Returning guest blogger Sunny Frazier, whose first novel in the Christy Bristol Astrology Mysteries, Fools Rush In, received the Best Novel Award from Public Safety Writers Association, is here today to talk about walls and the part they have played in history.
The third Christy Bristol Astrology Mystery, A Snitch in Time, was released on January 24, 2015.
Dear Mr. Trump (may I call you The Donald?),
You’ve stated you can build a taller wall, a better wall to separate us from our Southern neighbors. I believe this is true. You have the money, the resources and the pull to do it. However, I would like to point out examples of incredible and historical walls in the past.
The Chinese started building the Great Wall of China in the 7th century BC. It’s 13,171 miles long. Built out of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood and other stuff, its purpose was to stop raids and invasions, control trade and immigration. However, the Mongols raided regularly and the Ming Dynasty spent an awful lot of yen to repair and reinforce the wall. Finally the Manchus penetrated and the jig was up.
The building of Hadrian’s Wall (aka the Roman Wall, Picts’ Wall and Vallum Hadriani) began in 122 AD. It was a defensive fortification built of a stone base and walls, limestone, timber and earth. But, it had very cool turrets and a fort about every 5 miles. It was 73 miles long, 9.8 feet wide and 16 to 20 feet high. People think it was on the border of Scotland, but it was all in Britain. It was meant to “keep intact” the Roman empire and separate the Romans from immigration of those undesirable barbarians—you know, the kind that rape and kill. It was also there to make a political point and show how powerful Rome was. In the end, Rome fell and nobody much cared about H.’s wall anymore.
Now, the Berlin Wall (aka Wall of Shame) is very fresh in our collective memories. East Germany, with Soviet backing, thought a wall was just the thing to divide the city. I was 10 yrs old when it went up (1961) and 38 when it came down. It was 124 miles long and built with barbed wire, concrete wall, chain fencing, minefields, dog patrols, beds of nails and a no-man’s-land so escapees could be easy targets. The idea was to protect people from fascist elements, but really it was to prevent massive emigration and defection to freedom. Nevertheless, about 5,000 people attempted to escape over the wall and tunnels under it, resulting in a death toll of around 200. The people who made it to West Germany were young and smart, leading to a “brain drain” in the east. The communists called it “an act of political and moral depravity.” East Germany lost engineers, technicians, physicians, teachers, lawyers and skilled workers. Hard to run a country without those types. And then Reagan paid a visit in 1987 and said, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” So, Gorbachev did.
The Ice Wall in Game of Thrones was built over 8,000 years prior where the book starts. Brandon the Builder built it out of ice. It’s over 700 ft. high, 300 miles long and separates the 7 Kingdoms from the wildlings and Others. Wide enough for a dozen mounted knights to ride abreast, it’s even thicker at the base. It’s guarded by the Sworn Brothers of the Night’s Watch as well as ancient spells and sorcery (reportedly). But, you know, help is hard to find, especially if the qualifications are to give up women and service for life. So the wall has seen better days. And winter is coming.
You see, Don, all the best walls have eventually been breached. It’s the nature of a wall. Whatever it’s meant to keep out or hold in just won’t cooperate. Walls are meant to be overcome and conquered. It never ends well and just costs a lot of money. There are better ways to solve problems then hide them behind a wall.
That’s the history lesson I wanted to impart.
Sincerely, Sunny Frazier
P.S. You are an idiot.