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Sat May 13, 2017, 03:54 PM

Are We Monsters?

This is a title from an article on Juan Cole's Informed Comment written by Neal Gabler.


He addresses the very thing that I have been wondering for several years.
That we are no longer a compassionate or caring nation.
That we are facing a reckoning someday for our unlimited quench for greed, materialism and glory in our selfishness.
Not all of us but, a sizable minority of people, a growing minority of people.

It starts by an observation of the dusting off of movie vaults of old classic monster movies from the heyday of the great Studios.
He does observe that in times of crisis in the past, monster movies seemed to abound and let people project their fears and anxieties onto the movies.

'Warner Brothers and Universal have both been dusting off an inventory of classic monsters King Kong, Godzilla, The Mummy, The Wolf Man, etc. which prompted New York Times film critics Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott to speculate whether this was a reaction to a contemporary America, where monstrousness now seems to run rampant. When you add a film like the mega hit Get Out, about human monsters, you get the feeling that maybe Hollywood is onto something.'

He says that other nations ask this, like Germany or Japan after WWII or some other national horror like Rwanda. That is not the case with America. We are not in the midst of a great national horror as a War. But, there are things that are being done that will cause many to lose their lives the same as any genocide:

'Are we monsters? I know it is a distinctly odd question to ask, the sort of question people ask in self-reflection only after losing a war of aggression, as the Germans and Japanese did in the wake of World War II, or in the aftermath of some mass derangement, as Rwandans did after their intramural slaughter.
But perhaps it ought to be asked as well when a democratically elected legislature votes to throw tens of millions of poor people off the health care rolls for no ostensible reason other than to hand one party a victory for which it was desperate, and to hand the rich another windfall, as happened last Thursday when the House voted to disembowel Obamacare.'

'Have we lost our compassion? Have we become so selfish that we have no capacity for empathy, or have we become so besotted with materialism and the lust for success that we can no longer see beyond them? Is the needle on our moral compass spinning so wildly that we have lost our bearings? To paraphrase the question attorney Joseph Welch asked Sen. Joseph McCarthy, a patron saint of the right, has America no sense of decency?'

The author points out that the tempation is to point to Trump. But, Trump is a symptom. Trump would not be in the White House without people, knowing full well, despite what they say, that he was all about and the pain to be inflicted on so many.

'If we are now a failed country, as I believe we are, it is not because we have a failed presidency, although we do. It is because we are a failed people. A callousness, a self-righteousness, an obdurateness and, yes, a monstrousness has emerged from some subterranean depth where it had been forcibly submerged. We may say this is not who we are. That is denial.'

The author talks about how a sizable minority in our country now feel pleasure in inflicting pain on others. In being selfish and cruel. They vote for people they know will hurt innocents but, don't care. Even enjoy.

'There will, of course, be no national self-reflection over this cruelty, as there was in Germany and Japan, or as there was last Sunday in France when it was confronted with its own Trump, racist Marie Le Pen, and the voters overwhelmingly beat her back. Our monsters know no remorse. Hurting people is now woven deeply into the fabric of our country.'

I have had this question going through my head for a few years now. What ever happened to community and caring? I remember 20 years ago and beyond people being far more compassionate to those in need of help. I also remember people trying to put themselves in others shoes.

I remember when behaving the way Trump, the republican party and voters was shocking and condemned. That was why Nixon fell. People were upset over the actions of Nixon. They are not with Trump and Trump is far worse. People don't care if Russia is playing footsie with the White House as long as they get what they want.

Something happened in the past 25 years, or somethings, to make people be so numb to suffering and so uncaring. To pleasure in the pain and dying of others.

If we do not, as a nation, finally come to terms with the awful people we are turning into, I am afraid the answer to the writer's question is 'yes'.

Please follow the link and read the full article.

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Reply Are We Monsters? (Original post)
lovemydogs May 2017 OP
world wide wally May 2017 #1
sinkingfeeling May 2017 #2
gratuitous May 2017 #3
brush May 2017 #4

Response to lovemydogs (Original post)

Sat May 13, 2017, 04:29 PM

1. Yes, I believe TPTB in the USA have truly become monsters

I haven't seen one shred of patriotism from one Republican since the head monster took over.

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Response to lovemydogs (Original post)

Sat May 13, 2017, 04:48 PM

2. I agree with the author, Neal Gabler, that the country has changed over

the last 30 years. We no longer care about each other and what is morally right. I blame several things: the rise in RW talk radio/TV, evangelical religion, the growing military/gun culture, and the teaching of greed instead of ethics in business schools.

I've said it even before that horrible man decided to turn the USA into a Russian satellite, that America isn't the same country that I grew up in. That after WWII we were the guys in white hats to the world and now we're willing to turn the country over to a dictator, craving empire and all the wealth.

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Response to lovemydogs (Original post)

Sat May 13, 2017, 04:53 PM

3. When someone expresses compassion or kindness . . .

Who is most likely to jump into the conversation with bitter taunts of "snowflakes"? What is this "we" as a nation? There are consistently identifiable segments of our society that stoke the hard-heartedness, glory in their deplorable behavior, and ridicule anyone who expresses tenderness toward the oppressed.

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Response to lovemydogs (Original post)

Sat May 13, 2017, 07:10 PM

4. The Powell Memorandum in it's cruelty lead to right wing think tanks and talk radio

Extremely right talk radio, and of course FOX News and right wing web sites, have inculcated the masses for 30 some years with hate of the "other", the other being blacks, Muslims, Latinos, liberals, women, gays and on and on and on.

Millions fall for and continue too.

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