Make sure you’re comfy, this is a long one… (that’s what she said / as the actress said to the bishop…) – sorry, couldn’t help myself 🙂
So, it’s been a busy few days in the land that is America.
Let’s kick off by talking about….
I am still fascinated by American politics. I love the buzz of it, the co-ordination, the passion, the speeches, the trays of Dunkin’ Donuts, the fans and supporters, the music playing when people get up to talk, the way the politicians high-five the crowd as they work their way through to the upbeat sounds of the Jackson Five.
So I went shooting with my cop buddy. It rocked. My knowledge of guns was ZERO, and now I think I understand and respect guns. Shooting at targets in a controlled environment….it’s fun! Pistols are so much heavier than they look and the kick back is fierce when the bullet comes out. The rifle, for me, was more intriguing, having to line up the target through the viewer and I was more successful at this. ‘Not bad for a rookie,’ came the response on my first attempt.
We discussed guns and their role in society. Being British and not having them in my life at all, I began to understand the controls around them, the licenses and the safety measures. It became clear through our discussions that much of the tragedy and subsequent discourse and issue around guns is based on fear of them. I guess I am inclined to believe that it’s the people behind the guns that are the killers since the gun is, as explained to me, ‘an inanimate object’. It’s the person who pulls the trigger….. still, there will always be opposing views on guns and the role they play in society.
Last night we attended the charity event Vintage Affair for Voices for Children. This is basically wine tasting for a great cause.
Columbia is a small town – there were so many faces I recognised from the pools, the gym, the school playground. But that’s a good thing because it made me realise how tight and supportive this community is.
The wine was good and the company excellent…..in fact, I think the wine was rather too good….my other half mumbled something about ordering a whole case of wine at some point in the evening. 😉
There was also a silent auction, which he was confused about. ‘I thought it was just like normal bidding in an auction, except you don’t say anything,’ he said. Again, a little too much wine tasting, me thinks.
The prison debate
So, today I talked to one of my co-writers at the Baltimore Post Examiner about my intention to write a journalistic piece on a prisoner and the prison system in the USA and we came up with an alternative idea, which may appease some of you who expressed concern.
Because the idea behind the piece is to talk predominantly about U.S prisons, find out how they operate and what leads someone into criminal behaviour, to look at the rehabilitation process and how they come out the other side, the focus is now going to be on someone who has done that.
So, I’ll be talking to an ex-offender, someone who has been through it and reformed, someone who is now a motivational speaker to inspire others into rehabilitation and who can tell their story and explain about prisons and what happens in them.
It will be fascinating. Watch this space.
Baltimore Post Examiner
I love writing for this online newspaper. We get to write about all sorts of stuff – there are really no limitations. Our editor explained to us today that the online version will be available in two languages shortly.
‘But it already is,’ declared my writer chum. ‘We have American English and Claire’s British English.’
It’s true. I think sometimes my Britishisms are a headache for my editor, but he gets it – we do speak such different languages sometimes!