Wild Things We Are by
(6 Stories)

Prompted By Banned Books

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I had a stormy rant ready on Book Banning. Was going to flaunt The List, the right wing’s No Left Turn In Education’s: URL- https://bwentzel6.wixsite.com/website-7/nlte, that is trying to ban books in our CT schools and around the country.  Then I continued shouting about women’s right to control their own bodies. Who has the right to own a woman’s choice.   A ban to these bans!

"I had a stormy rant ready, but...."

But, whoa. Then this week happened. And another school shooting.

I see that I, too, have my list for banning, for starters–

  • Semi-automatic weapons that massacre the innocent.
    Petro carbons that are killing the planet.
  • Climate harmers, including polluters of air and water and tree-harvesters.
  • And gasoline-powered leaf blowers that pollute air and hearing.
  • Policies that disproportionately impoverish peoples of color on every level-housing,
  • food, education, health, and means to thrive.

Dukes up over these.

We’re in the midst of a terrible war over ideas.
Each side thinks it’s right and protecting Life itself, with losing spelling disaster.
We march, we shout, we boycott, we organize.
Some shoot. (Again, ban those guns.)
We donate. We write. We rant. We gnash and thrash and score high blood pressure and depression lows.
We turn into Wild Things.

(Meanwhile the rich become richer, making money on the above.)
(Meanwhile, vast hoards are indifferent. Change the channel, please.)
(Meanwhile, those living paycheck to paycheck become poorer, just working those three jobs, and going to bed, sometimes hungry.  No energy for the above.)

What’s up, humans?
Do us rabid ones define ourselves these days, and perhaps always, by what we are against?
Is it about money and power?
Subtle and not so subtle classism?
Ego and self-righteousness?
Clannish need to belong to some small group, rather than the larger, overarching sentient being one?
Insecurity? Fear?
The fact that we’re not getting out of here alive?

When I was still directing operas, I had a talented leading lady, who constantly popped personal disasters—a horse that trampled her pet pig’s back hips, so she had to be at Tuft’s Vet hospital for all-night emergency surgery. A house fire during tech week. A husband that she almost tore life from limb when he cheated on her. A child with virulent Lyme’s disease. Exasperated, perhaps unfeeling, I asked her couldn’t she please keep the drama onstage.  She was deeply offended.

We humans have such a taste for stories of drama and disaster. Look at the film industry. And much fiction.  Has life become so easy for so many that we skip the virtual reality and make such warring rumpus in our lives?

Where is the countering yearning for Peace? Beauty? Wisdom?

I think of Max in Where the Wild Things Are.  We can dream dreams, and enjoy the rush, but in the end, can we tame our fearful monsters, shake hands in mutual trust, and peacefully break bread together?

Like most rants, I’m ending a bit off from where I started, unfocused, and exhausted. But there it is. Love this forum.

Profile photo of Lucinda Winslow Lucinda Winslow
Lucinda's past lives thrash in the rearview, among them TV captionist, children's theater director, opera director, spiritual junkie, piano instructor, and other nefarious activities. Now she writes, works for social justice--ending poverty and book banning--while building gardens in Connecticut and New Hampshire.

Visit Author's Website

Characterizations: moving, right on!, well written


  1. Laurie Levy says:

    A very worthy rant, Lucinda. I was with you all the way.

  2. Suzy says:

    Yes, as Laurie says, a worthy rant! Too many nightmarish things happening. How different it could have been – maybe – if Hillary had become President in 2016. There would still be shooters and polluters and haters, but they might not have felt so free to act the way they have.

    I clicked on the URL for that book banning site, but couldn’t stay there, it was too upsetting to see how they were rating those books. I hope in Connecticut, of all places, they don’t gain any traction.

    • It IS gaining traction in CT. This is a Greenwich, CT, Red Organization. Right next door to our city of Stamford, and infecting our BOE by scaring them with ideas of “Groomers” and critical race tainting, making white kids feel bad about themselves because of slavery. In NH, there is a $500 reward to any child who rats on a teacher for talking about critical race ideas.

      I can’t think that seething is good for the system. But now I begin calling the nine senators that receive over a million each from the NRA. Mitt Romney, otherwise neutral, receives $13 million plus.

  3. Marian says:

    Pitch-perfect expression of what we are feeling now, Lucinda. Personally I have “split the difference” between activism and escapism by tutoring a Ukrainian refugee in English. Not a great answer to your probing questions, but the best I can do.

  4. Rant away Lucinda, and may it be cathartic altho you may be preaching to the choir.

    And thanx for that great list of all the things that should be banned before books starting of course with AR 15s.

  5. Betsy Pfau says:

    I fear the Rumpus has begun, Lucinda. Your rant was pitch perfect. We all feel it (as expressed by the comments above). The GOP seem to have identified it long ago as a wedge to use to drive us apart (remember Lee Atwater, who apologized at the end of his life for all his loathsome dirty tricks and falsehoods, once he saw what he’d unleashed). Creating fear of the other/unknown drives us apart; every time!

    • Thanks, Betsy. I am so curious about the NH small town where we have a second home. Getting to know people beyond politics is a worthy project. What do we cherish together? And how do we even begin broaching these conversations, without desire to change someone’s mind–clearly an impossibility.

  6. Khati Hendry says:

    Yes, you are not the only one with urge to rant. There was an interesting article in the Atla tic recently about the role of social media algorithms and AI in accelerating divisions. Finding something positive and tangible in my personal life helps my sanity. Good luck to us all.

    • Thanks for that, Khati. Coming together, as we are doing here, helps. And right now we are visiting our new grandson and family. So proud of the young parents. Gardens, birds, writing, reading. And lobbying for those who need help. These all give me hope, strength and courage enough to offer the same. Thanks for your prompt in that direction.

  7. Dave Ventre says:

    Despair is so easy to fall into, when progress in this country seems to be three steps forward then four back. In any normal nation, the GQP would get maybe 11% of the votes. We are, on average, a bunch of idiots. Not the only one, but damn we have a talent for self-sabotage.

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