Comfortably Numb

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by dong20, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. dong20

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    I was reading this earlier and it got me to thinking because I remember it well. In this theme here are just some subsequent events off the top of my head:

    Man made - Rwanda, Iraq and 9/11
    Natural - Bangladesh in '91, Katrina, and the 2004 Tsunami

    Are we becoming inured to death and destruction, not that we don't care but that our threshold of shock is steadily being raised?

    This is a UK based article but I think the question has a global relevance.

    PS To Pink Floyd fans out there; no misdirection intended.:tongue:
     
  2. Gisella

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    Well...for sure I do feel sufocate and many inside things knowing all of that and more still going around and popping up all over the place...and even try to explain some of my fellings in my controversial tittle thread human males are sinking the world. But I had to vent and try to vent many stuff at sametime..

    Not to forget that my perspective comes from not where I reside but where I come from...and to be bombarded by Brasilian news violence and crimes etc and having family and friends in there reenforcing the reality of the news is very stressful too. In many places things are out of control plus the population indignation does not do much. Corruption going on and the same old games of interestes into places...man made craps and traps.

    But then if I just worried about US and Brasil..no, imagine... I just keep absorving more and more countries and regions...specific peoples groups and problems of them. I wish I did not care because it deeply affect me, but I do.

    Well...it sucks deep.:rolleyes:
     
  3. madame_zora

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    I think it explains a lot, not just in the UK or USA, but worldwide. With mass communication, the levels to which we are all exposed to tragedy are astounding. I think here in the US, Watergate was a turning point for us, and we dropped the previously held barrier between what was appropriately private and public in the media.

    We also tend to blur the lines between natural and man-made disasters here, I believe our news reporting is far less concerned with reality than is the BBC. While Katrina was a natural disaster, the government's shameful lack of preparation and response was definitely man-made. Their first line of defense on that one is that "we didn't cause the storm", and that pisses me off, because I KNOW just how many stupid people will jump on board with that slogan. I still feel queasy just remembering watching those people on television who were huddled in the superdome- thirsty, hungry, some deathly il;, having no idea where their children were- it was a nightmare. Every day, I was sure troops would arrive with supplies for them, and day after day it didn't happen. Natural disaster, my ass.

    I get so sick of seeing one form of ineptitude following another that the cynical side of me thinks that my government will use any opportunity, even a tragic one, for profit. Thus far, the evidence has borne that out.

    Yes, we are numb, it takes a lot to shock us. Were that not so, we would never be tolerating the performance of any of our leaders, who are attacking our Constitution from the inside and unraveling the very fabric of our stability, and that of the world. We got indignant over Clinton's blow job, because we understand blowjobs. We understand the motivations and the simplicity of the decision- do it or don't do it. We like to judge things like that, because we have a pretty good chance of getting it "right". We don't want to have to consider anything outside the immediate issue at hand, like whether or not he and his wife were having sex, whether or not Hilary even gave a shit, whethter or not it was really something that affected the operation of the country. We just wanted to label him "wrong" and know that we were right in doing so.

    Okay, so he was bad, and we spanked him. Guess we showed him, right? Wrong. We punished ourselves. Our children got to hear about blowjobs, white stains on blue dresses, and a host of issues that would have previously been considered "adult" prior to that. Yes, R rated movies have been around for a long time, but this was the first time the intimate details of a public figure's sex life had been an open topic for the news media AND THE COURTS in the history of our country. What did we win? Lack of privacy, lack of basic respect for the needs of others to address their own issues, it's a disgrace. Now, do you think for one second that the bastards who pushed this so far that we ended up with Ken Starr as a media icon are going to shoulder ANY of the responsibility for any of this? Nope, it's just pass-the-buck and employ plausible deniability. Whateverthefuck that means.

    While we may be slowly waking up to the notion that this kind of numbness has been used against us, rest assured there are plenty who have known for quite a long time. When I see george bush on tv saying not much of anything to soothe us, I understand that his purpose is far better served when we really don't know what to feel.

    If a man kills his brother, it's bad- really bad. If he wants to get out of it on an insanity plea, all he has to do is kill the rest of the town as well. Once shock sets in, people don't even remember the original crime.
     
  4. Matthew

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    You are telling my story, dong. I need some level of numbness just to move through this world on a daily basis, knowing the level of horror that exists out there. The man-made atrocities have a much sharper effect on me personally. Attribute it to what you will, but this sense I'm describing has definitely become much more pronounced since the turn of the century.
     
