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Friday, 24 May 2013

The stupidity of evil is contagious (rant alert)

I've been lucky enough to see some really good social changes in my life. I remember the Berlin wall coming down. I saw the end of apartheid, and Madiba become president.  A large amount of LGBT folk no longer feel they have to hide who and what they are. Mixed marriage is longer regarded as a perversion in most circles.

Then there's the other side of the coin. The folk that still think women should accept a casual hiding when they ask for it, that anyone being raped or molested deserves it, and that an institution with a history of interfering with little boys and covering it up, has the right to dictate what two (or more) consenting adults get up to. The people that think that having breasts and ovaries mean that you should suck up a lower pay-cheque, that the government has the right to decide what you can and cannot do with your own body, and the ones that think that sending police into rob the homeless of their belongings is completely acceptable because they're bringing down the tone of the neighbourhood, dear. The ones that think that having a darker skin tone makes you sub-human.

On that side of the coin there are the moments of true evil, given a human face and leaving the rest of us soul-sick.

They are the men who pick up weapons, mow down an unarmed man with a car, and butcher him in front of on-lookers, and then pose for filming by those on-lookers with some sort of rabid manifesto that should chill anybody. (On a side-note, I completely fail to understand why somebody - anybody - didn't try to stop these guys. It takes a bit of time to behead a man, and a good swift knock on the back of the head with a rock might have stopped that part. I would also like to know how they were so sure he was a serving soldier, since he was out of uniform, because that implies they targeted Lee Rigby a good while earlier.)

They are also the people who riot in the streets afterwards, screaming racial epithets and attacking places of worship. Both of the guys who did this were British, but I doubt the EDL screamed "Piss off Brits!" while they were hurling bottles and charging the cops. There were two sets of terrorists on the streets that day. Unfortunately it doesn't appear the second will face any justice at all.

The idiot MPs who criticised the armed police for taking so long to get there. Pick a direction; those cops have to wade through a bunch of security including getting authorisation just to get to their weapons. Their locked up weapons, unless there was an armed car in the area; in which case they are locked in the car armoury. This is a policy that you enforced, so yeah, it'll take a bit of time. But it's a lot easier to use a man's death to get a sound-bite, isn't it?

The people who climb onto social media declaring a mini-war on an entire religion or colour of people - yep, they fall into that category too.

And the worst thing is, they did exactly what the two butchers wanted, and likely planned for. Rage begets rage, and violence begets violence, and at the end of it you have another potential blood feud starting.

Who wins, in messy, stupid little wars like this?

Any politician or government department with bad news to bury wins. Any politician pushing for less civilian rights and more police power will ride this one into the ground. 

The people who abuse a religion until it's bent and shaken and almost unrecognisable to the millions who genuinely practice it. They'll win too, and likely use these two men as poster boys in the future. 

The far right, who've already leapt all over this like starving vultures, and gone out to do a little damage of their own. They win.

The ones who seize any excuse to hate. The ones that want power. The ones addicted to blood. They win.

The rest of us? We sure as hell don't win. We bury our dead, and mourn, and rage on blogs like this over the utter stupidity of it. The futility of another man dead, and families destroyed, and if we aren't very, very careful, we just add to the hate. It's contagious that way.