Originally Posted by EricR
A wonderful thread
I have followed this thread with great fascination. It never ceases to amaze me, the truth about human nature is revealed by the behavior and words of individuals. In this case an "artist" has created a work of some stature. It was placed in a gallery by the owner. A critic then closed the exhibit without a word. Case closed, or is it?
This whole scenario is bad enough, but the reaction by those in this thread is even worse. People are verbally assaulting each other, and, I have no doubt that there would be bloodshed over these words if they were expressed at close quarters. It seems to me the real problem with this whole scenario is the reason there will never be peace in the middle east. People are opinionated, they are willing to express these opinions with whatever means they have at their disposal (words, fists, bombs, guns, knives, torture and infrequently, civility). One would think, after several thousand years of this type of interaction, that humans would learn from their mistakes. Obviously, this is not to be.
Where does this leave us? I am grateful to live in a country where this form of expression (word) is not only tolerated, but accepted. Freedom without limits is called anarchy (yes, there must be limits). Civility and manners allow us to make things better. Diversity of opinion is divisive, but it is also necessary. Let's all have a nice group grope and agree to disagree.
As I said early on, America is becoming as during the '60s a very polarized, divided country. This thread has demonstrated that divisiveness even among photographers who share a common interest. I have to seriously wonder about the political/social health of the larger community for most do not share any commonality except tenuous geographical/historical ties.
I do wish to raise one issue, though. We liberals in the past have been accused of condoning criminal behavior for pointing out the backgrounds of the criminals as a contributing factor for ther anti-social behavior. Are not those who expect the possibility of violence due to the emotional nature of some issues thereby accepting that behavior. If you accept the possibility of violence by the radical & religious right, have you thereby excused their behavior? I raise this issue for fear that good people will unwittingly allow this country to become a Germany of the '30s.
van Huyck Photo
"Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"
I went back and re-read the article and I did not find any mention of any of the participants political affiliations. I guess it is easy to be lazy and just assume that the aggressor is some right wing nut. But for some, resorting to insults and steroetyping is the easiest thing to do. Maybe the guy is a vet and liberal and just did not like to see the US or military maligned. For liberals it was ok to spit on and assualt soldiers who returned from Vietnam. I mean gee, they deserved it. For liberals all things are relative. Yesterday's violence perpetrated by the left becomes nostalgic stories to tell around the campfire before singing Kum-by-ya.
To actually consider any other possibility other then a right wing conspiracy would deflate the fantasy world they want to live in.
"Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
The real issue
"I raise this issue for fear that good people will unwittingly allow this country to become a Germany of the '30s...." Hitler rose to power because he wanted to unite Germany. His altruistic goals were lofty, to restore the majesty of a conquered people and return Germany to its rightful place of leadership in Europe. The National Socialist Party gained strength, the military was resurrected and W.W.II was the result.
He was stopped by America, not by France, not by Poland, not by Russia, not by England. Japan was stopped by America. Not by China, Korea, Australia or other Pacific nations. This is not to discount the sacrifice of other nations in both theaters, the countless lives lost, the cities burned to ash, the innocents raped, tortured, murdered, starved or lives ruined and left in a living hell of the survivors (my father).
Perhaps there is an issue here which is important. Hitler is back. He dresses in a head scarf. The same evil walks among us now, as it always will. He would cut the genitals off of women for their own good. He would make them wear clothing that covers their bodies completely. He would kill not only Jews, but all Christians and other non-muslims. Do you think "gay bashing" is a national sport in America now? Think again.
While so many are busy bashing Bush, Ashcroft, Rice, Rumsfeld and any "conservative" who opens his (or her) mouth, they seem to have lost track of the fact that this war was declared many years ago. In Munich, in Iran, in Somalia, in Israel and more recently in New York, Washington and a field in Pennsylvania people have died. The flight attendants who had their throats slashed were not soldiers, they were mothers, daughters and wives. The 2800 civilians who died that day were going to work, not to war. The former administration chose to ignore the problem and by doing so made it worse. Is this what you want again?
The soldiers in Iraq now are decent human beings (for the most part). They are from America, Australia, England, Italy and other countries in eastern europe who knew evil for many years in the form of corrupt communism. To call all soldiers wonton torturers and killers is as stupid as to call all Muslims murderers.
If the militant version of Islam is allowed to go on killing, bombing, beheading and destroying, it will have to be stopped later and not sooner. A quick look at Afghanistan under Taliban rule should be enough, but obviously it isn't. You did see the video of the woman shot in the head at close range in the stadium for adultery, didn't you? Is this what you want in Iraq if the U.S. and others pull out, an Iraq with unlimited wealth using the oil revenues to build on a sick version of an idealist 7th century nightmare? Do you think that Bin Laden and his followers will just walk away from the power vacuum?
