Friday, April 20, 2007

a response, as best I can

Since the Rude Pundit doesnt do comments, the only way that I can respond to his post is with one of my own. Let me add that the Rude Pundit is not a conservative or a war apologist; he is a firm believer that the Bush Administration is a clusterfuck (literally). He is a confirmed member of the Liberal side of the line.
Nonetheless, here's what he said:
But we're not in Iraq. We're not in a war zone. It's okay for this to be awful, in and of itself, without saying, in essence, "Well, if you think that's bad, look over here." 'Cause, you know, if you're stabbed in the leg, it ain't gonna make you feel that much better and it sure ain't gonna stop your bleeding to see the man who was run over by a truck.
Now, I'm not going to say that he's wrong, at least not completely. I seriously questioned posting my own piece which did just that. To an extent, we do cheapen the deaths in Virginia by saying, "oh, that happens everyday in Iraq". His assessment of our national desensitizing is spot on; for every mourning stranger, there are probably twenty who merely shrugged and went on their way.
But, in a way, isnt trying to divorce our tragedy at VT from the daily tragedy in Iraq a form of desensitization?
Connecting the shooting at VT with the carnage in Iraq should be an attempt to re-sensitize people, to awaken their empathy and make them say, "oh... that happens every day in Iraq".

The hard part, after that, is to try and make them understand what America's part is in that day. Every day.

Analogy time! And regular readers will know that I love an analogy.

Think of it this way. I like to compare countries to eight-year old boys*, since the maturity level when dealing with others seems to be about the same. Rude Pundit compares Lefties pointing out the killings in Iraq to be like trying to make someone feel better by pointing out how other people have got it worse. And if that was all it was, he'd be right; "Eat your vegetable, there are people starving in Africa" has never made any kid like brussell sprouts any better. But this isnt quite like that, it's more along the following line:

There are these two kids, right? They dont like each other, but they've joined together to kick the crap out of this third kid (not necessarily at the same time), partly 'cause they're kind of mean, and partly 'cause the kid has a pretty good lunch money supply. The bigger of the two kids, while taking a break from torturing the third, has accidentally cut himself on his pocket knife, which he carries despite school rules prohibiting this. Now, to be honest, this bigger kid mostly relies on his fists, while the more weasely second kid does a lot more cutting, but the first kid has used his knife occassionally, and does even more threatening with it.
Question? How much sympathy have you really got for the first kid? And is he thoughtful enough to connect his cut with those inflicted on the third kid repeatedly?

* In the one-person-for-a-country analogy, even an event like 9-11 was just a nasty sucker punch to the nose. Iraq, on the other hand, has been getting punched every single day for over 4 years.


rev. billy bob gisher ©2008 said...

when you get through bitch slapping stupidity into the ground, if you are up to it, i could use your skills at my joint.


rev. billy bob gisher ©2008 said...

you do footnotes now? christ you are getting deep.

i prefer to say it all sucks bad and will pass on any comparison. you are better than rude pundit any day.

United We Lay said...

similiar to my recent posts, just with a different tone.