Monday, March 26, 2018

Reader's Diary #1773- Manuel Gonzales: Blondie

When someone new moves into our cul-de-sac my wife likes to meet them and welcome them to the court. It's neighbourly and puts everyone off on a good foot, even if I couldn't make such an assertive move if my life depended on it.

Manuel Gonzales's "Blondie" opens with a couple delivering brownies to their new neighbours two houses down. I hope to god that's where the similarities between us and any character in this story end.

They've heard that the new neighbours are neo-Nazis. Still they're showing up with brownies.

Okay... so maybe they're hoping they're not actual neo-Nazis, maybe they've been given faulty intel. Give them the benefit of the doubt and all that. Alas, no, they seem to accept that they're neo-Nazis and go to meet them anyway. Not so they can give them a piece of their mind but because they somehow, in their warped just-as-bad-as-being-actual-neo-Nazis way, decide the new neighbours still can be decent folks. Yes, decent neo-Nazis, as if that could even be a thing!

Gonzales ups the discomfort by playing with this supposedly generic scene, planting horrific images that should be innocuous. A rope hanging from a tree is meant for a swing but...

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