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Showing posts from August, 2015

HUMAN RUBBISH?

The way that over 70 refugees from Syria - children, women, and men - have been found, suffocated to death, in an abandoned lorry (truck) in Austria, can only recall such horrors as the Nazi period, when Jews were some times killed in a similar way by the SS.  The horror this time is that, seemingly devoid of any ideology of hate, these human traffickers simply seem to have carelessly wired the unventilated back shut and killed their cargo for no other reason than indifference or clumsiness. What remains - hardly new but still never acceptable in human history - is the idea that some lives do not matter as much as others. The sense that some humans are no more than rubbish, to be treated callously, whose lives do not matter, are not precious, should not be preserved.  If there is any ethical or religious position that states otherwise, so be it, but it seems to me that the finally most vital rule of conduct must be to always keep aware of how every one else - every human person - is eq…

TRUE DETECTIVE 2 WAS A MASTERWORK

I will not go into the roll call of A-list names who wrote, directed, and acted in, True Detective Season 2, except to say that the 8-part film noir cop drama set in the 21st century recently aired to mainly hostile, at times hectoring reviews. These can be divided into two categories - those that pined for the brilliant Season 1, and those that found Season 2 poor in its own right.  We can dispense with the first easily - you cannot claim Lear is not Hamlet and act all sad.  This is a new work.  Move on.

The second complaint was nuanced, but mainly revolved around the themes and structure of the new season - that it lacked drama, interesting character dynamics, that the dialogue was artificial, stilted and sometimes absurd, and that the finale lacked punch. The kindest words suggested it was High Camp - so bad it was good, a romping mess.
I beg to disagree.  This season was a complete dramatic work of Intertextual accomplishment - a very mature Tradition and the Individual Talent momen…

INHUMANITY

This blog has often over the past ten years grappled with issues of evil, and today reminds us that the human being is capable of atrocities that no animal could imagine.

Indeed, Greene's famous dictum that evil is a failure of the imagination is clever but sadly false - as is the idea that a lack of empathy is to blame - indeed, the deepest forms of evil require both imagination and empathy, in order to be executed with fully diabolical impact.  You cannot prudently hurt a creature you do not understand, except by accident.

70 years ago, the war against Japan ended. We have been reminded that during that war, among other barbarisms, Japanese medical doctors performed vivisection for medical students on Allied prisoners of war.  Human Vivisection is the worst crime imaginable - it is surgically altering a living sentient being for experimental purposes. I cannot describe these wretched and utterly degrading surgeries here properly, but medical students were forced to watch prisoners…