Friday, October 17, 2008

Both The Hunt for Red October and Patriot Games were on AMC last night. I caught the end of Red October and the start of PG at 1:30 in the morning. The latter gets at the complicated nature of terrorism when it's not perpetrated by far-off strangers, but by neighbors. After I watched this video again, the film took on a new freshness. What if--rather than a legitimate means reluctantly employed by a civilized people--violence was a manifestation of our propensity to evil? In other words, what if 'civilized' is a lie? And is violence any more civil when conducted by a state, one much more powerful than the roving bands we often imagine? Is a call for peace nothing more than a limp passivity, a refuge for those too timid to stand against injustice, to defend one's own people? You tell me. But why do Christians celebrate and proclaim the death of a murdered innocent man? Are they crazy? Why did that man forbid violence in his own defense at his moment of greatest need? He must be of no account, and his friends, plain stupid. But what if this is true? How can you win by losing? This supposed weakling has a lot of power. What's going on here? I think he may have told his people what violence would get them. But you're right; Ghandi and MLK, Jr. were lucky outliers. Right.

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