THE ULTIMATE INHUMANITY

There are times when I think that there are two fundamentally different modern species of humans which in some ways are more different from each other than were Cro-Magnons and Neanderthals. 

The two modern species speak languages far more complex than any other species, they are both intelligent life, and even look the same as each other.

One of the modern species is dull/sharp, bungling/ingenious, sensitive/insensitive; the other is…well…for want of a better word…sub-human

I refer to advocates for neglect as a technique to abort a fetus. 

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Barbarism, Alive and Thriving

Physical barbarism

A long time before I lost my innocence, I believed that the advent of the Internet would make it  impossible for genocide to be globally exposed.  The carnage in Ukraine overwhelming proves otherwise. 

There are six basic types of genocide: National, Ethnical, Racial, Religious, ‘Politicide,’ and ‘Classicide,’ (e.g., those last two types of genocide occurred during the French and Russian revolutions.) One genocide, a huge misnomer, was called, The Great Leap Forward, a euphemism for mass murder, which includes ‘war crimes against humanity.’ 

Genocides are usually motivated by land grabs or sheer racist ignorance, even by otherwise fairly intelligent people.

Putin’s justification for genocide, like all justifications for genocides, is totally baseless. For those who know that, no explanation is necessary; for those who do not, no explanation is possible.   

Intellectual Barbarism

I recently saw a clip on television that made my spine tingle with horror. It reminded me of a parallel clip I saw during the Cold War. That clip consisted of Russian university students who laughed at and shouted down their American counterparts as they attempted to describe American values. In retrospect I understand why Russian students unwittingly (and somewhat impolitely) behaved as they did.

However, it recently angered me to watch American university students prevent a politically conservative group of students from expressing their political views by shouting them down. Most of the professors present at that meeting must have been pleased to know that they had taught their students well.  

Unlike their Russian counterparts years ago, the American students derisively and noisily silenced freedom of speech, America’s primary political value. 

For those who perceive the irony of that, no explanation is necessary; for those who do not, no explanation is possible.  

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On television today I saw a young Ukrainian write a message on the screen of a news camera with the permission of a reporter. The message is at once brief, sad, and eloquent: No war…please.

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Coincidence?…I Don’t Think So!

Since the dawn of western theater in ancient Greece there has been the venerable practice of remaking films with exceptional themes, characters or events.  Hollywood is no exception, as demonstrated by the perennial multicolored spotlight on King Kong or Godzilla or Body Snatchers , or A Star is Born (remade within four different decades), and so on.

Most filmremakes retain the theme, characters, and events of their original source. Others, have slightly different titles or characters which are added to or are not included in the original book or film. Other remakes, not necessarily openly announced as such, are radically different than the events and/or famous persons previously chronicled in a film or its original book. Within the span of a miniscule lifetime, we see radically new versions of a previous work, just as the ancient Greek audiences did at those majestic open-air theaters. 

Very Fast Forward

Last night, I watched a film titled, Twice Around the Block, which features Edward G. Robinson. Following, is my ‘take’ on an event that must have occurred during the film’s production phase. It is an event that I’ve never witnessed in any other film I’ve ever seen before.

Twice Around the Bloc

When I’m about to write an article, I check facts as necessary.  In this case, I’ve checked the titles of Mr. Robinson’s film credits which number about a hundred. None of the titles I checked provides me with a clue that might lead me to one of his early films which I saw decades ago.  The film’s title is Twice Around the Bloc. I don’t remember who the actors are in that film; I don’t remember its overall narrative; and of course I don’t remember the dialogue in the original screenplay—EXCEPT for two lines of dialogue, one of which was delivered by Mr. Robinson’s character and the other by another actor.   

What I have remembered through the decades are two lines, spoken while Mr. Robinson’s character is having a heart attack.  It’s important to know that the two characters are fishermen. Hence the reference to a harpoon.

       The Other Character:            What is a heart attack like?

        Mr. Robinson’s Character:   Like a harpoon!

In real time, there are no significant similarities whatever between Twice Around the Block and the much earlier film, whose title I’ve forgotten.  But as the scene progressed, the heart attack scene in the much older film vividly came to mind.  And then, right on cue, the flashback suddenly became a revelation: I was jolted by a kind of time warp when the words spoken on TV precisely merged with those in my head, syllable by syllable, in a sort of anticipated time warp.

Footnote

Last night, I must have been the only viewer of thousands — if not millions  — who was aware that an ‘inside’ bit of dialogue had occurred. 

Given the decades-long timeframe between those two films and my lifespan memory, that dialogue cannot be coincidental.  

And fortunately, when I had a huge heart attack in real life many years after the earlier film, it was not nearly as painful as Mr. Robinson’s metaphor described it. 

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Hyperbole is not an Argument

While surfing the Internet on January 6th, I stumbled upon a group which stood on the steps in front of the classic architecture of the people’s house…with beautiful yellow lanterns in hand. Being a hopeless opera lover, I immediately likened the scene to that of a tragic opera, my favorite art form. 

Somehow, tragedy is beautiful on stage, but not in real life. Painful experiences about that day last January were recounted by members of that group who were directly involved with the violence of that day. Prayers were invoked. And dire warnings about the fragility of democracy were a common theme at that event and, of course, continue to be expressed on both sides of the aisle, the press, and just about everyone else. (But, Ms. Kamala Harris, your over-the-top claim that the White House insurrection is comparable to Pearl Harbor and 9/11?: I don’t think so.)

In a sense which is acquired by those of us who have been around for a very long time, there has been something of a reversal in the overall political image of the Republican and Democratic parties: the former Republican image is becoming ‘gentler,’ the Democratic image, ‘harsher.’ 

Two symbolic examples of those changes come to mind. One of them is the ritual march to the Senate by democrat senators delivering two impeachment articles to the Senate. I happened to watch that march. It smacked of Vatican Excommunication, just short of anathema. The other example is the operatic scene I describe above. 

Hyperbole directed against political adversaries is par for the political course. But lately it has become a not-so-fine art. The over-the-top warnings about another Trump presidency and efforts to make it impossible for him to become a candidate for the presidency a second time are disingenuous at best. 

The invective of political officials and celebrity commentators against Trump to preempt any possibility of his ever running again are the real ‘danger,’ not Mr. Trump himself.  Alleging ‘reasons’ for barring him from becoming a candidate for the next general election is far more ‘dangerous’ than somehow legally deny him the right to run a second time. The voters should make that decision in the pre-election polls, let alone the voting box. Hyperbole should not be the basis for overriding law. 


Quick Quip

Colon Kaepernick:  “Football is like slavery.”

Me:                            “Tell that to Sparticus!”

Mr. Colin Kaepernick,

From a literal as well as figurative great distance, I got a glimpse of your home shown on the Internet. Very impressive…and at $39 million dollars, a bargain! But I don’t think slavery defines your life in any meaningful way.   

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