06 March 2009


in my 04 march entry, i brought up abduction (or kidnapping, or extraordinary rendition, or sweeping the non-conformist vermin from the streets) as a political tool for silencing opposition. this, after seeing the film "cautiva", set in argentina. the movie and the concept grow on you. another, equally understated but powerful film on this theme is "rosenstrausse", which is set in germany, both in the present day and by flashbacks in the nazi era. i initially avoided the latter movie, not because i didn't want to face that harsh reality, but because during my life i've faced it many times. i'm glad that i took the chance -- not only did it put a very human face on the horrid choices that no one should ever have to make, but it also falls among those evocative films that leave you wondering, "what would i have done?"

there is also this -- even though i am not religious, i believe strongly in the quaker principle of Bearing Witness, i.e., not turning away from an inhumane act (human brutality) or a painful situation (a whale stranded on a beach), but being there so that the scene will not pass unnoticed. it is a vital component of remembering history, lest we repeat it.

and a variant -- so long as one person is a slave, i am not wholly free. so long as one person is in danger, i am not truly safe. so long as one person struggles against ignorance or oppression, so must i struggle, on whatever paths i discover or create.

speaking of the darker side of history, yet on a lighter note, my ever-reliable friend bill from chicago sent me this link to a set of quotes by the writer alan moore. of those presented, i think my favorite is this -- "sexually progressive cultures gave us mathematics, literature, philosophy, civilization and the rest, while sexually restrictive cultures gave us the Dark Ages and the Holocaust. not that i'm trying to load my argument, of course."

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