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Thursday, June 3, 2004

Back to hatred

I was going to post today about various lighthearted things today but I've been in a bleak mood since I read this It's a contest to find the most vicious, horrible things posted on some right wing website, and indeed most of the offerings are pretty horrible but the most beyond belief one was the one about Rachel Corrie. I really, honestly don't take a side in the whole Arab/Palestinian thing. Mercutio said it best, a pox on both their houses. Or maybe it was the Mad Hatter, "We're all mad here." God's chosen holy land is nothing but a realm for the criminally insane. Those are among the words that come to mind about a person who will strap explosives to his chest and walk into a cafe or board a schoolbus. But the manner the Israeli government chooses to respond to such atrocites is no less absurd and nihilistic. What they do is, they determine what village the perpetrator of the crime came from, and they send the army in with bulldozers to destroy said village. Rachel Corrie famously stood in front of these bulldozers and she was killed. She immediately became a martyr to the Left, particularly the far Left, and a figure of venemous backlash from the hardcore Zionist Right. The Israeli government maintained it was an accident of course, they didn't see her, they simultaneoulsy maintained that they made every effort to get her out of the bulldozer's path. Both couldn't be true and I suspect neither was.

Here's the thing, Corrie's story was pretty affective to me because she was two years younger than me. She could easily have been someone I knew, but I'm not saying I necessarily agreed with her politics. I think she was a little naive, and a little too Marxist for my taste. And I don't think what she did was a good thing. I'm of the unromantic school of thought that throwing your life away for a political cause is more stupid than noble. Some of my more idealistic friends and I have gotten into spirited debates on the topic. Really, honestly nine times out of ten, it's better to be a live coward than a dead hero. That's the biggest reason why Rachel Corrie and I are in fact, very different. I couldn't and wouldn't do what she did, and I don't agree with it. But I REALLY disagree with what the soldier in the bulldozer did. Of course, he is a free man today.

I usually shrug off the zillions of injustices in the world but today I read on that website that some guy actually organized a movement to buy pizzas for Israeli soldiers on the anniversary of her death. Pizzas. Get it?

I'm ashamed of my skin because it's made out of the same types of cells as that guy's.

I asked my friend Jacob at work what he thought of that. He said he heard of a theory that suggests a Darwinian reason for violence, but not the usual the strongest will survive theory, but one that suggests we fight and kill each other so that our ideas will prevail. Related to meme theory, you know, ideas are viruses? If we wipe out those who believe differently than ourselves, our beliefs will prevail in the ensuing generations. It's a wonder than, that the ideas of peace and tolerance exist at all. They're not terribly competitive, in an evolutionary scheme are they? Or maybe it's us cowards who get to pass them on.

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