This link will take you to the Classical Authors page. On it are links for such names as Keats, Milton, Bronte, Blake, Sophocles, Homer, Jackson…”wait a minute,” someone hollers.  “Who?”  “Jackson,” I answer! You mean Shirley Jackson? Yes, Shirley Jackson.

Why on earth would she be on a page listing classical authors. I suppose because if you have ever read her short story, “The Lottery,” you would never again view the world the same. I know I haven’t.

Old Man Warner snorted. “Pack of crazy fools,” he said. “Listening to the young folks, nothing’s good enough for them. Next thing you know, they’ll be wanting to go back to living in caves, nobody work any more, live hat way for a while. Used to be a saying about ‘Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon.’ First thing you know, we’d all be eating stewed chickweed and acorns. There’s always been a lottery,” he added petulantly. “Bad enough to see young Joe Summers up there joking with everybody.”

Ms. Jackson was an American author born in 1916 who died in 1990. As far as I know she was not exceptional with the exception of “The Lottery.” It is one of those events all humans appear to be capable of if they follow their “calling,” and that is at least one thing out of many that is exceptional. Orwell had his “1984,” Nietzsche had “Thus Spake Zarathustra,” and Jackson had “The Lottery.”

My earlier post “Gagdad Bob makes me think” brought to mind Ms. Jackson’s story. The reason it did is because I read a while back an article I can’t find now from an English Professor who used Ms Jackson’s “Lottery,” in every class she taught for 30 years or so, as I recall.

This Professor commented on the fact that when she first began the horror the students felt at someone being stoned to death as a community event. As time passed her classes would giggle or smile and shift nervously in their seats at the idea of a community actually killing someone for picking the wrong number from a box. In the end the Professor retired because she had come to the 70’s which produced as I recall a middle-age nurse taking her course who was exemplar for our culture today. This nurse was asked when learning of the stoning of another human being, what she thought to which she replied “who are we to judge.”

So over time we have progressed from horror at the very idea of stoning a person, to “who are we to judge” even if the action is the stoning of another human or as it should be called human sacrifice. Or what my wife is watching at this moment on Dr. Phil.

Seems Erica’s Dad killed her mom some years ago. Dad is now able to appear on national television to the cheers of Dr. Phil’s audience so that Erica can ask him why he killed her mom.

Well as Erica prepares for that earth shattering event in her life, “we’ll be right back,” says Dr. Phil.  I would to ask “who let a convicted murderer out of prison to roam among us and who aurhorized this animated pond slime to appear on television just when the kiddies are arriving at the front door from school?

Who are we? Are we all insane? Or is the televising of one who has committed human sacrifice by klling Erica’s mom something that we are not to judge?

 I’m just saying…

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