  5. dong20

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    Hmmm....

    Decades of narrow minded, self serving and duplicitous foreign policy leads terrorists to strike the Twin Towers, well it was just bad intell right? Damn, now we need to divert attention from the corruption and incompetence within our administrations that led to this tragedy, and be seen to get some 'payback'?

    Cunning plan A: Bomb Afghanistan back to the stone age, we're sure to get than Osama chap. I know we're in bed with his folks but we can brush that under the carpet, surely. But no, Osama got away, seems the Russians had the right idea getting the hell out of there, but we cannot be seen to be so easily defeated so.....

    Cunning Plan B: Lets get a gang together, invade Iraq (full of baddies with WMDs set to wipe us out, right) kill civilians by the hundred thousand, destroy its infrastructure and generally make the world even more dangerous for us all? Sure, but we got Saddam so that's OK then.

    Most of all, lets lie about why we did all this and while we're saving the world from those nasty Islamic extremists we can covertly use the 'war' as a cover for screwing millions worldwide out of rights that millions of others died to protect and all done in the name of preserving our way of life.

    Now, while we're counting the bodies what was the original crime.
     
  6. dong20

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    Me too, while natural disasters are terrible enough they at least are without premeditaion or malice. That hardly makes the victims suffering any easier for sure but I would think in the case of non natural disasters knowing that what had happened was the desired effect of another member of your own species actions could be even worse....:mad:
     
  7. madame_zora

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    Exactly! And even worse, while we're diverting attention, let us not neglect to realise that in confusion, there's profit. Not only financial profit, but idealogical profits as well. While everyone's horrified and stunned, let's pass a lot of laws that appear to give protection from further harm (because we sure don't want to change our profitable foriegn policies), but will in effect only lessen our civil liberties and widen the class gaps.
    We'll convince the poorest among us that this is in their best interest because God wants it. Yeah, God really wants us to lose our jobs and kill our neighbors. Right.

    By the time anything really comes to light, the people in charge have already made all the money they're ever going to need, their families are secured for future generations, so who really gives a fuck if they get branded a "creep" sometime in the future? Bush's grandfather proved this already, we don't even remember his name. It's not like they're not going to be able to buy their way out of anything. Once again, when the amount of money missing goes into the billions, it's just too much for people to grasp, and there won't be any expectation of repayment, because the paper trail has been destroyed for a long time.

    But if an apparently powerful women inappropriately handles $40k, THAT'S a jailable offense. Martha Stewart's main crime was she didn't steal enough.:rolleyes:
     
  8. D_Bob_Crotchitch

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    We are bombarded constantly by the media with violence. There is a lot of good out there but nobody reports it. The constant bombardment makes us numb. We are hit with it on the news, on tv programs, in the movies, it has an enormous numbing effect. Turn your tv off for 3 months. Turn it back on and watch something violent. It will upset you. I didn't watch anything wild for about 3 years. I watched something bad and I didn't sleep well for days.

    A man I chat with in a another place just had heart surgery 3 weeks ago. Today he made 26 loaves of whole wheat cheese bread to feed to homeless people. Their group has a soup kitchen. Now that is something good.
     
  9. dong20

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    Indeed and what I should have expanded on (I was rushing) when I posted :

    The 'our' was in part a collective one, our as in we proles (who of course need our Government's protection*) and our as in we (the Goverment or agencies on their behalf) who perpetrated these acts:

    Cunning Plan C: Create some agencies with homely names like "Dept of Homeland Security" to appeal to our sense of nationalism. Then, pass some questionable legislation with catchy, evocative names like "Patriot Act" which, in essence are intended to label and gag those who seriously question what their Government has done. They are branded 'terrorist sympathisers' and thus subject to arbitrary and indefinate detention. Thus offering a serious disincentive to our demanding political accountability. Here in the UK while we have rather less imaginative names and generally drop domestic anti-terrorism enforcement on the Police the end result is broadly similar.

    Of course many are wise to this and while many citizens may have voiced misgivings, relatively few career policitians will oppose them quite so openly, for obvious reasons. Here in the UK some did, especially among the Judiciary, and they deserve credit for it. In response the Home Secretary used such erudite statements as "They just don't get it..." and that old chestnut "...they're putting our national security at risk..." to dismiss political as well as Judicial and civil dissent.

