Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Banality Of Evil

I had hoped that after the posting of Depravity, Disgust and Stupidity - Passing Ignorance Around Like A Venereal Disease, followed by Never Again and that followed by Doctrine Of The Lie perhaps we could move on to normative posts. I find this is impossible.

Additionally, one comment which moved me supremely for many reasons was published today in the comments, but if you read the whole post you will see it here today as well on the blog.

It is the evil seeds that are left behind that are so dangerous. It is the insidious remarks and the inability to understand the banal nature of evil that is so dangerous. It is the absolutely horrendous display of shocking insensitivity coupled with the need to tell lie following lie; with the need to produce some type of legitimacy to hide behind hatred and derision - these are the seeds of evil. They reproduce. They dig deep and turn the heart and soul black.

The Banality Of EvilI can only wonder in disbelief at people who curse, scream, yell and curse again - calling people ignorant and stupid and vile - because for some reason normative people refuse to accept the banality of evil seeping from a very small group of sycophants who cannot see their own inner ugliness due to their misplaced pride.

I can only wonder in shock why someone would call attention to their last name and/or family members and think this is good enough and important enough to allow acceptance of their view in life and their attitude. Why would we care what family you married or were born into? Why would we care who you are or your brother-in-law is? And why do find yourself so incredibly important when there is nothing left to you or all that you think but name-calling and horrendous hate?

I have seen deliberate lies; deliberate misconstruing of statements; and time after time lie is compounded by lie - all from the same group of people calling as their witness one supposed "teen" and using no less and no more than two starved-for-attention children to prove their cause. It is no longer innocent. It is no longer just "ego" talking. It is insidious seeds of little black evil which creeps from the heart of some people.

Why though, after the points were made, and I think they were, why should I keep on making sure that every little detail is out there? As many commentators said, "there is no need or reason to defend yourself."

I am not defending myself. I need no defense in front of anyone who would allow such things to take place. I am making sure that someone speaks up against this warping of the truth. I am making sure that there is no silence which can be read as an equivalent to agreement. I am damn sure not going to let some self-announced bullies who have nothing to do with themselves but announce their own self-importance, and allow children to become their witness, to utter lie following lie without making sure it is known and understood.

I too have followed some of the links. I too have looked at this "poor teen's" blog. For as quoted in the post, Never Again, the person who used this symbol, the poor attention-starved child - "Teddy refers to a member, one of our teens". Thus I assumed he is/was truly a "teen". I went to his blog. It is incredibly easy to find. I am a bit confused now. This attention craver who is so full of love for mankind has been called a "teen". Yet from his very own blog, he links to a story he wrote, which is up on a blog devoted to erotica. (If you click here you will see a picture of the post page - just in case magically the blog post or entire blog is deleted!) Following that link one sees clearly that on the blog there is a clear message that those under 18 should skedaddle away. Go Away. It is even protected by an Adults against Pornography for Children label. So now I have to ask in public. Is this a "teen" we are dealing with, who is just craving for attention and found a cabal to stick up for him by calling everyone names - and if so what is a story signed by this teen doing on an erotic blog (with pictures and all the rest) that clearly states "No One Under 18 Is Allowed"? Or is this an adult and if so why are you posing him as a teen? What is the message here? What is truth? What is lie? Who is using whom here? And for what purpose?

How many lies have been told to further a notion of right? When you are right you need not lie; when you are correct the truth stands for you. The moment you lie, the moment you tell something totally untrue - it places your entire argument in question. And the lies here. One after the other. Spewing forth. As I said it is done with practice and forethought. It is the "Doctrine of the Lie".

Then of course come the threats. One threat was made about the owner of the blog recording IP addresses. We quake in our boots. Oh my! Oh Golly Gee! She records IP addresses. Would you look at that! This is a threat? If you have nothing to worry about then this is not a threat.

So, I say - on that blog - Go ahead publish the IP table. I want to see that IP table and I want to see my IP number show up next to an anonymous comment. I really want to see it. Go ahead. And suddenly it is impossible to publish the IP table. Glitch in the system. Surprise! Surprise! If you are going to threaten make sure at least you have something to threaten with.

And these my dear people, are the defenders of a symbol of peace and love and harmony. They curse, vilify, attack, and lie - anything and everything to further a supposed cause. They even use children, by their own admission, to continue to keep that cause going. For be well aware that two people who have posted generously in foul-mouth land are children, at least according to what they say. But then again who knows anymore?

