When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it. – Frederic Bastiat
Life happens, and mine has been busy. I could be blogging about all that’s going on, but frankly I’m not in the mood.
I did share a bit a couple of months back, but haven’t felt the need to blab much lately. Yes, on a personal level life is grand; it’s in general, which includes everyone else (those not within my sphere, or spinning away over on the periphery) that has me hunkering down here on PP and instead popping off regularly in 140 characters like screaming goats at a curry protest.
It’s Trump. Of course it’s Trump! But, then again, it’s so much more than SoCalledPOTUS Tangerine Skidmark Shit-Gibbon. He is vile, and that’s for sure. He’s also insane, stupid, glaringly shallow, ugly, insipid, avaricious, acquisitive, covetous, grasping, materialistic, mercenary, self-indulgent, self-aggrandizing, self- possessed, and … OH! … how I could go on, but a rather new, yet keen awareness of how quickly 140 characters flow by has tempered my use of descriptive adjectives. (You’re welcome.)
So actually it isn’t Trump that set me to raising my hand and my voice and my hackles in outrage at the world we live in now. Nope. It’s the people who allowed this blathering turd to take charge of the United States of America. Voted for him? You are complicit. Vote 3rd party? You are complicit. Didn’t bother to vote? You are complicit. Work in news or any sort of communication or information providing, yet did not bother to drag him down? You are complicit. GOP party faithful letting him slide? You are complicit. Politician of any stripe covering your own ass? You are complicit.
Yep. Anyone who is pulling a punch is helping the setup that has set us ALL up.
As a student of history, and now old enough to have a slice of it under my belt, perspective might have a chance of offering some comfort … if anything like this had ever happened in my lifetime.
But it hasn’t, so when my 30-something friend was disheartened and desperate and terrified of a future that no longer seemed assured to be at least reasonably reasonable asked, “Is this what it felt like back in the ’60s and ’70s?”, I was forced to pull that tiny shred of hopeful rug out from under his feet and admit that, no, putting an end to the Vietnam War and removing Richard Nixon from the Oval Office was NOTHING like what is going on today.
… while watching archival footage of the Senate grilling former White House Counsel John Dean in the Watergate Hearings, he had “a realization that made me sad, about something being lost having to do with our country.”
Continued Redford: “What I saw was the panel was made up precisely of both sides, both Democrats and Republicans, all acting as one, trying to get to the truth, and that hit me like a ton of bricks when I revisited. I said, ‘Oh, so there was a time.’
So … not in my time, and not in my place, which is NOT to say this hadn’t happened before.
Cue the DVD of the 1959 film “The Diary of Anne Frank“.
WWII ended in Europe with the unconditional surrender of Germany in May 1945, so 14 years before the release of this film, and I was I was eight-years-old when the movie came out.
I’d read Anne’s book before seeing the film and been deeply touched and totally terrified by the knowledge that something as horrible as the holocaust not only could happen, but DID happen in a place not long ago and not all that far away, so the movie served to underline the fact that humanity was not to be trusted.
I watched the film again this afternoon. Everyone should watch it. Everyone’s kids children should watch it. Everyone should hear the sound of jackboots pounding the pavement just outside the hiding place of two families while the knowledge that the 13-year-old girl portrayed died in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp along with her mother and sister and thousands of others because … well … Jewish.
It is fact that more than 6 million people were killed because other people lined up behind a lunatic and his insane hatred. They turned their backs to blatant bigotry, let stupidity run rampant, clucked sympathetically when losers laid blame by color or status or favored books, let their attention be diverted by cheap and trivial shiny things, and allowed themselves to be amused through various versions of perceived intellectual superiority to the idiot shouting catch phrases ad nauseam.
And here we are again.
Who made up the Gestapo? The SS? Commanded the death camps? Turned in their neighbors? Were those we now see as a hideously evil faction within the Third Reich somehow manufactured for the events?
Of course not. They were neighbors and school chums, buddies from church and the PTA, the harmless nutcase next door, the crazy uncle who creates trouble every holiday. And they didn’t do it just for the hats or the boots or the preferred parking, although all those things did convey a sense of being somehow special.
They gassed children, raped and killed, stole every bit of everything from anyone who fit the profile because it made them feel good about themselves. They suddenly belonged and life had meaning. Well, THEIR lives had meaning.
This massive festering blight on the history of our species did not begin with gas chambers, but with lies and diversions and divisions and insanity that it was not polite or profitable to address.
This is the world we live in now.