22 Following
stupidusATmailDOTcom

oh the guilt

Currently reading

Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered
E.F. Schumacher

Monsters

Monsters - Simon Sebag Montefiore With a title like that and a page or two dedicated to hand-picked "demons", there's really no chance of a fair trial here, now is there?

Always superficial with frustrating inaccuracies and typos galore, and if the writers didn't simply get their facts wrong, they are being hopelessly one-sided and sensational (=demonizing). At times it's no better than guess work, really.

But I guess the book works as a good showcase of enduring human stupidity. Because let's face it: there are monsters only because we, you and me, allow it to happen.

1. No man is born evil.
2. True kooks are far and few between (and rarely if ever amount to much).
3. One nation's terrorist is another nation's freedom fighter.
4. Kill a man and you are a murderer. Kill many and you're a conqueror.
5. Q: How to efficiently lie? A: Keep on repeating...

***

Honestly, we can never say for sure what really went down say in 16th century Europe with the likes of Elizabeth Báthory for example. One only has to stop for a moment to reflect about woman's place even in these so-called modern times in order to realize that historically women have always been more or less the property of men who could and would do with them as it best suited them.

So if you happened to be a woman of wealth and therefore of influence, a lot of people, and particularly many men, do not take kindly to a woman who is trying to have her own way about matters that concern everyone else too. It doesn't really take a whole lot of effort, imagination, creativity and scheming to ostracize someone as persona non grata - particularly in an age when almost everyone was illiterate, uneducated and superstitious, to boot.

I imagine an educated and business savvy woman who probably enjoyed showing her influence over men to be of a great source of nuisance to all those who lusted after her wealth and/or her warm bed but who never got beyond second base, if even that. If you can't have her, kill her?

Not saying she wasn't a true bitch, just doubting she ever did what history claims she did.

Nobility or not, the villagers would no doubt have ripped her to pieces had the accusations, let alone evidence proved to be anything more than pure conjecture and personal libel. It's more than little telling that the authorities really only started to act upon the wild rumors after her husband had already died. Ripe for the taking, right? I smell political power games, religious intolerance and more than a dash of misagony all weaved into a nice little package called she-devil who more likely ended in a house arrest rather than walled in a room.

***

I'd very much like to know what exactly would make Charles Manson - a guy who never killed anyone - a monster? Because some other stupid, messed up, and/or borderline crazy hippies took his cryptic ramblings seriously and figured that he'd want them to kill for him for some reason or the other? Manson deserved some jail time, for sure, but a life for crimes he did not even commit?

Or take case Bin Laden. Unarmed, shot in the face in cold blood. Remains dumped at sea less than 24 hours later. By orders of Nobel Peace Prize winner. And basically everyone, UN including, rejoiced.

If you strip away rule of law, you're left with rule of the strong (or more often than not rule of the weak).

When Manson should've finally gotten a chance to get some proper schooling (and proper meds) after the trials in 1971, he instead was locked up for life simply because he essentially gave the media and the American populace what they had wanted to see all along: the chance to see the devil himself. And everyone knows you can never let a devil out because if you do, everyone would see that the devil's just a man after all. Nothing more and nothing less.

More accurate book title would be: "Monsters - and the ordinary folks who really make the magic happen." Or: "Monsters (because you were still at it when your enemies took a day off!)"