Saturday, July 02, 2005

Denial

I just figured out something about the human condition.

And that is that almost everyone apparently lives their lives in a state of deep denial about the true state of affairs.

I realized this, once again, as a captive treadmill audience to Anderson Cooper of CNN at the gym the other day. He was showing the lurid, grotesque, matter-of-fact confession of the BTK "Bind Torture Kill" serial killer/rapist.

I won't go into the details here, other than to say there is absolutely no argument for not snuffing out this monstrous thing in human form immediately.

Its continued existence impermissible.

Be that as it may, one thing Mr. Cooper pointed out, when going to a segment with an expert, is how shockingly "normal" the demon appeared in real life. Married, two kids. Regular member of the community. And Cooper remarked how so many people were so astonished at his supposed normality.

And then it hit me.

I was like, ok, where have you people been living all your lives?

Is this the first serial killer you ever heard of?

Or is it not so commonly known that they all appear "nice" and "normal" that it's become a cliche to show the neighbors on camera shaking their heads in disbelief?

I mean, once you encounter in your life, say, the 2nd or 3rd time a serial killer pops up in the news, don't you think people would finally "get it", and NOT be so surprised by this fact?

Given not only the headlines from their lives, but what they at least should know about history and its evildoers?

It's like these people immediately go back into a state of denial, a form of mental hibernation, after the case is closed, and are then set up to be surprised over and over, never learning that yes, evil monsters walk among us, ready to kill our entire families, and they look just like you or me.

They seem to be unable to handle the truth.

That fact goes right out the window.

Because otherwise, you know, the only rational thing to do would be to buy a gun and learn how to use it or something like that. And we'd have to be on a semi-constant state of alert. And we'd have to be a bit suspicious of people.

So much easier to just go back to sleep and pretend there's no terrorist threat, as Michael Moore proclaims.

So much easier to just deny reality and enter once again the womb-like bubble of one's immediate and highly artificial modern life, where conveniences and bounties fall like mana from heaven, apparently.

And thus I realized it's exactly the same with recognize the islamic threat. It's just too daunting to face the consequences of realizing there's this death cult of hundreds of millions of people whose culture is so alien to ours that it's hard to comprehend that they don't fundamentally believe all people should be treated with equal consideration. That is, they are the only major belief system (along with the fringe groups of Satanists, for example) that lacks a version of the Golden Rule to treat others with the consideration you'd wish for yourself.

In spite of all the evidence, both textual and historical, as well as what's before their very eyes this very day, they maintain the denial.

As a corollary, we can conclude that most people are also very weak, and don't really think for themselves, but rather simply conform, out of peer pressure, to what they believe are accepted opinion. This effect is probably actually WORSE among the pseudo-sophisticated and people who consider themselves "educated", as they have more to lose by looking "dumb" and are more vulnerable to such charges. So groupthink becomes even more insular.

And once again in that weird blogosphere way, others are talking about denial and the trap of "plausible deniability" that has become the dodge of politicians today. As Belmont Club points out, the WW2 generation had the courage to openly use nuclear weapons, and they were proud of it; today, Belmont suggests, we'd probably get Pakistan to covertly bomb someone for us if we had to use nukes.

Both reference posts are must-reads!

And that's why, I realized, I subconsciously put deliberately and calculatedly provocative statements in my profile at the right, saying, for example, that I support "the militarization of space" and so on. It's an odd thing to say, isn't it? It has a little non-sequitor character to it.

But the reason I say it is precisely because it's the kind of thing that we're expected to NOT say. Even if it's something we need to do, one expects it would proceed covertly, with "plausible deniability" and secrecy.

I reject that approach.

If we mean to do something, we should do it, and stand proudly by it.

So that's why I say it.

This is a no-weasel zone.

As one commenter at Belmont pointed out, we have become effete, and in the days of cavalry, spear, and sword, we'd long have fallen in our decadence to lean and hungry barbarians from the east.

Stop the Denial.

1 Comments:

Anonymous MTLChris said...

I was sorely disappointed that you didn't link to Sleeper for your sleep link ;-)

I suspect a large reason for the denial you suggest is that the solution is certainly daunting, large, and difficult to envision...all of which tend to encourage apathy or procrastination. Certainly having the courage to confront facts and the conviction to act is laudable...getting past the avoidance is the first step. For the record, its a step I find difficult as well.

12:18 PM, July 04, 2005  

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