Wednesday, April 24, 2013

On Hatred: The Economic Argument

The whole US Government should file into the nearest theatre in Washington DC, and someone should play for them a cartoon that explains the economical situation of America better than any other. Duck Tales, specifically, this episode about inflation. Essentially, the more money is made, the less it's worth, due to supply and demand.  For instance, when Titanic came out on VHS, so many copies were made that Walmart couldn't give them away. They had so many, and so their worth went down. Another example... say you had one coffee cup. You couldn't get another one. How careful would you be with that coffee cup? It would be like gold to you, and the same example would apply to toys children had in years gone by.  Children had one doll, one car, one basketball, and if they got damaged or ruined, there just wasn't enough money to go out and buy another (and especially no credit cards by the handfuls) People were much more careful  about the things they had. Now, you break the coffee cup, you go to Walmart and buy one for $5.00, and you think nothing of it.  For that coffee cup is basically worthless.

Now, to return to the idea of evil, of the hatred that runs through people's veins like a germ.  That hatred must be exercised in different ways. One obvious, and relatively safe way, is through the playing of first-person shooter video games. My brother is really good at it, and I thought the game Carmageddon II was amazing, as you got to run over people with your car as you demolished other vehicles. And if you died or crashed, you just "respawned" in your home base. Just 100 coins, and you get a new life, to put it simply. The value of those lives is diminished as it matters little how many times you get killed.  The situation changes when there's something to be lost when death occurs, in video games, that is. If there are no consequences, then death matters very little.

Outside, in the real world, we experience the same thing.  I call it "population inflation," the idea that, as our population grows, the value of each individual life becomes less. You can see it everywhere. In the south side of Chicago, children are murdered daily, and you hear very little about it outside of the normal body count on the news. You've seen the videos where someone lays bleeding on the sidewalk, and pedestrians just walk around him or her, unwilling to help or to get involved. The value of that life just isn't worth them taking time out of their day. This is the value of human life now. We come a dime a dozen, and when it's time to throw the dead, useless bodies out of the hospice and welcome a new set of elderly in, why, that's the way things go. Squeeze out the last bits of money available, and move on.  Charge them for the Big Mac, the weight loss program, the Cardiologist bill, the increased health insurance premiums, and then be done with them, ready for a new generation to run through the mill.  And there are countless other examples, but those are for other blogs, other rants.

The prime example comes from Newtown, Connecticut  The shooter walks into Sandy Hook Elementary and guns down an entire class of Kindergartners  and then himself.  I would really like to know what he thought was going to happen to those children. Would they simply "respawn" at their houses, to appear the next day at school? Would the shooter and his mom do the same thing? What was the value of each child's life as he took them away? Nothing. He didn't even hold his own life of any value, as, I guess, he thought he would simply appear someplace else, ready to start the next day.

Likewise, the Radical Islamic Terrorists that have plagued the world recently (and let's be honest, they've existed for centuries, but now they have the weapons and we have the 24 hour news broadcasts to make each of them known. Postman: "The Medium is the Message.") have the same view of life as the Newtown shooter did. To them, Islam has taught them that all life outside of Islam is worthless, and people are to be turned or destroyed. Further, Jihad makes suicide a rewarding act, that in the next world, there will be riches for ending their lives after killing Christians (or any other "infidels." The Radical Islam sect encourages the spread of hate, the devaluing of human life, like no other religion on Earth. We have to see this, and endeavor to eradicate that hate anywhere we see it, online, in our prison system, or in the people that we love.  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

On Hatred: The Dental Argument

I talked before, in a blog about Anger, how all the negative things that happen in our lives, if not properly dealt with, become a hardened core in the soul, effectively killing the person inside. I've always said that the shooter that went into Columbine High in Colorado was dead long before he actually killed himself. He no longer had a soul, his heart was merely a hard core of anger.

Think of all the negative things that happen in a person's life as the bacteria that forms in the mouth. All the name calling, the insults, the gay slurs posted online, the yelling of parents late at night, all of this, becomes like germs floating around in the brain, in the blood stream. Most people are able to relax, to balance it out with positive influences. They listen to music, they spend time with those that they love, they worship in church, letting God ease those dark times. There are those, however, that let the germs fester, forming, to follow the metaphor, plaque around the teeth, blackening the enamel, hollowing out the insides, making the body a delicate, painful, brittle thing. The pain of a tooth that has been eaten away by plaque is unbearable (and I know from much experience). It's the same as the negativity that flows around in the soul. It becomes hardened, starts eating away at everything that is special and dear. Take the recent terrorists in Boston, they had promising careers, in medicine, sports, etc..., but were eaten away by all the negativity thrown at them from many different sources, not the least of which were the violent anti-American videos promoted by Muslim radicals. By the time they set those bombs at the Marathon, they were simply shells of that evil plaque. It is only by the grace of God that the younger one survived to allow us to know what was actually going on. It does show that maybe the younger brother still had a little soul left in him, something that might be salvageable  else he would have killed himself. (And I say that in total recognition that what he did with his brother was the act of pure evil, and he must receive the consequences of that. I only hope that he can be rescued, Saved (in the Christian sense of the word) before he dies or is executed. Only God can forgive him now.

