Thursday, June 23, 2022

What to Do When an Altruist Goes on a Good Doing Spree?

People become accustomed to the unthinkable. After a while they believe that constant brutality and destruction--school shootings, despots like Trump getting away with almost everything, countries like Ukraine turned into warrior states (many of whose cities are destroyed), rape, torture, gated communities where the privileged drink flutes of champagne as they enjoy the spectacle of impoverishment outside (a definition of all-inclusive resorts like Club Med which are constructed in the middle of third world countries)--are all just part of "life." Pasolini’s Salo based on de Sade’s 120 Days of Sodom is an essay in depredation, but unlike Halloween, the horror comes from the fact that it’s all too real. Coprophilia, the lingua franca of the film, is no stranger to psychosis. Straphangers in New York’s subway system are randomly pushed onto the tracks; shootings in which innocent bystanders die have almost become routine. Only the other day, the life of a championship college basketball player (who had a promising professional career ahead of him), was cut short by a shooting at barbecue in Harlem. The police are called to a school in Uvalde and wait an hour to stop a gunman who in the meantime murders 21 students and teachers. Ten people are murdered in a racially motivated shooting at a Topps supermarket in Buffalo. Defenders of the Second Amendment find these shootings an argument for fewer gun laws or restrictions. What do those who get used to savagery do when a good doer goes on a spree, sacrificing him or herself for the sake of others?

read "Strangers Drowning" by Francis Levy, HuffPost

and listen to "The Book of Love" by The Monotones

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