Drifting With Boys And Bikini Clad Motorcyclists

Red Review- Drift by Rachel Maddow

There are things that have occurred during the course of my life that I have little to no knowledge about.  For example.
This, apparently, is Grenada.  The United States invaded Grenada in 1983.  I know very little about this invasion, or about Grenada in general.  The most I know about Grenada is the reference made to it in Die Hard 2.
This, apparently, is Nicaragua.  In 1986 a controversy erupted about the funding of rebels in Nicaragua, referred to as Contras, with money earned from weapon sales to Iran.  The previous sentence represents all of my knowledge of the Iran-Contra scandal.  All other knowledge of Contras in my mind can be summed up by the following: Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start.
This, apparently, is Serbia.  In the late eighties and early nineties, a series of conflicts broke out that the United States got involved in.  The small knowledge I have about this conflict was delivered to me by the classroom news service Channel 1.  The thing that sticks out most in my mind about Channel 1 is Lisa Ling.
These three incidents exists as a hold in my knowledge of things that occurred during my life.  You could argue that this lack of knowledge is because of bias in the media, ignorance on my part, the effect defunding of public schools has on the teaching of history, or many other factors.  The fact is that I didn't know a lot about these situations.  That is untill I read Drift by Rachel Maddow.
Rachel Maddow's aim with Drift was to show how the American mindset about the military has changed throughout history, particularly the 20th century.  To this end, she details several military and congressional conflicts and points out the impacts these conflicts had on the way America handles it's military.  Grenada is an example of how congressional oversight has changed.  Iran-Contra is the beginning of the privatization of the military's functions.  The Balkans shows how further privatization has caused the actions of the military to have a lesser and lesser effect on the civilian populace.
The United States military has undergone a monumental change in the 20th Century.  This is a change that is not made in a way that is giant and blatant.  Rather this change was made incrementally in a way that is almost unnoticed.  Drift shows how that change was made, every large and small step on the way.
Drift by Rachel Maddow: Recommended

Red Review-  Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks

There's a dilemma that I have as a writer.  It's something that every writer encounters, something some deal with better than others.  There is a difference between the way that things happen in real life and the way that people like to be entertained.  The conflict comes when you want to make something realistic but also entertaining.  Friends With Boys encounters this dilemma.

There are things that are brought up in the course of Friends With Boys that are never really resolved.  These are things that people deal with in their lives, things they deal with in more time than takes place in this graphic novel.  However, these are things that scream out for a resolution.  These are things that if the person dealing with them do not resolve, the lack of a resolution nags at the person in ways that affect them in other ways.

Friends With Boys brings up a number of conflicts, deals with several of them, but leaves several more unresolved.  These are things that would nag at a person, but also nags at me as a reader.  I want to see resolution of these things, I can imagine how I would deal with these things, both as a person and as a writer.  Friends With Boys feels like the first part of a long term piece.  It is my honest hope that this is not the end of the tale of Maggie McKay.
Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks:  Recommended

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