I read two things yesterday.
I opened the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report on six Catholic dioceses and the evidence of sexual abuse by more than 300 priests dating apparently to the 1950s.
I got through the introduction and the first two priests in the diocese of Allentown.
It wasn’t just the preying pedophilia. It was the craven blaming of victims, the various layers of psychological torment they endured by predators for years trying to deflect blame, and by church officials who rushed to any lie to hide scandal.
Luckily, I’m also reading a book about the beginnings of modern jazz in the 1940s in New York City: The Birth of Bebop, by music historian Scott DeVeaux.
I found refuge there.
DeVeaux chronicles all that went into creating modern jazz out of the bustling swing-jazz era. I was in the part of the book that focuses on the jazz scene that formed around the late-night/early morning jam sessions at the many clubs around New York in the 1940s.
I’ve been reading it because I’m a long-time fan of jazz – I wrote my senior history thesis on this very period and topic. But also because I’m interested in how “scenes” are created. Places where people come together with similar interests and through intense competition and collaboration over time they create something new and unexpected and change the culture.