Friday, February 04, 2005

It's been a long, long, long time....

According to the mail I've been getting lately, it seems that having a blog brings with it the responsibility to blog. That's not quite as easy as it seems. I react to the world around me, of course, but I react in ways that aren't always appealing.

Take the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, for instance. I had an entry keyed up that denied the Holocaust. Not, as some may imagine, that I believe for a single second that the murder of millions did not happen, or that there was not a definite and deliberate attempt to remove entire peoples from the face of the earth. I merely meant to point out that a Holocaust is a burnt offering, a sacrifice, and that no God worthy of the name would accept such a sacrifice. Specifically, the God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob (baruch ha-Shem) has gone on public record telling believers in Him that human sacrifice is repugnant to Him. What happened was no sacrifice. There was nothing holy about it.

We need a new word for what happened at Auschwitz/Birkenau, at Dachau, at Treblinka, at Babi Yar, and at so many nameless places throughout Europe. We need a word that doesn't sugar-coat what happened; a word that includes not only the Jews, but the Roma and the Poles. A word that politicians can't pussyfoot around, as they have done so often with "genocide". Something so clear, so obvious, that no-one ever has to teach their children what it means. Something so immediate that no-one can ever avoid using it when it happens. Something that might have stopped Rwanda. Something that may yet help in Darfur.

It was a clever bit of writing, but I had to suck it back in, especially when I considered that people reading this might not read all the way through. I don't mind people thinking I'm a weirdo. I don't mind them thinking I'm an asshole. I DO mind them thinking I'm some kind of Nazi, and I DO care that others may take a few words out of context and cause pain I can't begin to imagine.

3 comments:

Jess said...

I quote: "I react to the world around me, of course, but I react in ways that arn't always appealing."

Who wants to read the same reactions everywhere? Why do we read different blogs? To gain perspectives that we had not thought of previously, or in this case, to read things we may have forgotten about and reflect on them all over again. I'll be honest, until I read this and just did some research, I had never heard of Darfur. It's too easy to forget the horror that's going on in the world while we complain about a few feet of snow.

Stan Rogers said...

Unfortunately, Jess, I'm not really surprised to find out that you didn't know about Darfur. It's not as important, I guess, to the future of the world and its people as the Michael Jackson jury selection. I'm with Jon Stewart on this one -- the media is hurting us.

Jess said...

...which is one of the reasons why I stopped watching TV a long time ago, save for a few things. I think a large part of the problem is the sources I *do* go to online for news, which are probably the wrong ones. Most of the searches I did led me to news.bbc.co.uk. So, I think it's time for a change, it's embarrassing to be this ignorant.