Saturday, May 4, 2013
Review: Machete Season
This was something I picked up on Rory Miller's recommendation. It's been a bit since I finished reading, so a lot of the details are fuzzy in my mind, but I will do my best here.
Machete Season is, essentially, a series of interviews with a group of men who participated in the Rwandan Genocide...as the killers. These were men who woke up each day to go out and use their machetes to hack men, women, and children to death. If that rather straightforward description makes you cringe, this book may not be for you...it's just as straightforward, and sometimes more so. This not light or easy reading.
It is, however, valuable reading. If you have ever asked yourself "how could people do this?" or "why would people participate in this kind of mass murder", this book goes some distance towards answering those questions. They aren't always pleasant answers, but they are answers.
For martial artists or self-defense instructors, this book offers some potent insights into a particular type of violence. While it's easy to imagine that most of the people reading this blog will never face a full-blown genocide, it's still possible to be caught up in some kind of "us vs. them" conflict, even on a small scale. If nothing else, this a potent reminder that it is possible for the guy next door to turn out to be (or turn into) a cold-blood killer with the right motivation.
Worth reading, for just about anyone, really.