The only word that can describe it is - sick.

I must call the attention of the readers to two very different comments left at Cobwebs Of The Mind by two very different people. One I know "virtually" and the other, Renee whose comment is the first below I have never met, do not know who she is, do not know which friend of hers told her to look at the blog - nothing about her except her name is Renee. Below is the comment she left in lieu of the last three posts, (it is also posted in the comments section.)

Perhaps we are all ignorant and vile and all the other names we are called. Perhaps we just refuse to let the past go. Perhaps we are just morally inept for not forgiving and forgetting.

Or maybe, just maybe, perhaps, the whole thread in foul-mouth land is just indicative of what happens when we do stay silent. When the banality of evil is allowed to flourish without someone saying - this is just not right.
I received a call from a friend asking if she could impose upon me for my opinion on something that would most likely upset me.

I know this gal very well and felt it must be important if she felt the need to ask me.

I have read all that is posted here and on the site you linked to.

I could not react right away. I took a day and thought about it. I am now ready to share with you my thoughts.

My name is Renee.

When I was 3 years old, my family which consisted of mother, father, three brothers ages 7 , 10, and 14 a baby sister and myself, were captured by the Nazis.

I remember the day as if it were yesterday. You see, that was the last time I saw my family.

I was the only one to make it out.

I will spare you the details.
The question posed is of a symbol.

On the site called Live Journal, which you link, there is a picture of the symbol in question. Upon seeing it, the first thing that comes to mind is the swastika. I notice that those who are not familiar with the details automatically see it as a swastika. In the end that is what matters.

I am forced each day to look at a symbol. Not by choice mind you, it is a symbol etched into my skin as a daily reminder of all the horror and evil endured by millions.

I took the time to read everything on this posting as well as all the comments on Live Journal so that I could with a clear conscience responds.

In your attempt to explain that it is a sign of peace you show much hatred in your response which leads me to believe the intention of the display was to cause suffering. If you had firmly believed in what you were saying to the people questioning the use, you would not have to do so in a manner of belittling those who posed serious question.

I dislike the way you went about it. You showed ignorance in your attack. Hate breeds evil. Evil is dangerous.

I saw things said such as bashing a religion. That was not done in any of the comments made by those questioning the use of this symbol.

I do not know any of you. I am not affiliated with either side of this debate. I am a survivor.

Upon looking at the link to the person who used this symbol, I note a topic called Testing, Testing.

Here the person asks “What do you see?”

I see a person hiding behind his intentions. If he wanted to show his pride in his faith, this would not be the way in which to do it.

One of the people on Live Journal offered to list names, numbers and grave sites of some of the lives lost at the hands of the Nazis.

This was in poor taste. You see, I can lead you to those as well. It has nothing to do with the original offense.

At no time did anyone question your morals,your history or your knowledge. Yet you felt it your duty to call those in disagreement with you ignorant. By hurling insults and curses at people you make it clear that you do not understand the severity of all that is said.

When people make light of something such as this, they allow the opportunity for hate to continue.

You wouldn’t dare call me ignorant
I am much to close to this.

You can go on telling yourselves that it is a harmless symbol. I call it denial.

You’re not alone. There are many who deny this ever took place. You have that privilege. I close my eyes at night and can still hear the screaming,and I can still smell the burning of flesh.

I dare you to call me ignorant!

Now to my friend. You asked me for my opinion. Here you have it.
If we do nothing, we allow it to continue. I refuse to turn away.

Never Again!

And to the host of this site.
Yasher koach

The second comment was left by a "virtual" friend, Zentao. He runs The Deepening. And you can see from his name that there is an affinity of Zen and Taoism in this person. It is why I wrote him and asked him about the use of the symbol - inverted, upside down and all the rest. He is usually short on words but this time he was very, very clear. And the comment he made, I just realized is in full up The Deepening Blog. Either read in the comments section to Depravity, Disgust and Stupidity - Passing Ignorance Around Like A Venereal Disease - or better yet go here to The Deepening Blog and read it. Perhaps it will help to understand just how people see this.

Truly, I thank all those who left comments. And I thank you more so, because each one of you left your names on the comments. It is something to be proud of knowing that in this world, despite all differences, there is still much good and courage and honesty out there.

