The Final Correction (Condition #3) – Alex Birri – #blogtour

I’m thrilled to be on the blog tour today for The Final Correction (Condition #3), written by Alec Birri and published by Matador. Also, many thanks to Bookollective for organising the blog tour.

What if all brain disorders were treatable? No one would lament the passing of dementia or autism, but what if the twisted mind of a sex-offender or murderer could be cured too? Or how about a terrorist or maybe a political extremist? What if we could all be ‘corrected’? So, Professor Savage has been unmasked as the monster Alex Salib always knew he was. But what was their agreement and why is she still determined to see it through? The war on terror appears to be back on track but why does President Kalten seem hell bent on ramping it up. Are the Americans seriously intent on starting World War Three? And what of the treatment itself? Despite Savage’s arrest, the corrections go on but to what end?

Alec Birri served thirty years with the UK Armed Forces. He commanded an operational unit that specialised in new military capabilities classified at the highest level (Top Secret Strap 3) and it is this experience that forms the basis of his novels.

Although semi-autobiographical, for national security and personal liberty reasons, the events and individuals portrayed have to be fiction, but are still nonetheless in keeping with his experiences.

Dunkirk is the very embodiment of a life lived less ordinary

What is it about human nature that, despite glaring dangers, makes people do the very opposite of what common sense says we should? A few years ago, I was one of thirty soldiers who watched a helicopter crash in the middle of a minefield.  The potential for devastation was, well, helicopter hitting a minefield size  – yet some of the guys were up and running towards it before the machine had even hit the ground. So, what makes a person leap a razor-wire fence marked ‘mines’ knowing full well their next step, if not their last, might well end in consequences euphemistically termed as ‘life changing’?

History is riddled with accounts of humans doing seemingly foolhardy things for the greater good and Dunkirk must rank as one of the most audacious. I’m not a fan of war movies in general (I understand why commerce must take precedence over historical accuracy, but as a military man it’s still annoying) and Christopher Nolan’s film is no different. I am willing to forgive it though, mainly because it accurately portrays that most basic and powerful of instincts – survival.  The movie is a tour-de-force when it comes to recounting an example of our need to overcome adversity – at all costs and no matter what the odds against may be.

I don’t mean to philosophise on the meaning of life but a wish to live long enough to achieve a purpose must rank up there somewhere and you don’t have to look far to find evidence of it – try concreting over that pesky weed in your driveway and see what comes back up a few days later. Not just plants – animals too. You might be content with seeing a caged lion, but I can guarantee escaping its confines is probably the creature’s chief concern and just long enough to find a lioness to achieve its next – procreation. After it’s eaten you of course, but then, just before you breathe your last, you can at least take pride in having played an important part in life’s great cycle – eat, sleep, f**k, repeat, survive.  It’s on all our minds.

The standout performance in Dunkirk is Mark Rylance. Not so much his acting, but the character he plays – an ordinary person called upon to do an extraordinary thing. When the call came, he and hundreds of others didn’t need to think twice, they put their tiny boats to sea and sailed into a war zone. Not to fight, but to rescue four-hundred-thousand allied soldiers stranded on a French beach. It might be a soldier’s job to put his life at risk, but with no military training, knowledge, fitness, and in many cases, not even youth on their side, ordinary men sailed to rescue the British Army and succeeded. Quite remarkable.

So, the next time you find yourself scratching your head in exasperation at your son or daughter’s lack of imagination, drive, or determination, just remember that evolution has ensured the ‘Dunkirk Spirit’ still resides somewhere deep within. It just needs a life-changing event to release it.

My advice? Take them to the zoo.

Website: click here


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