September 10, 2004

Addendum

I didn’t do such a good job with the "They Were Expendable" post. I realize now that I was being disingenuous. I was attributing ideas to the big bad Republicans that I have thought myself. The truth is we are all expendable in a certain way. People die everyday and it seems to have very little effect. A tragedy can happen and we are sad and angry for a moment but then two days later we have to go back to our lives--paying the bills, personal concerns, and so on. I don’t know if this is a product of short-attention-span or it’s human. The empathy surrounding 9-11 seemed to last the longest of all but faded after around six months--I remember people throwing beer bottles at referees at a Cleveland Browns' football game. To me that signaled the end.

There is not nearly enough public outcry about the tragedy in Russia. If it doesn’t affect us directly, we just don’t think about it. Right now, Americans are mostly thinking about hurricanes and the election. This is not all cynical, however. Something like the Russian story is so tragically sad that you just can’t spend all your time thinking about it or it will be debilitating--you have to move on.

But still, it shows that people can die and it won’t be much of an issue. Every day we hear about bad things happening to other people, and every day we think about it briefly and go on with our lives. Humans adapt to both the environment and to ideas. Discarding certain kinds of information cannot be healthy. It contributes to the sense that people can be discarded as well. My whole paranoia about those in power is that they see people much the way most of us do. We hear about 1000 dead in Iraq and some people protest, the families are deeply sad, but most probably see it is a vaguely sad number.

I am not all righteous indignation about the Republican party. I am a committed misanthrope myself. I find many people annoying and disappointing. Perhaps I shouldn’t worry so much about what’s wrong with other people. How am I supposed to be empathetic for people’s sorrow but not annoyed at their failings? This might be the definition of benevolence, which I don’t possess. It’s not as if I think people deserve to die, but I do think some people have not earned the right to live. I’ve got to get off this topic. It’s more than a little depressing.

2 comments:

darling maggot said...

don't have to apologize for the they were expendable post--of course we're all expendable. ask the prez--1000 dudes have been expended over in aye-raq, already. and he'll expend however many more it'll take to win this oil war.

as for the russian tragedy, i hope the irony was not lost on the right half of this country when ol' w advised them to use "diplomacy" in approaching the matter.

Anonymous said...

it's hard sometimes, to write something, then have to apologise for it.

xo. war.

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