the 3rd inst., a most violent gale of wind and rain arose from the [East-North-East], which continued varying at intervals, the following two days. The loss of life and property among the shipping is almost incredible. The whole of the coast on the north side of the Island is strewed with wrecks and dead bodies! Our present number contains a list of some of the wrecked vessels. We are unable as yet to give a correct account of the whole; indeed there are many that will never be heard of, having ran into each other and foundered at sea. The wrecks are chiefly American vessels fishing on the North side of the Island.” — The Islander, October 10, 1851

“A dispatch received last evening by the collector of this port, from B. Hammett, U.S. Consul at Pictou [Nova Scotia], states that the north-west coast has been swept by a terrible and destructive gale and that 100 fishing vessels were ashore on the north side of Prince Edward’s Island. It is estimated that 300persons have perished in the wrecks, and many bodies have already drifted ashore. Mr. Norton will proceed at once to relieve the distress and render such aid as he can” — New York Daily Times, October 9, 1851

Quote of the Day: But Always as Friends

 

“This is an occasion when our hearts are filled with conflicting emotions: we are, indeed, proud to have achieved our independence, and proud that our efforts should have contributed to this happy event. But do not mistake our pride for arrogance. It is tempered by feelings of sincere gratitude to all who have shared in the task of developing Nigeria politically, socially and economically. We are grateful to the British officers whom we have known, first as masters, and then as leaders, and finally as partners, but always as friends. And there have been countless missionaries who have laboured unceasingly in the cause of education and to whom we owe many of our medical services. We are grateful also to those who have brought modern methods of banking and of commerce, and new industries. I wish to pay tribute to all of these people and to declare our everlasting admiration of their devotion to duty.” — Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, KBE, PC

My Nigeria, the one that died on January 15, 1966, celebrated its independence from British rule 60 years ago, on October 1, 1960. I was six years old. We stayed in-country for another three years, with Dad working for the British, and then the Nigerian governments, charged first with administering a plebiscite in Cameroon, and then by the new Nigerian government with cleaning up leftover primordial tribal rivalries and corruption in the ancient Emirate of Kano.

You may never have heard of the old walled city of Kano. If it’s at all familiar to you, it might be because it was featured in one of the first news stories in which the use of underage and intellectually compromised female suicide bombers came to the attention of the Western world, as they blew themselves, and dozens of others, up in Kano Market. Similar things have happened several times since, in what have become Northern Nigeria’s own Killing Fields.

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Hey you! Yes, you. Each month, Ricochet members like you share a few thoughts, a bit of knowledge or creativity, playing off a theme. Sometimes it is no more than a concluding line or a throw-away to shoe horn their post into the theme. We are very casual about that. The whole point is for […]

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