    A hypothetical; If terrorists worldwide unconditionally ceased activity tomorrow and this could be 'trusted' I wonder, how quickly would such increasingly draconian powers be rescinded? While power is easily seized it's seldom so easily yielded. Increasingly it seems harder to certain of who the real enemy is and who presents the greater risk to our security and liberty.

    Is the price of turning nominally free societies from having their core values undermined by others is by turning them into police states in order to 'protect' them? And if it is are we saying if we're to be 'subjegated' then better by our own hand?

    * Of course I'm focussing here on the edges of the envelope and not seeking to undermine the legitimate, vital work that law enforcment and security agencies undertake to protect us, most of which we're blissfully unaware of.

    I hate to paraphrase from movies but sometimes it seems appropriate:

    "You can't handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls. And those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? ...... You have the luxury of not knowing what I know........ And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives...You don't want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall."

    What I'm suggesting is that we should always be on guard to ensure that gun isn't aimed at us.

    Ironic isn't it.

    Funny how this has turned into another anti totalitarianism at home thread. Still, keep your enemies closer....:rolleyes:
     
  10. madame_zora

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    Sorry, I'm nothing if not a broken record.

    As to the article, it's a theory I've had for a while, but have been unable to articulate it clearly. The escalation of illegal activities just brings it into the realm of the surreal, so that people don't know where to start, or what the most pressing problems even are. The numbness becomes evident when you can hear the whimper in their voices as they plead with anyone offering dissent to just shut up and tow the line along with them.
     
  11. Full_Phil

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    ---so as not to rock the boat for something that might be even worse.

    I'm old enough that I grew up with movies and mores that honored ground swells against tyranny and/or the tycoon taking advantage of the average person. I am too old to have grown up with video games and movies that have numbed us to killing and bloodshed. How much of what we are seeing in society is the result of an overall malaise brought on by the overload of violence in every corner of our lives? We are so tied to media distortion that reality just doesn't "sell" any more. I mean, fuck, they're about to bring out a movie about the battle at Thermopolye (sp?) where it's all about movie technical tricks with no hint of worrying about whether the story is even close to accurate. If I'm someone who is going to do what most leaders in history have done, I'm going to use what's out there to hide my activities. Let the drugs flow, let 5 year olds go to movies where gore and horror is more important than dialogue, blow up young children in marketplaces half way across the world, and then save your support by fanning the flames of patriotism when people get hurt or killed in your own back yard. And don't fix the problem (a la Katrina). Keep it in front of the people as yet another deflection from the real agenda.

    CHFS!
     
  12. B_big dirigible

    B_big dirigible New Member

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    Not really. There's a certain inevitability to these things.

    I've been wondering when a mod would move the thread to a more appropriate forum. Maybe to one at Daily KOS.
     
  13. dong20

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    Yes, that's what the ":rolleyes:" meant. Was I too subtle for ya BD? Never mind, I'll try to write plainer next time.

    Two references to Daily KOS in one day. Take care BD lest we begin to think you're a closet liberal.:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
  14. madame_zora

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    And here I thought he might be on their advertising payroll.:tongue:
     
  15. dong20

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    Advertising requires imagination (just jerking your chain BD).:smile:

    I just turned on the TV and guess what's on....."A Few Good Men"....twiglet zone....twiglet zone.:eek:
     
  16. Yummy

    Yummy New Member

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    I think that we as a society have marginalized the personalities that would say ENOUGH. Everyone is a "joiner" and it's all about the "team". If you're not on the team, you're a problem. We have become a society that values harmony and not making waves, where before we valued the very people who would say - wait a minute, that's not right, and it's not happening here.
     
  17. SpeedoGuy

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    A good question. I haven't noticed a dearth of caring, however, just about everyone I know is drowning in information overload. In my opinion, that's the real villain. Compassion fatigue is just a symptom.

    In the words of U2 from Achtung Baby: You miss too much these days if you stop to think.

    The title is what attracted me into this thread.
     
  18. SpoiledPrincess

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    It's called 'Compassion fatigue,' we can only be exposed to so much misery before we switch off.
     
  19. Full_Phil

    Full_Phil New Member

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    I guess it's the same with carnage, tittilation, requests for help, etc --- What we didn't know years ago didn't hurt us.
     
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