Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Death Euphoria

By 1865 the American South hated Abraham Lincoln no less than Americans hated the late, Osama Bin Laden. Several hundred thousands of their sons had perished, their farms had been plundered and their cities razed. They had been starved, humiliated and all but beaten. Lincoln wore the face of their oppressor.

Many Southerners rejoiced when word of President Lincoln's assassination reached them. One of the revelers, John S. Wise, later wrote, "...among the thoughtless, the desperate, and the ignorant, it was hailed as a sort of retributive justice. In maturer years I have been ashamed of what I felt and said of that awful calamity." Beware of People Weeping; Public Opinion and the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Reed Turner, p.97

If a madman were to burn down an orphanage, what sort of person would howl with delight at finding the madman's corpse amid the piles of small, charred bodies? Bin Laden murdered three thousand. Manipulation of the fear and hatred for his misdeed was used to kill upwards of a hundred thousand; and counting. Bin Laden may have struck the match, but a legion of madmen of every stripe rushed in to light their torches from it. Placed head to toe, the resulting line of corpses would extend for one-hundred miles. What possible cheer could come from lengthening that line by six feet - even by six notorious feet - now that the orphanage has been burned to the ground? 

"For Christmas that year, Julian gave Sissy a miniature Tyrolean village. The craftsmanship was remarkable. There was a tiny cathedral whose stained-glass windows made fruit salad of sunlight. There was a plaza and ein Biergarten. The Biergarten got quite noisy on Saturday nights. There was a bakery that smelled always of hot bread and strudel. There was a town hall and a police station, with cutaway sections that revealed standard amounts of red tape and corruption. There were little Tyroleans in leather britches, intricately stitched, and beneath the britches, genitalia of equally fine workmanship. There were ski shops and many other interesting things, including an orphanage. The orphanage was designed to catch fire and burn down every Christmas Eve. Orphans would dash into the snow with their nightgowns blazing. Terrible. Around the second week of January, a fire inspector would come and poke through the ruins, muttering, "If they had only listened to me, those children would be alive today."  Tom Robbins, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

If it were possible to kill our way to Utopia we should have arrived long ago.


1 comment:

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