"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse." --John Stuart Mill (1806 - 1873)

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Illustrious Alumnus

I received an email from my college notifying me of a "Band Night" in Greenwich Village; several musicians who are alumni were to perform. I checked out the website of one of the performers, someone called Adam Ezra.

One of his recent works is a song entitled "Dynamite". Adam explains what motivated this work (my comments in brackets and italics):

In recent years I have become increasingly disturbed by much of what is happening as result of conflicting ideologies in the Middle East. [Increasingly disturbed? I should hope so; he wrote this after 9/11.] As a westerner it is easy to write off a suicide bomber as an evil person. [So easy...and unfair!] The destruction of innocent life is a horrible thing, yet [yet!] it is my contention that in order to commit a horrific act one must usually be experiencing horrific conditions in their [sic] day to day life. [Could these conditions be the result of the depraved, autocratic governments in the Middle East?]

It bothers me that through the news-media we often only see the perspective of our allies. [He ought to ask his cable provider for Al Jazeera in order to see the "perspective" of our enemies. Or he could check out MEMRI.] While not excusing the actions of Palestinian Fundamentalists and Al Qaeda members [!], for me it is important to make an effort to see the world from their perspective. [OK, here's their "perspective": All infidels must be converted to Islam or killed. Jews must be driven into the sea. Office workers must be incinerated. Truck drivers must be beheaded. Children must be shot in the back.] I believe it is only through these attempts to understand and perhaps even empathize that we can begin to heal many of the cultural catechisms that inspire many to feel desperate enough to commit acts of murder. [You see, it is the "cultural catechisms" that are at fault.]

"Dynamite" is a song from the voice of one such person. From my limited knowledge [I'll say!] of Arab religion and family culture I have attempted to describe a scenario in which, if I were a young Palestinian, I too could be manipulated into thinking that martyrdom was a step forward on the road to salvation.

Sorry for the heavy subject matter. I promise to write about a cheerful song next month!

Thus, our left-leaning institutions of higher education have manipulated yet another young person into thinking that moral equivalence is a step forward on the road to enlightenment.

Imagine, for a moment, a recent college graduate during World War II writing the following: "It is easy to write off a Nazi as an evil person. It bothers me that through the news-media we often only see the perspective of the Allies. While not excusing the actions of Germany and Japan, for me it is important to make an effort to see the world from the perspective of the Axis powers."