Wal­rus Reads

The Walrus - - CONTENTS - by Dae­mon Fair­less

Books by Dae­mon Fair­less, Paige Cooper, and Aida Ede­mariam

men are vi­o­lent. In Mad Blood Stir­ring, for­mer CBC Ra­dio pro­ducer Dae­mon Fair­less sets out to dis­cover why. He spends time with MMA fight­ers, soc­cer fans, rapists, and a se­rial killer, and he wades through na­ture and nur­ture the­o­ries on why male vi­o­lence has been a con­stant thread through­out his­tory. But Fair­less’s jour­ney is also a per­sonal one. “There is a part of me that craves vi­o­lence. Or if not craves it, weirdly gets off on it,” he ad­mits early on. He un­packs the giddy joy he felt af­ter hurt­ing a rob­ber and de­scribes how he once left his in­fant daugh­ter unat­tended in a store af­ter get­ting swept up try­ing to pick a fight with a bully. This level of emo­tional hon­esty can feel like a shock: “We’re touchy about vi­o­lence the way Vic­to­rian so­ci­ety was touchy about sex,” he writes. But as Fair­less’s self-ex­am­i­na­tion shows, com­plex vi­o­lent urges, both in­nate and learned, can only be tamed once they are un­der­stood.

— Daniel Vi­ola

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