The Banality of Violence

On GlobalComment: MTV Ukraine polls its viewers on whether or not it’s okay to beat girls. Also, is it okay to drink milk after the expiration date? Is it okay to take a dollar on the ground when it’s clear no one’ll claim it? Is it okay to underline something in a library book if you erase it before you return it? Things that make ya go hmm!

And from a Free Gaza email update: An Israeli navy boat recently rammed a Gazan fishing boat, severely damaging it. When Ampersand alerted Alas readers about a similar incident, one commenter’s response was that the fishermen “probably threw a fish at them.” (This commenter later claimed, on a different post, that he had less sympathy for Holocaust victims than he did for oppressed peoples who actually put up a fight. When I post on Alas, I try to stay professional, but since this is my space, I’m going to express my honest opinion. FUCK YOU, ASSHOLE.)

It’s not some outside malevolent force that perpetuates violence. It’s our own apathetic excuses. If we can convince ourselves that “they deserved it” – that they did something, anything, any little thing at all to warrant some kind of punishment which just happens to be the punishment they happened to get – then we don’t have to admit that someday, we may be in the same position. Injustice is a call to action, so the solution is obviously to pretend that everything that happens is just.

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3 Responses

  1. This commenter later claimed, on a different post, that he had less sympathy for Holocaust victims than he did for oppressed peoples who actually put up a fight.

    That’s a totally inexcusable sentiment in any case, but that guy has got some serious reading to do if he actually thinks people didn’t put up a fight. Hello Warsaw Ghetto Uprising? Whatfuckingever.

  2. Oh, he was ready for that. ‘Cause, see, those specific people (and obviously they were the only ones who resisted) were a tiny minority, and thus irrelevant to his point!

  3. Ew.

    : (

    Your response here is clearly the right one.

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