The holiday of Purim in two days will be celebrated by Jews around the world. The typical greeting of this holiday, after we read the story of the Book of Esther in the Old Testament, is as follows (taken from a verse at the end of the book):
"And the Jews [of that day] had great light, happiness, joy and honor. May it be so in our day as well."
And this I wish to all of you - no matter what race, religion, creed or symbol you follow, were born in to or believe in. May we all have days of great light, happiness, joy and honor - and may the darkness of evil and all its hated symbols be finally and completely obliterated from our world and from all hearts.

Posts In This Series:
  1. Depravity, Disgust and Stupidity - Passing Ignorance Around Like A Venereal Disease.
  2. Never Again
  3. Doctrine Of The Lie
  4. The Banality Of Evil
  5. On The Bastardization Of Language
  6. Who Let The Dogs Out?
  7. The Day Hitler Became A "Funky Dude"

Posted On: Cobwebs Of The Mind


Anonymous said...

After reading through everything here and on the other site, I tried to think of what else could be said. Each and every person on this site presented in a mature manner. I am left to wonder why the other site came across so angry.

I work with anger every day. I am a case worker for youths in a very troubled neighborhood. I see anger in kids who want to know why there is so much hate among the people in the community. Many of them are looking for a way to stop it. They are desperate to end the violence they are forced to live every day of their young lives.

Some of my friends ask how I can work in such a stress filled, sometimes dangerous job. They want to know why I continue to do it.

After reading all the hate filled comments to a simple question, I confirmed to myself why I do it.

As long as there are people promoting hate, disregard and evil, I must continue to show our youth that each of us can make a difference. It is not easy but it also not impossible.

I will refrain from getting repetative of what has already been said. The previous comments have covered it.

In reading Renee's story, I cried.
I applaud you for sharing with us and apologize that you even had to. I'm sure it was done with great difficulty and raw emotion.

My wish is simple. For hate to end and peace to be had by all.

I will fight for this and I will not turn away either.

Peace to all of you.

Chantalle Frasier-Manning

Robert Toy said...

Semiotics / First Amendment Rights / Hypocrisy

Case One:
The U.S. Civil War, resulted in approximately 558,000 Americans being killed, and the elimination of slavery in the U.S., and yet over one hundred and forty two years later the display of the U.S. Confederate flag, pins, shirts, etc. is considered highly offensive and a symbol of racism and slavery. This “symbol”, whether tilted, stretched, turned sideways on a Tee-shirt or bumper sticker, is immediately recognized as offensive and inflammatory.

Despite there being no living Civil War veterans or Black Slaves, there are numerous court cases launched to ban the display of the Confederate flag in the ex-Confederate States, and I am certain they will eventually succeed.

Case Two:
Sixty years ago, approximately 16 to 18 Million human beings were exterminated by the Nazis, who per chance used a modified version of a multi-thousand year old Buddhist/Hindu peace symbol on their flag.

That happened in my generation, and there are thousands of living survivors and yet the display of the Nazi Swastika is protected under the U.S. Constitution (see reference note).
Now we are not talking about tilting or reversing the Swastika, we are talking about the real thing.

It is like printing graphic pornography and claiming that the American Founding Fathers meant that to be protected as well.

Is there anyone except me that thinks there is a double standard in play here?

The Constitutional Protection of the Swastika

The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology (1973-), Vol. 69, No. 3 (Autumn, 1978), pp. 367-371 doi:10.2307/1142331

zentao said...

Double standard? In the US? Very much so. In fact, it goes far beyond double. As a nation, we are spineless, our mores and ethics resembling changlings, adjusting themselves to political and financial opportunism. The hope is in the learned, ethical individual whose priniciples waver not, but who holds an open mind, knows and understands the significant lessons of history, can discern truth and conceive trend's consequences.

What is very disturbing to me is that, now, several others have copied the symbol into their signatures as well. They claim they are "taking it back," the symbol, cleaning it of its Nazi heritage. No. They are, in fact, simply refusing, for pride's sake, to admit error in judgement, flaunting their position, stubbornly standing in denial. TD will carry the AW Hate Mob icon so long as this organization persists in its abuses. I recommend all who care do the same. Copies may be downloaded here: , , The image is public domain according to its creator.

Jean Marie said...

And what exactly do you think you're spreading, Ted w/ that god-awful image of yours? I'm referring to the hate AW banner.

You're also showing your lack of intelligence. I suppose the Navajos should quit using a similar symbol, now. One that has been a part of their heritage for thousands of years.

