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today is my thursday now. I have to grade a bunch of papers so that I will have not so many to grade tomorrow that I end up spilling over into monday, now my saturday. nonetheless on monday I have to go to the art institute to put the few printed essays in their boxes--we do most of the work via email--and put Night and Fog and Hiroshima mon amour on reserve in the library.

did I mention that of the six who stayed and watched Night and Fog, at least a couple reported that it was not so difficult to watch?


what is wrong with kids these days? I did get one comment that the scene that freaked her out the most was the mountains of women's hair. I thought that was interesting, because that was the scene I found most disturbing the first time I watched it too. the insane economy in the nazi's manufacture of corpses was perhaps at its most blatant in the bolts of cloth made from the hair. who on earth was supposed to wear that cloth? did anyone? knowing where it came from? it's questions like that that make the whole thing seem so unreal and yet absolutely terrifying in its mundanity. they killed millions and made cloth from their hair for everyday citizens to wear.

something similar is going to happen to queers and drug users here if we don't watch where we're going.

as one student pointed out, it already happens in factory farming, and although she said she knows that the holocaust was very different, I think the analogy holds. what I've read about factory farming makes it seem a similar experiment to see how much an intelligent, sentient body can suffer. and on a grand scale.

you can see, I am sure, the difference between quickly killing an embryo or fetus and condemning an adult social animal to live alone in a wire cage with a wire floor for six years or more. or worse. just in case you were taking me as a liberal who was more concerned about animal welfare than human welfare. as far as I can tell, anti-abortionists don't give a flying fuck about human welfare. they couldn't care less what happens to all those kids they want to condemn to live. you'd think, given the disproportionate number of human souls who are supposed to burn in the lake of fire for all eternity that they would welcome a chance to painlessly and quickly nix the soul's very existence.

tangent land. sometimes I think I should write a famous blog instead of an anonymous livejournal blog but a) how does one become famous in blogland and b) what would I do when people started yelling at me? not only am I thin-skinned, but I am obsessive. disagree with me and I will stay up all night thinking about it.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 4th, 2006 06:41 pm (UTC)
When I went to the Holocaust Museum in DC when I was sixteen, I found the pictures of the piles of shoes horrifying but not as horrifying as the hair.
Mar. 4th, 2006 09:57 pm (UTC)
why do you think you found it so horrifying?
Mar. 4th, 2006 10:11 pm (UTC)
The hair was a part of people. A lot of people attach a lot of their sense of identity to their hair. Look at all the products to prevent hair loss and all the hair products that are out there. Taking away the hair strips people of their sense of self.
Mar. 4th, 2006 10:12 pm (UTC)
That was me.
Mar. 4th, 2006 10:22 pm (UTC)
that makes sense. I hadn't though of it in quite that way. I was struck by the sheer volume of it and what it represented in the way of mass suffering undergone as an accepted part of everyday living.
Mar. 4th, 2006 07:09 pm (UTC)
in my obsessive catholic phase (late 20's to late 30's or so), i could barely sleep worrying about aborted babies. also about nuclear holocaust though, too, since i sometimes read the liberal catholic press, which tended to feature helen caldicott. the thing about zeroing in on an issue like abortion is that it really does have the power to bend a person's mind. i mean, it's an ugly thing, even if we accept that it should be allowed. to someone with a tender(ized) mind, it's almost unbearable. that way lies madness. i'm glad i emerged.

it seems to me that kids today (no, i'm not going to rant like somebody's granny, honest) have been exposed to so much horror in film and music and so on that it isn't as scaldingly affecting to them to see evidence from the camps as it was when we were younger. my older son can watch films that make me close my eyes in order not to barf, and he can laugh at them. i don't know which of us is better adjusted, though. hmmm.
Mar. 4th, 2006 10:14 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you emerged too. animal abuse is what I find unbearable. I don't stay up nights worrying about it but I can't see images of it because it is viscerally painful and mentally agonizing. abortionists aren't throwing living fetuses to packs of dogs.

it is an ugly thing, but I think it is useful to make the distinction between suffering and death and realize that our instinctive belief that life is preferable to death is not necessarily always correct. the debate that rages about assisted suicide for those with fatal conditions mirrors that of abortion in a way that few think about, I think. if I were king of the world, both decisions would be between doctor and patient and no one else could legally intervene, unless there were suspicion of malpractice. it's a persistent gray area where we would most like there to be black and white, I suspect.
Mar. 4th, 2006 10:26 pm (UTC)
oh yes, unmerited suffering on the part of the helpless (political victims, animals, children, and so on) is just so hard to think about. i have to hide from the thought.

i definitely agree that life isn't always preferable to death. kevorkian was a ghoul (from what i've read), but there's a kindness in letting people go when they are nothing but suffering.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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