Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Being Absent.

I’ve been distracted by several things today, not least the writing of a long YouTube comment in which I apologised to somebody for the excessively belligerent tone of an earlier comment of mine, and then constructed a lengthy and controlled exposition on why I believe him to be narrow and misguided. I’m not sure why I bothered. But I did, and that’s why I’ve been absent from my friend the blog.

So then I started a post on the subject of Dylann Roof, but you know how it is. You find yourself flying down and examining so many avenues of thought that you need a 300-page book to do the subject justice. I'm sure there are plenty of people with better minds and more expert knowledge than me who have written plenty of books exceeding 300 pages in length, so why bother? Accordingly, let me skip to the bottom line.

Most crime – even something as terrible as mass murder – is committed by people who don’t know that what they’re doing is wrong. They know it’s illegal, but that isn’t the same thing. Wrongness is a matter of perception, not a simple expedient of diktat. Ergo, if a culture limits its response to the simple meting out of punishment, it isn’t going to make much difference to the crime rate. It takes a hell of a lot more than that.

So please don’t execute Mr Roof. Try to understand why he thought he was doing the right thing and then set about making fundamental changes to the culture. Some hope…

(I note the objection to official use of the Confederate flag, by the way. That’s interesting, and even a little heartening.)

I think that might have to do for today. I’m tired and want to listen to some music. And my only nod to existential wisdom is a line from Monty Python:

I drink therefore I am.

Let’s have a drink. Thinking can wait.

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