Thursday, 13 December 2018

"Backward Glances" by ...


I'm honoured to glean the following words written and spoken by one of Canada's gifted writers and financiers after a lengthy ordeal. Perhaps, you will recognize of whom I speak:


"...there are a few things that need to be said. The prosecutors have never ceased to accuse me of being defiant of the law, of disrespecting the courts, and of being an antagonistic critic of the American justice system. Nothing could be further from the truth. [...]

Mark Twain famously said that 'a lie gets half way around the world before the truth gets its trousers on.' [...]"
"I never ask for mercy and seek no one's sympathy. I would never, as was once needlessly feared in this court, be a fugitive from justice in this country, only a seeker of it. It is now too late to ask for justice. But with undimmed respect for this country, this court, and if I may say so, for you personally, I do ask you to avoid injustice, which it is in now in your gift to do. I apologize for the length of my remarks, and thank you for hearing me out. You're Honour."
"I recall with particular pleasure when the metal rod from which my father was launching May 24 rockets slipped and the already lighted rocket took off almost horizontally and went through a neighbour's window, buzzed about the walls emitting small flames and erupted spectacularly over about ten blazing seconds. After another ten seconds, as my father expressed the hope there had been no one in the room, an ancient grey head festooned with curlers and still sizzling sparks appeared, shaky but purposeful, and emitting an unholy rage. She shook her fists, screamed a few epithets, and receded, like a geriatric cuckoo-clock bird, slamming the window and pulling closed the curtains, as we were all splitting our sides with unhoped-for holiday mirth." [This is from CB's essay Why We Honour Queen Victoria may 23, 2015.] (For me there is something special about his sentence structure and colourful language that lights up a page like no other.)

The above three paragraphs are a sampling of 727 pages of Conrad Blackian prose delivered to his readers: "As this is a collection of columns and essays already written..."
He selected these writings and republished them in 2016 in "Backward Glances" which I found online in The Port Credit Library system.
I've read: "Render unto Caesar: The Life and Legacy of Maurice Duplessis"
                "Franklin Delano Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom"
                "A Matter of Principle"
written by Conrad Black and I have his latest; "Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other" on the to-do list which will be his take on POTUS #45. I'm marginally aware that Black feels Trump can do much to improve his country despite the lack of finesse and skills that he brings to his affairs.
By the way: "Judge St. Eve sharply reduced the sentence, warmly commended me on my success as a prisoner, and concluded, 'The court wishes you well, Mr. Black.'"

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