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Moved to anger by death tolls?(6 posts)

Moved to anger by death tolls?Tom C
Sep 13, 2001 1:20 PM
I stopped over at being curious about the "quiet" carnage that doesn't visit these shores much and doesn't inculcate the same kind of outrage that the recent events in New York have. I'm beginning to think that the outrages here over the recent tragic events are really more reflecting a collective ignorance about the true state of human suffering. It seems that one person per second dies of starvation or starvation related disease.That's 60 per minute,3600 per hour,86400 per day and finally a staggering 31,536,000 million per year. Or is it staggering?Nobody found themselves unable to ride on a given day that 86400 more of us slipped away. No one said they can't talk about bike stuff because of these numbers. Tom Brokaw no doubt went jogging on Monday. No, I think the outrage is not over so much the individuals whose lives were wasted in New York and whose wasting is pissing off Doug but the upset that our lives are now changed and we don't like that. The cocoon of the US, not violated since the war of 1812, is a safe cocoon no longer. We're a spoiled people, conspicuously consumptive and feeling, I think a little guilty, considerably more violated and now suddenly insecure. We've joined the rest of the world which has seldom been civil, never been secure, seldom played by rules and whose history we thought could never really touch us. Any thing, no matter how horrific, that awakens you in the end, cannot be a bad thing.
I respect, understand and agree with much of what you saidLive Steam
Sep 13, 2001 1:54 PM
however, I sense that you believe that we should all feel so guilty for the accident of birth that put us here in this part of the world rather than in some third world nation where those are unfortunately living and dying in a much different world. I would also suspect that though you feel most of us are easily able to sit at our computers on any other day prior to the other days events while those many thousands are starving, are also one of those that feel we - the US - put our collective noses where they don't belong in the world. Many of those that are starving are doing so because of the political nature of their countries not because we here on this board don't care enough for their plight. We send plenty of humanitarian aide to third world nations only to have it used by their military personnel or sold off for profit by their government officials. I will not feel guilty for the lifestyle I have. I am but one as your are and do what I can to make this planet a better place.
It's more like..Tom C
Sep 13, 2001 2:13 PM
when the numbers sank in, something Joseph Stalin said in exactly what context I don't remember, but it goes like this "when a single person is brutally murdered, it's an outrage, when 50,000 are, it's a statistic" Those 31.5 million are the statistic in this case. I really can't expect the government not to "stick it's nose" where it doesn't belong. That's what world no.1 powers do. England did it, as did the Dutch,Romans and Greeks. That's human nature apparently as is the failure to comprehend the staggering vs. the dramatic.
Unpopular opinions on this...mk_42
Sep 13, 2001 2:50 PM
I can tell right off that your opinion is not going to be popular but I agree with you. There are many things happening daily that kill and if you want to go down the political or religious route there have always been killings like that (from the Bible to modern China). One example that comes to mind is from Solzhenietzen's book (Gulag Archipelago) about communist Russia. In the height of their killing they put thousands of people on barges and sank them to save on execution costs. This was a government executing it's citizens.
We live in a sensationalistic culture and I think some of the outrage and instant patriotism comes *from* the fact that it's all on TV. In a way it's almost like a sick movie come true, and admit it or not if this was a movie it's a movie that america would have loved.

These people are dead and they shouldn't be. America is insisting that somebody be blamed for that. I personally wish that we could get beyond that and use it as an eye opening experience but only time will tell.

If you live in a place where your relatives routinely get shot, or crushed by concrete in bombings, you get somewhat desensitiezed. When it's your friend it's still very sad but when it's strangers it's not as shocking. I've noticed that places that have offered the most support for our suffering have also fairly sheltered lives. Countries that have continuing strife over religion, politics, etc. have been less moved.

I hope that in the end this will be a humbling experience that will make america more aware of it's lesser traits and more part of the world at large.

Though I'm sure some people will drastically disagree with me I want them to know that I mean no malice. I'm saddened by the affair, I'm not condonging it. I'm simply recognizing that it's not the end of the world and that those people are not the only ones to ever die unfairly. And that I hope that since we can not undo it, we do what we can to get something positive out of it.

death tollsfiltersweep
Sep 13, 2001 4:27 PM
Collective ignorance of human suffering?

I suppose US foreign policy is to blame for all this starvation as well...

If there is one thing I've learned in life, suffering is relative- sorry to be a pig about it, and no doubt insensitive in your estimation, but no doubt a billionaire would equate your and my existence on our incomes to be "suffering" (tantamount to starvation). I'm not even going to go into the politics of poverty, but your provacative post is misplaced and inappropriate.
If a billionaire...Tom C
Sep 13, 2001 5:41 PM
thinks you and I are suffering because our incomes are not up to his how come Warren Buffet prefers to eat at Dairy Queen? Gates I understand, prefers Burger king. Standard of living is relative, it may not even be affected by income as in the aforementioned example but merely taste or lack of it. Suffering into non-existense is absolute. In none of my posts did I mention US foreign policy, however readers have been facile in inferring such. Why is that?