What kind of animals are loose in New Zealand that a poor woman is murdered alone in her own classroom on a Sunday, when she's in there preparing for a new school term. What can her last minutes have been like for her? What animals killed and partially dismembered a man then dumped him on a beach; and what cluster of animals killed and are now covering up the slaying of their own twin babies. All in recent weeks. Where did these brutes come from that they can end the lives of good decent people, and of those with their whole lives still ahead of them.
And what about the horrors further afield -- the threats from North Korea; the murders in Mumbai, the people fleeing rocket attacks in Beirut and Haifa?
As I said in a piece I wrote at the end of 2001 when things seemed perhaps somewhat worse, "with a new outrage almost every day, picking up the newspaper each morning is becoming an act of courage."
What kind of bloody place is this where such unthinking, mindless brutesTo anyone who feels that way now, I can only offer that piece to readers once again as any sort of salve. It helped me then to write it. It helps me now to have written it and to read it again: Hell's Half-Acre? Is that really where we're living?
exist that can do such things to other people? Of what use is it - we might ask
ourselves - to proselytise, to persuade and to philosophise when the newspaper
is full of new atrocities every time we pick it up? What use is philosophy and
reason when brainless brutality seems the order of the day?
Bertrand Russell once observed that "many people would sooner die
rather than think - in fact, they do so." If only, we lament, it were only the
wilfully mindless who were dying! But it's not - the bastards are taking others
with them before they go.
LINKS: Hell's Half-Acre? - Peter Cresswell (13 Dec., 2001)
TAGS: War, New_Zealand