Sunday, February 24, 2013

 
"The real problem is in the hearts and minds of men. 
It is easier to denature plutonium than to denature
 the evil spirit of man." -Albert Einstein
 

Apologia  
 
in Literature means: A work written as an explanation or justification of one's motives, convictions, or acts.
 
So I feel bound to provide a kind of apologia for the way I've dedicated so much time and space on my blog to examine the deranged statements featured on Prof. AbuKhalil's  Angry Arab News Service. 
 
Here is my apologia, then:

An Israeli joke tells about a man who visits a zoo and stands for hours next to the giraffe's enclosure, staring at the beast in utter fascination.  There is no such animal, he finally says.

This is more or less how I feel whenever I visit A's AA blog (on a daily and sometimes even hourly basis). I've been asked why I find this person's fulminations so interesting. I don't really know how to answer except that I look and read and think to myself: this cannot be real. This is not being written by a member of an academic corpus, this is not happening in our rational, enlightened, informational time and culture.


Or, if you wish to get poetic about it, you can't do much better than Yeats' fearfully close-to-the-bone poem:

    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.


I think, when the French philosopher Paul Ricoeur spoke of evil as "perversion, [-] a reversal of the order that requires respect for law to be placed above inclination." he must have been intending the same kind of thought as Yeats was trying to impart in this line: 
"the worst / Are full of passionate intensity."

Enough said. 

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