Many years ago, I read that T.S. Eliot wouldn’t read Flannery O’Connor’s fiction because he found the violence too unsettling. The idea of avoiding a mode of entertaining for such a reason had never occurred to me (in my arrogance, I probably figured nothing could affect me), but I figured that if a man of Eliot’s caliber would eschew a writer as tame (by today’s standards) as O’Connor, I should at least consider it.
I started looking at my state of mind following horror flicks and intensely violent films (“Natural Born Killers” was the movie I remember using as a test), and decided Eliot was right. Since then, I’ve done a decent job of avoiding things that revolve around pain and horror, but this list at Listverse yesterday drew me in. 10 Crazy Facts About Charles Manson. It’s fascinating, and after you get past the first paragraph, it’s not too-terribly graphic. Excerpt:
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Charlie didn’t even much care for the Beatles. He was older than most of his followers and stated in several interviews that he, like other members of his generation, preferred Bing Crosby, Perry Como, and cowboy balladeers like Frankie Laine.
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