The passage below is from Michael Connelly’s latest thriller, The Dark Hours, which features two of his characters, retired Detective Harry Bosch, and Detective Renée Ballard. It is set in Los Angeles. Facing a long overseas flight, I purchased the book on Kindle to read on the aircraft.
“What do you hear about the vax?”[Officer] Moore asked [talking to Detective Ballard].
Ballard shook her head.
“Assholes”, she said.” “We’re first-fucking responders and should get it with the fire department. Instead were with the grocery workers.”
“The fire guys are considered health-care providers,” Ballard said. “We’re not.”
Here’s another passage that caught my eye, a similar display of brute stupidity.
… [A] patrol car pulled up next to them on Moore’s side in one of the two southbound lanes.
“You know these guys?” Moore asked as she reached for the window button.
“Unfortunately,” Ballard said. “Pull your mask up.”
It was a team of P2s named Smallwood and Vitello, who always had too much testosterone running in their blood. They also thought they were “too healthy” to contract the virus and eschewed the department-mandated mask requirement.
Moore lowered the window after pulling her mask up.
“How’s things in the tuna boat?” Smallwood said, a wide smile on his face.
Ballard pulled up her department-issued mask. It was navy blue with LAPD embossed in silver along the jawline.
“You’re blocking traffic traffic there, Smallwood,” Ballard said.
Moore looked back at Ballard.
“Really?” she whispered. “Small wood?”
We just had dinner last night with a couple, and on meeting them I complimented him on weight loss. He said it was due to having come down with Covid. I was sorely tempted to remind him that he was double-vaxxed, but it is polite company, so nothing was said. Ballard in the book is said to have come down with Covid for three weeks, and “just hoped she had enough antibodies to see her through to the vaccine’s arrival.”
I just watched a long video interview with John Cleese, the former Monty Pythonite and a man I much admire for being both funny and intelligent. I am not suggesting anyone but me would want to watch it, but if you want a snippet, near the end (1:21:30) he talks about his friend David Dunning, of Dunning-Krueger fame. I will save you the trouble of going to the link, and quote Cleese:
One of the things I’ve discovered, and I am being quite genuine now, is that as you get older you realize that no one knows what they are talking about, and I include myself in that statement. People really do think they know. You should read a book called Black Swan.*** It’s absolutely fascinating. [I have a friend, a Cornell professor, named] David Dunning. He’s a social psychologist and has done fascinating work … when people are good or not so good at something, how accurate is their self-assessment? Do they know how good or bad they are? And they’ve discovered something which I think is one of the most enlightening things I have ever heard in my life. In order to know how good you are at something requires almost exactly the same skills as to be good at that something in the first place. So if you are absolutely no good at something, you lack exactly the skills you need to know that you’re no fucking good at that thing.
And that explains everything. It’s not that TV executives [mentioned previously in the interview] have no idea what they are doing, but rather that they have no idea that they have no idea what they are doing. And that permeates our society. So few people know what they are doing that it is best to assume that nobody does.
In Connally’s world, the vaccine is heaven-sent. The mythology of antibodies stands unchallenged. And the stupidest and most humiliating public ritual I have ever seen in my life, masking, is honored, and those who eschew participation are ridiculed with demeaning names, like Smallwood. Connally has no clue that he has no clue of what he is talking bout – either that, or he is clued in and knows to toe the line.
Connolly has created some lasting characters, like Bosch and Lincoln Lawyer Micky Haller. Detective Renée Ballard is a lesser breed, and Jack McEvoy, investigative journalist, is a rare cat who works on his own even though employed by a major newspaper, and suffers no editorial oversight. Apparently Connolly knows zilch about the newspaper business along with infectious diseases.
We cancelled our overseas trip, so I started to read The Dark Hours last evening. If it were a paperback I would throw it in the garbage, as I do with all offensive material. All I can do is delete it.
A am done with Michael Connally.
As much as Connally is following a script that assures him he will continue to be published and praised in all the right places, another author went his own way. Michael Crichton wrote the book State of Fear , published in 2004. I found the book to be sloppily written, leaving me hanging as to certain outcomes left incomplete. But more importantly, the book was critical of radical environmentalists, including those advancing the myth of global warming and climate change. Here is a snippet from Crichton speaking in 2003 to the Commonwealth Club:
I have been asked to talk about what I consider the most important challenge facing mankind, and I have a fundamental answer. The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.
We must daily decide whether the threats we face are real, whether the solutions we are offered will do any good, whether the problems we’re told exist are in fact real problems, or non-problems. Every one of us has a sense of the world, and we all know that this sense is in part given to us by what other people and society tell us; in part generated by our emotional state, which we project outward; and in part by our genuine perceptions of reality. In short, our struggle to determine what is true is the struggle to decide which of our perceptions are genuine, and which are false because they are handed down, or sold to us, or generated by our own hopes and fears.
Crichton went on in his public life to be a harsh critic of global warming and climate change, one of the only public figures in the country of notable popularity to do so. So when he died prematurely in 2008, my eyebrows shot up. Here is the Wikipedia take on his death:
According to Crichton’s brother Douglas, Crichton was diagnosed with lymphoma in early 2008. In accordance with the private way in which Crichton lived, his cancer was not made public until his death. He was undergoing chemotherapy treatment at the time of his death, and Crichton’s physicians and relatives had been expecting him to recover. He died at age 66 on November 4, 2008.
OK, not to be questioned, but those footnotes, four of them, can each be read as a spook marker. Wikipedia does a lot of that. A very popular author and public figure is openly critical of one of the biggest hoaxes of our time, and dies prematurely at age 66. Am I being paranoid? No. Just suspicious, as no one who occupies a public position in our land is allowed to openly question the “science” behind Climate Change. Crichton did so, and intelligently to boot. Was his death faked, ala Kerry Mullis, an alternative given to avoid a real death? Or, did he die naturally and conveniently? I will never know.
So it goes.
*** I read that book, by Nassam Talib. Indeed it was fascinating. I lent it to someone, and so no longer have it. I think it is worth buying and reading again.