Going back to evil as a germ, as bacteria, it is easily spread, from one person to another, by bullies at school, by the kids who throw gay slurs at nine year olds online, by anyone that hasn't washed those germs clean. And it's so important that we look out for it in our everyday lives. It's everywhere in society, and we don't even notice it sometimes. Go watch TMZ for an episode, or see the Reality TV shows where people stab each other in the back. Even the night talk shows, like Jay Leno, who insult Lindsay Lohan daily, are doing nothing but making that actress worse. The spiritual life and internal fortitude of those stars must be so strong to withstand the constant barrage of evil thrown at them every single day.

Go to Instagram, on the "popular" page, and pick out any picture of a person (a "selfie," they call it), and you'll see, among the useless cries of "I luv u!!!," girls who post "gay" or "go kill yourself." Then the supporters go after the "trolls," and a cursing war breaks out, all in front of children who don't need that in their lives. I've mentioned before Davis Cleveland, who withstood (and continues to deal with) a constant barrage of insults from people online. And while I know he's strong enough to ignore them and persue his dreams, I worry about the lingering effects of all this. So many child stars have grown up spiraling down into addictions, negative behavior, and some, even suicide (Jonathan Brandis, for instance), and many of them were stars well before the Internet. What effects will social media have on these actors as they mature and grow? The good part about Davis' life is that he has a solid Christian background, supportive parents, and friends both physical and online, that lift him up and provide that positive encouragement. I'm actually surprised in the many young actors now that are Christians, and I hope that God will carry them "through" the fires they face each day.


Monday, April 22, 2013

On Hatred: Intro, and The Jungian Argument

[ I'm dividing this series up into different parts, as the blog got way too long as a whole. I'll post one a day for the next 4 days. It deals with evil, hatred, bullying, and how they all come from the same state, whether it be terrorism or cyber-bullying, or late night humor.]

So apparently the Rockdale County Public Schools won an award for installing what amounts to an anonymous text program that allows students to report bullying and other issues to authorities without being labeled a snitch. A great tool for students to use whenever they are being victimized.  However, I look about all the "anti-bullying" awareness today, from commercials to efforts by the president...etc..., and I wonder, where was all this 25 years ago?  There were bullies back then, there were victims, there just weren't teachers and a public who cared.  It's become a hot-button topic, and that's fine, it will help many of the students today to recover from some of the awful things that I experienced many years ago.  What is the difference between today's bullying and that of two decades ago?  One thing is that we have the technology to report it, through video cameras in our cell phones (which, when given to the media, makes an instant story and makes the school system look bad, and in this litigious society, opens them up for lawsuits).  We also have social media which is a double edged sword, for it brings the acts of bullies to light, as well as allows those bullies into our own bedrooms.

Actually, I've been stuck at that paragraph for quite a while now.  Especially over the past week, with the Boston events showing the world how evil people can be.  The problem that I've been having, I think, apart from general depression (which has nothing to do with the topic on hand), is that the social labels we're giving these people,  "terrorists," "bullies," "victims," are all complicated, and complicating, the actual issues here.  What makes people behave the way they do?

The Jungian Argument

Brief psychology lesson here.  According to Carl Jung, there are three parts of the human mind. The id, a subconscious being that communicates base desires to us.  It wants what it wants, and it will do anything to achieve it.  Sex, food, violence, revenge, those temper tantrums you see kids throw when they don't get the toy they think they want.  That's all id.  The superego is also a subconscious being, comprised of the morals of society, the lessons taught from parents and natural consequences, the natural assumption of right and wrong.  If a baby sticks his finger on an iron (or even a teenager, for that matter.... don't ask) and burns his finger and has to keep it in ice cold water while he gets his hair cut, the lesson learned from that is stored in the superego.  Thus, he never will stick his finger on  an iron again (although, come to think of it, that was the car cigarette lighter...)  The third part is the ego, the conscious mind.  It decides, based on the id, and the superego, and from reason, emotion, and other thought processes, and decides what is right and what is wrong, and thus, what action should be taken.  Take any of these out, and you have a problem on your hands.

It's obvious now, if the superego is lacking, then the only thing the ego (you) has to hear from is the id.  An example.  In 1999,  the Columbine High School shooting (although, technically, there were a few before that, but this was the big one) put into everyone's minds the idea that it's possible to enter a school building and start shooting people. For the shooter to enter the high school, the superego either  hadn't existed, or it was so feeble that the shooter's ego didn't listen. So overpowered it was by the urges of the id to enact violence against his peers.  The superego must learn the lessons taught the person by pain, punishment, or parents.  If discipline at home doesn't exist, then there's nothing to influence the ego (the conscious mind) into thinking anything other than what the id tells it to. If the information that the brain digests from the outside world is nothing but action movies, violence, and pleasure-seeking, there's no societal values to counteract the id either.  Thus you have materialistic, self-centered, self-serving feral beings that will do whatever they want no matter the consequences, because consequences don't mean anything.  There is no one in the home to spank them if they do wrong.  When they become adults and are sent to jail, there's little punishment, except four walls, bad food, and roommates of questionable character.  They can be trained, a superego formed, around the societal norms of a jail cell. They are brainwashed into thinking that blowing up buildings and killing Christians is a good thing.  All this because the superego wasn't formed in time.  And people can see it, they know it, and can brainwash them into doing whatever they want.  It's why many of the school shooters are upper class kids whose parents threw money at them instead of discipline, and thus they weren't taught right from wrong at the very beginning.  How many children, even on a smaller level, have that same attitude? Even those in the poorest ranks, whose parents just aren't there, aren't getting the lessons they need to counteract the base desires the id throws at them every day.