Okay, so I must confess: my HOMELAND marathon gave me nightmares. Just awful. I'm not one to worry about dreams, but this gave me pause and forced me to consider the rising level of violence in our entertainment.

By that, I mean myself, as well. I'm not one to shy away from a bit of blood and gore in a good mystery or western. However, I'm rethinking my stance. I've always said that if the story needs it, then the story gets it. Yeah but . . .

Television long ago crossed societal boundaries on sexual content, and it's becoming clear to me that the violence level was left in the dust without my noticing its departure. I couldn't watch WALKING DEAD the first season because of the constant bombardment of guts and brains. Or what was left of them. Don't get me started on BONES. Peeling faces from  skulls? Really? And now HL. Great writing and acting aren't enough, I fear, to get myself past the bullets and torture. I'm wimping out in my old age.

I now understand the attraction of the Jessica Mitford books. Personally, I find them very slow and not terribly interesting,  but I can see how they're a respite, a shift back to a simpler time, a gentler people. Why has Jane Austen  persevered with constant popularity? Her witty repartee, her droll take on stuffy characters, a lancet-like dissection of the manners of her time, still sparkle. And there's nary a drop of blood on any page.

There's a book, a movie, a TV show for every taste level and sensitivity. Mine has shifted, and I'm staying away from the bloody, the ugly, the sick and twisted.  I need a good night's sleep.