The Screenplay-novel Manifestos

Less is more vivid

Thursday, July 20, 2006

When Sad Madness Enters Childhood

The above is via Ed (in turn via Chekhov's Mistress and Moorish Girl). But pride of place, comment-wise, goes to Steve Mitchelmore at This Space, who captures something of the obtuse-yet-happy-faced quality of the early 21st Century with the observation:

We've all heard of Hannah Arendt's phrase "the banality of evil". Eichmann the bureaucrat organising from his desk other people's deaths. Now, with pictures like this one, with English comedy actress Maureen Lipman going on TV to defend the bombing of civilians in Lebanon, and the BBC being so suddenly objective in describing those civilian casualties, we should really change the phrase to "the niceness of evil".

p.s. It's worth noting that one problem with talking about the current crisis is the degree to which each side is freighted with emotion, and views criticism of what it's doing as an attack. For what it's worth, I'd like to emphasize that there is never any excuse for hatred. The anti-Semitism that unfortunately lurks at the heart of militant Islamism is as despicable as the brutality-rationalizing spin that is currently flowing from the Olmert government. It sounds corny to say it, but it bears saying anyway: if nothing else moves you to the core about this conflict, think of the kids. Peace.


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