Comments of the Week: Reading Between the Lines
We detected a pattern in this week’s roundup of noteworthy comments on Truthdig.
Namely, we noticed that you all were noticing patterns. And there was almost too much material to work with, from the aftermath of the June 12 shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., to the future of Bernie Sanders’ campaign, to the dark driving forces behind hatred and mass violence.
Take our first pick, for example, composed by Pat Branigan in response to this E.J. Dionne column about Pulse Orlando, “Will Orlando Drive Us From Our Corners?”:
Depersonalization. Our nation has been going through this process for decades. People who disagree with us are not humans who deserve, rights, life, their opinions, and respect. They are Other. They are people to be harassed, beaten put down, insulted, and killed. We are a divided society and not just divided in two but rent into pieces all told each other is wrong and therefore bad so we have the right to treat them in any manner we see fit. From our politicians, to the police, to the citizens themselves this belief is demonstrated daily in our Congress, on the streets, in our businesses, on social media and in our very homes. Murder is just the ultimate result of our divisiveness. We are no longer Americans but people to just murder others because they don’t believe/act exactly as I do or as I want them to. We are lost because we don’t even feel like people ourselves so it is so important that others validate us and when they do not we want them away from us. We want them incarcerated, deported or dead of course those we want put away feel the same way.about us.It is as Pogo said: “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
Next, Marian Griffith pushes back on fellow commenter zlop’s remark speculating about a “Muslim takeover,” posted under this story about a journalist’s scarily easy gun-buying experience:
What muslim takeover?
Muslims make up about four percent of the European population and the majority of them is barely practicing. Thanks to aggressive policies by Saudi Arabia to peddle their ultra-conservative form of Islam, the percentage of wahhabi and salafi muslims is increasing slightly within that small minority. The percentage is not rising, and the fertility is dropping at the same rate as it does for christian (lapsed or otherwise) and non-practicing or atheist europeans.
No matter the scare mongering by extremist right wing nationalists there is no imminent muslim take over in Europe any more than there is in the USA. And as long as muslims are allowed to be part of society and are not ostractised or heavily discriminated against, they are not likely to radicalise either.
More patterns and thematic talk: FreeOregon went into considerable detail in a discussion thread about Bernie Sanders’ call for progressives to run for local office:
Suppression is force. It does not work. Force everywhere and always engenders equal or greater force in response. Or, pushback, prevarication, non-cooperation.
We waste time, money and resources when we suppress. Got to keep the lid on and sit on it.
You can suppress a racist to keep her quiet, but that does not change thoughts and actions. Does not matter if the state applies the force or an individual.
Society has tried force for several thousand years and we still have class stratification, racism, sexism, and of course militarism.
Aren’t these reenforced by the state? Change using force is very, very slow. I venture actual change occurs despite force and would be more rapid without it.
Most people do not know how to effect peaceful change effectively. Usually we blame “human nature,” throw up our hands and call the police. Vicious cycle.
If you want real, lasting change doesn’t that begin inside each individual and work its way out? Real change is an inside job.
What if the state keeps itself in business by creating the very problems it tries to suppress? If you look deeply into any issue about which we get exorcised, don’t you find government involved?
Default position becomes “my guys will do a better job.” I don’t see any partisan guys doing well.
Why do we waste so much time and effort on trying to get our preferred crooks into government instead of changing the world ourselves?
I respect your being unable to imagine anything other than force. It’s the world in which we live. Do we want to continue this way?
Why not invent a new future by thinking new thoughts, and taking action?
“Consent of the governed” is a profound concept.
Here’s a bit of a departure from our own pattern to drop in on tomtomjunior’s well-written bit of sports nostalgia about Howard Cosell and Muhammad Ali’s relationship:
Before Cosell and Ali discovered the banter mode that was so irresistible, the basis for mutual respect was established by their mutual grasp of boxing’s strategy and tactics. View the videos of their first few encounters and you can see and hear this–two experts discoursing with precision on the fine points of the art. This respect never dissolved. I think they almost stumbled into an awareness as they went along that they were each masters of trashtalk as well. The way to exploit this was to set up a kind of vaudeville partnership–one in which Howard was more or less the straightman. It resulted in improv talkshow of rare quality. I hope the videos are never lost.
Last on this week’s list is one SkippingDog, who executed an effective media critique in only three words. This one was posted in response to Friday’s Ear to the Ground news item about wealthy power players, like Silicon Valley’s Peter Thiel, shelling out money to influence media coverage:
This explains Fox.
Hard to argue with that one.
–Posted by Kasia AndersonWAIT, BEFORE YOU GO…
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