Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Banality of, Well, Banality.

The philosopher and political theorist Hanna Arendt developed the meme “the banality of evil” in reference to Nazi Adolf Eichmann. Eichmann was a senior Nazi official on trial in Israel. Arendt covered the trial of Eichmann.

Arendt was taken by the banality of Eichmann, a bureaucrat in the Nazi holocaust. The term was drawn from the fact that so many ordinary people could uncritically participate in genocide by taking the small but critical steps to murder millions.

A King or a Cog?

The Louisiana populist politician Huey Long rallied voters with the slogan “Every Man a King”. Seems a little grandiose, but it rallied many thousands in the Great Depression. And it begs the question, how does one occupy both roles, cog on the playing field, king sitting by the water bucket on the bench.

How much of what we do passes for anything. Our ancestors’ anonymous struggle with hunger and death has become, at least in the prosperous ghettoes of Western culture, an incessant toil for a lidless garage and inert filler.

What can emerge from these fungible klatches of creature comfort? A higher order or a larger landfill?

From Chattering Classes the Twittering Masses?

One Question. Who the heck cares what you are doing? Millions, one would surmise. Perhaps, but still, who really cares. Perhaps the Author has descended in to misanthropy, but how much bandwidth can be wasted on so much dullardry? Or might one as well ask how many electrons tunneled out (seeking to breathe free) during the broadcast of High School Reunion last night on TVLand?

Twitter, Facebook and other social sites probably have their place, just as shots of Paris Hilton gone commando. After all, a couple of lies told to Barack Obama have elevated Joe the Plumber to the heights of right-wing punditry.

Well, the Brady Bunch reruns are coming on, and the Author is emulating Bobby Jindal and naming himself ater a character. Sam the Meatman, perhaps?

Celebrity and banality are separated by only a few million hits on the link.



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