Like it or not, we are at war. If you choose to undermine the troops in Iraq, please remember, they are dying so you can sit here and continue the idle blathering, sniping and insults which you hold so dear about a painting of little value. Wake up people and start looking at the real enemy. It is not Bush or Ashcroft, but an idealist who will kill women and children to get 72 virgins as a reward in a heaven where women are treated like sheep.
When the next shoe drops in America, you will all start shouting that Bush has not done enough? For now he has gone too far, eh? Which is it? Please continue the bickering.
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"Wake up people and start looking at the real enemy."
It's sad that in some ways the west created this "enemy". I think to truly wake up we need to understand how this all came to be. A precious substance is involved that ensures a western lifestyle can be maintained. The substance lives in a hostile region. Dirty deeds and lord knows what else has gone on in this region for decades to ensure this substance, this "drug" of our society is protected at all costs. There is no excuse for the actions of terrorists, but we can't just ignore that we had absolutely no part whatsoever in the rise of terrorism, can we? I sense things that our culture does in the name of oil, after all this time are starting to horribly backfire, and it's probably not gonna be pretty these next few months. I see Bush trying to put band-aids on everything, not getting to the root cause, and sooner or later there will be no more band-aids available. What a predicament
Unfortunately all decisions in the real world are made on the lesser of two evils, which is why it is always so difficult for the one making it. But it always seems to me that diplomacy and deliberation originates from the West. Who said that life was fair? Too bad (or too good) that Alaska is a protected environment otherwise I believe there is more oil there than the whole of OPEC:
We in America are harvesting alot of bitter fruit of late. Our continued oil dependency & gov't willingness to support Taliban, Saudi Arabia, or any other group as long as they are willing to deliver us oil. Another bitter fruit results from our Cold War, anit-communist extremism in which any sign of tolerance of other's beliefs is viewed as unpatriotic. The term "liberal" has become a red flag to those extremists. Liberals hold their own beliefs but are willing to recognize that other beliefs may ultimately be proved "true" - see Karl Popper's Open Society. This is branded as relativism by the right & is blamed for everything wrong in America. A neo-Nazi dictatorship could be right around the corner unless we make a drastic change in directions. Tolerance of violence is only one indicator of the problem.
van Huyck Photo
"Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"
Its not about oil
Oil is not the problem, it is "human Nature" in all of its many interations. The Islamists have been butchering each other and the "infidels" since the 700's. There was no oil involved in this. The Crusades, as is so often quoted as a part of this scenario, were the result of a Moorish invasion of Islam in europe prior to the reaction by Crusaders. How often is this mentioned?
We can seek agreement from a coffee pot, a toaster or a history book, it matters not. We can seek agreement from others we correspond with, who cares? "We" did nothing to inflame the minds of those idiots who are trying to kill us now. They are most typically young men with no future and have exchanged the present for a future filled with an afterlife of constant sex with virgins. Somewhat deluded? How about 144,000 will go to heaven, or if you have 12 children you get your own planet. So really, this war is about sex, why else cut the clitoris from a woman's body.
As to the label of conservative, I most certainly am. I am an independent. My knuckles do drag on the earth as I walk. I have enough "force" at my disposal to end arguments permanently, but I do not. Liberals revel in the false impression of a potential utopia, this is based on a fantasy. It will never be a utopia on this small planet, my friends. Human nature will never allow it to happen. Look at this thread if you need evidence. Try the Soviet union as an example of eco-purity. Take a look at China as an example of "human rights." The majority of the tax dollars in the U.S., are spent on social programs, not the military.
If you want to stop the consumption of oil, come up with a better, cleaner, cheaper energy source (beside the hot air in this forum). Do you think the idiots in head scarves will just stop attacking because we don't buy their oil? Do you think they are able to feed their own people a diet of sand and oil? There are permanent interests between countries, we need oil, the middle east needs food, water, clothing and technology. Is this not fair? A little war is good for the planet. It removes some of the surplus population. It inspires art, music and
weapons systems. Liberalism is, after all, a mental disorder.
Perhaps the Middle East should look on things differently. What did they do to make us invade Iraq? What can they do to help us get more oil so we don't have to invade another country?
Please flame away, I just had my Nomex dry cleaned, my skin is getting thicker and I need comic relief to read at work.
Liberalism (define it as you will) and its consequences - in my mind personified by the character Upham in Saving Private Ryan.