You are not part of the solution, Ted, you a part of the problem. Your choice. Make it a wise one. Spread peace, instead.

I suspect you'll not allow this comment to stand. Which will prove my point of your blog only spewing/supporting hatred. Sad state of affairs, really. What's even more sad, is that you have the audacity to return to AW, and treat Mac like a piece of dirt when she has done nothing to you, personally.

I don't understand why she allows you in her virtual home w/ the hatred you hand her. She is the kindest, most loving woman I've ever had the pleasure of knowing.

Ted W. Gross said...


Your words do not scare me. I am going to say this once again. I don't reject comments unless they are violent or hate riddled or comments are made to just flood the blog. In the end though I will decide what I reject and do not reject. On your blog - you do what you like.

As to intelligence. Why argue such a point? Once again the name calling is clear for all thinking individuals.

As to the graphic - It bothers you? What exactly about it can bother you? Those words were used by those who you praise. The symbol is something you claim to be full of love. What can possibly bother you about it? The Mob mentality? You mean you want "intelligent" people to overlook the use of swastika's and accept Mob mentality? You use a swastika. I use a graphic that simply puts all of your "intelligence" together into one small graphic.

What a bunch of words mixed together with a totality of foolishness. I tire of people who go around with "peace" on their lapel blind to all things but their own inner evil. Actually enlightening but disgusting. Depraved indifference and foolishness all mixed together in words which are beyond understanding.

Silence is not an option here...

Paula's Poetry said...

I believe the banner of Hate Jean Marie refers to is a grouping of words spewed forth at those who posed a legitimate question regarding the use of a symbol.

Upon questioning, anyone in disagreement with those on the Live Journal were attacked.

The banner is just showing all the names they were called. In hindsight, the very person you are accusing Ted of treating with such vile, helped create the banner.

As for saying he is spreading hate, I suggest you read the comments posted on this site where you don't have to fear being called names.

Jean Marie said...

I've read everything, Paula. Which is why I posted, here.

And, Ted, I'm not attempting to either scare or intimidate you. Where you get that from, I don't know. But, thank you for allowing me to post on your blog.

There are a number of things being tossed about that are untrue. The banner was not created by Mac. It was created by someone else. That I know for certain. I also know it's hateful. It's uncalled for.

The swastika has been around for thousands of years. That's a certainty, too. The shame of it is, is that the Nazis latched onto it. However, that doesn't mean that the Buddhists, Navajos and others who've used it prior to them should quit using it. That makes no sense whatsoever. It belongs to them.

This issue affects me, personally, on several levels. My grandfather was Jewish--my father's dad. He married a Catholic woman and they raised both their sons, Catholic. Therefore, I'm, Irish, German and Jewish. My uncle's daughter and husband are both practicing Buddhists. A dear friend of mine is a pure-blood Navajo living on a reservation in Gallup, New Mexico. And, Mac is also a dear friend of mine.

So, am I not to talk to all of them since what some of them believe in offends your uneducated sensibilities? Actually, my dad and grandfather are both deceased, so that leaves them out of the equation.

But what of my Buddhist practicing cousin, Navajo friend and Mac? I love all of them and since your beliefs and mine differ, I find myself in an honest quandry.

I'm not throwing out the baby w/ the bath-water. Not when I know, for certain, what the source is. I'm not giving up my friendships/relationships, based on misunderstandings/misinformation/misreading and lack of education. Sorry. Won't do it.

It's unfair to me, my family and friends.

zentao said...

Jean Marie,

The WORDS belong to medievalist!

Here is the post. with the wonderful “Johniesfuckwit” comment in that blog thread:

Were a simple request for the individual to adjust his signature because the symbol was too suggestive of the Holocaust effected, much pain and anguish could have been avoided here. We are long past this now, however, as, instead of soothing things with gentle words and soothing water, verbal gasoline and nitro accelerants were employed, something summarily unsurprising and, in fact, completely forseeable if one is familiar with the administrative individuals and their venue that is AW and its corresponding blog(s).

CyberCobre said...

So here we have a "no nasty comments about Hitler" post that NO ONE in AW commented on.

The post?

The quote: "And those nasty comments about Hitler should stop too. He's a fellow writer, and yet people keep making personal attacks against him."

