Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tramautized delicate flowers

William Briggs (Statistician to the Stars!) ponders the crooked timber that is Man:
There’s a story in John Toland’s magisterial The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire (volume two) which depicts a Japanese ship transporting Western prisoners in conditions worse than on any (other) slave ship. It was dark, confined, covered in human filth, and unbearably hot. Unbearably is a strong and apt word. The men went mad and what they did to each other is difficult to relate. I won’t try. Few survived.


Do we need to discuss the Amalekites? The retreat from Moscow in 1812 (and again in the twentieth century)? The guillotine? Should we recall certain religious practices of the Aztecs? The scene in The Brothers Karamazov in which we learn that babies were tossed in the air to be bayoneted for amusement? The Goths? Cannibalism? The practice of sati (also spelled suttee)? Utopian scheme A, B, …?

Enough. It is impossible to be familiar with any serious literature and not realize the human race is fallen, that man is broken, that bad things have always happened and, at least in this form of our existence, always will. A vale of tears isn’t in it. Evil.

So what kind of childish naive sheltered coddled whimpering intellect would allow itself to be “traumatized” over reading about a minor criminal beating up a shopkeeper and then attempting to do the same to a policeman and getting himself killed in the attempt? Traumatized?

I’ll tell you: Columbia law students.
The rest is even better, as he demolishes the frivolous hot house flowers that inhabit today's Academy - students and Administrators.

The only thing that I would add is that many of the prisoners on that Japanese ship were the same age as the Columbia students.

1 comment:

david dorian said...

NOT traumatized. Not at all.

Rather malevolent, manipulative and calculating in using accustomed standards of reciprocity in social relations to get their way.

The trauma is an attack, a coercion of other people.