Book Notes: Nancy Rommelmann’s To the Bridge

Imagine that a father threw his small children in the river to spite his ex-wife for leaving him and for winning custody. Would it occur to anybody to write a book blaming the ex-wife? Suggesting that she drove him to it because she nagged him to quit drinking and get a job and criticized his cooking? It doesn’t sound likely.

If roles are reversed, however, and it’s the wife who kills the kids to spite the husband, it is somehow perfectly ok to blame it on the nagging ex. It’s still impossible for way too many folks to accept that women have agency and can be vile shits of their own free will and not because some guy drove them to it.

Nancy Rommelmann wasted a crapload of time trying to construct a narrative of how Amanda Stott-Smith killed one of her children and almost killed another because she was a poor innocent victim of a nagging husband.

I don’t approve of nagging. I’m actually completely opposed to it. But no amount of marital bickering justifies murdering kids.

I have no idea why it’s so hard for some people to accept that there are women who do horrible things not because they are abused or made to do it but because they are bad, shitty people.

Another observation I have about the book is that these Stott-Smiths are not poor miserable bastards who grew up in a hut and never had a chance to find out how to take care of the basic aspects of civilized life. These are folks who inherit hundreds of thousands in stocks, have relatives who pay for their college and provide rent for years, etc. Yet they seem utterly unaware of small things like kids needing to be fed regularly or not throwing empty pizza boxes on the floor and leaving them there for months. It’s like they were not socialized into adulthood at all even though their parents are well-to-do, respectable, and not addicted.

It’s strange to see this degree of dysfunction (which eventually leads to drug addiction, alcoholism, and throwing kids into a river) in people who don’t come from any sort of hardship.

In short, it’s a creepy true crime book about creepy people written by a creepy author.

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People Are Weird

One of my Donbassian cousins has a business. Since consumer goods and pretty much all food are scarce in the Donbass, she takes orders for goods and food items online, crosses the front lines into Ukraine, buys what she needs, and resells it in the Donbass for a premium.

To make matters worse, she crosses the front lines with her two small children. Just think about it. Dragging a toddler and a kindergarten-age kid around in such a dangerous area, roughing it out in the fields sometimes – it all sounds completely deranged to me.

None of this is an act of desperation or necessity. The whole family has been begging her to leave the war zone since the war started. Last week, the leader of the so-called People’s Republic of Donetsk was blown up into pieces half a mile from where my cousins are. It’s a bad, sad, and dangerous place.

But. . . she loves it there. Her husband loves it there. The other cousin and her husband, ditto. They have no particular political position. They are just happy with life.

Meanwhile in Canada

My mother lives in Montreal. She’s been feeling very sick this past week. Excruciating pain. The doctor can’t see her until September 21, though. So she’s left to self-medicate, which she is doing without a great degree of success.

This is not an exception. It’s always like this. This what the “free” Canadian healthcare looks like.

In the meanwhile, I can see my doctor in under 30 minutes.

My effective tax rate is 18%. My sister’s in Canada is 48%. My father is retired but he works more than I do because it’s impossible to live on retirement. What do you think he’s doing today, on Labor Day? Working.

So excuse me for not wanting to live in a system where I have to shell out 48% in taxes for the wonderful privilege of maybe being able to see a doctor a month into an illness. And then wait two months for tests. And another six weeks after that for a follow-up appointment. And so on.

This is the so-called Canadian socialism that we are all supposed to want to emulate. Retirees working on and on and not even able to see a doctor.