And not one comment arguing that idea from AW admins/mods. We've got ourselves some problems in there. And this supposedly the "best and biggest" writer's community on the net? You know, something smells pretty gamey here. I hope the writers guilds get wind of this real quick, because something needs to happen to either change its ownership to something socially responsible or show it for what it is, because, right now, any writer associating with AW is going to be suspect in my mind as pro-hate, off-the-wall weird Hitler applauders, not sane people with sound ethics and mores. Something is really, really wrong in there. I knew it when I went in there and got run out on a rail for nothing except being an outsider, but I had no idea these people would defend Hitler.

Paula's Poetry said...

Uneducated sensibilities???
That is perverse.

By stating who we are friends with, what race or religion we married into or who our ancestors are does NOT excuse that each of us is responsible for our own actions. We each think for ourselves.

Jean Marie asks:
So, am I not to talk to all of them since what some of them believe in offends your uneducated sensibilities? Actually, my dad and grandfather are both deceased, so that leaves them out of the equation.

Again, why are we considered uneducated?

We can NOT simply get by just because we are fortunate to have friends and family of many cultures. To do so is to absurd.
No one has suggested you must stop speaking to anyone. All that is asked is to really look at the issue.

A lot of smoke and mirrors have been used to hide the facts. In my opinion, Renee said it best.

If a person wants to show pride in their faith, one does not do so in this manner.

I would'nt dare call her uneducated!

To allow suffering, on any level, is wrong. I too have friends and family from all over this great world of ours. I would NEVER allow that to cloud nor influence my thoughts.

If I find something offensive or hurtful to myself or others, It is my obligation to stand up for what is right because to ignore or let it go only allows it to continue.

I am saddened by the fact that many have chosen to allow a symbol to become more important than humans. I am saddened that each time this symbol rears it's ugly head, many are forced to suffer yet again. In the end, it does not matter where it's usage began, what matters is what it's usage represents.

I too will continue on in my life, standing up for what is right and the rights of humans. I will never ignore or turn away. I will never become an enabler to injustice or suffering.

May all of you find peace in your world today and always.


CyberCobre said...

So now they are trying to do "damage control" by PMing the poster to post an explanation of meaning. Really. And could the post please be edited, asks the poster when told that many members were jumping they should.

Well, you can't change the reality. The point is, it was all said. The point is, not one mod or admin or anyone else objected in the moment nor until is was discovered that we had posted the information and thread link.

And, gee, I've got a time-date-stamped print-screen with the URL.

Here is the situation as I see it. These AWers make "light" of Hitler, make "light" of the Swastika and its historic significance. And they haven't got one clue to the real horrors perpetrated by the man, his followers, his adherents, and the entire population of bystanders who allowed this to happen. Yet, their fathers, grandfathers, or great grandfathers were affected by this man. The horrors of that war afflicted everyone, from the mom who went into the munitions factory to the fighter in the air and on the ground, not to mention their children, of which I am one. This genocide that went beyond genocide in de-humanizing people, Jews and gypsies and more, was no less that the greatest atrocity in human history, one which even the Inquisition has a difficult time competing with, and that was horrible in itself.

I am the daughter of a WWII fighter pilot hero, decorated, lauded, and SCARRED forever. The mere name, Hitler, sends shudders through me. My father, on his deathbed, relived the horrors that war did to his psyche. His daughter, me, completely and utterly finds despicable any of these fools who tot off their ignorant, irreverent mouths. Despicable, yes. No moral caliber; just ignorant and malicious, which reduces them to beyond contempt.

CyberCobre said...

You know what is really awful and really shows AWer stripes???

They chose to ridicule, castigate, and denigrate those who objected to the symbol and its associative historic meaning. They defended Hitler, whether satire or not...which wasn't clear at ALL. They railroaded and castigated everyone who objected. Not one of those standing by, not one mod, not one admin, not one board regular, chided, corrected, posted admonishment, decried, or even whimpered anything close to putting a stop to the outrage.

Only NOW that they are firmly on record and it might hurt their prestige and pocket book do they begin to try to explain away their actions. Are they really sorry? Nope. Are they really serious about gaining an enlightened view? Nope again. Are they really ONLY showing self-interest because, whoops, this might just bite us in the ass! YES.

These people are dangerous in their ignorance, their opportunism, and mostly in their menacing herd mentality, a mentality that says nothing but ugly about this majority of low minds so common on the net and in the world. Beware. These folks vote, too.