Thursday, December 01, 2011

A Familiar Earth.

People are so strange.

I was reading an article containing colour photographs of London in World War 2, and was amazed at how the colour bought such an intense new feeling of familiarity to them. Instead of being black and white, old, disconnected pictures from another time, they suddenly transformed into scenes I recognised, streets I have walked down, a familiar Earth.

I am always more interested in the comments sections of news articles than the news itself, and while reading through I saw another familiar phenomenon- negative comments for true statements that people just plainly do not like.

Regardless of the truth value of a comment, if it reflects an unpopular opinion, or touches on a subject deemed taboo by the majority, if people can give it a negative vote, they most certainly will.

Here is the comment in question:

""Hitler only undertook the bombing of British civilian targets reluctantly three months after the RAF had commenced bombing German civilian targets. Hitler would have been willing at any time to stop the slaughter. Hitler was genuinely anxious to reach with Britain an agreement confining the action of aircraft to battle zones." - J.M Spaight., CB., CBE., Bombing Vindicated, p.47., Principal Secretary to the Air Ministry"

Every other comment, regardless of how little illumination it brought forth, had an average positive rating ratio of 50%, negative ratings, 0.

Isn't it interesting that in this case, the comment only had negative ratings?

It's not even an opinion, it is a quote, from the principal assistant secretary at the Air Ministry during the war. Click here for more information on J. M. Spaight.

Even though Hitler's crimes are well documented, it seems important to those who rated the quote that he only be remembered in the worst terms possible, even though Hitler's desire to not engage with Great Britain at all is also well documented.

"We won't hear a good word said of him".

The 1938 Time Magazine man of the year, who was a brilliant speaker, a great economist, a great strategist, a skilled propagandist, an environmentalist, animal rights advocate, and breast cancer campaigner, who believed in and pushed science and technology, cancer research (linking tobacco with cancer), infrastructure development, solar energy, jet propulsion, and who saved Germany from the brink of total financial collapse, can not have a good word said of him?

I'm not a fan of Hitler. On May 10, 1940, the Nazi's invaded my ancestral home of The Netherlands. Four days later they had killed 30,000 civilians in Rotterdam. 6 days after they arrived, they had beaten the country into submission by blitkrieg, and the Dutch were forced to surrender. My Opa (Grandfather) and his brothers all fought against the Nazi's in the war, he made The Gestapo's most wanted list.

But something I dislike even more is revisionist history, because if we paint people like Hitler to be thoroughly inhuman monsters, we will fail to see the signs in others that they may lead us down the same path (like Bush/Cheney).

George W. Bush, by all accounts, is a cool guy to have a drink with, he has a great sense of humour. He can fly a jet fighter. That makes him cooler than Tom Cruise. He is also the figurehead to Cheney's "foreign policy", which has brought war on an unprecedented scale to the Middle East, and has eroded the liberties of people all over the world, not just in the USA. It's important to know both sides of every story, or we simply end up ignorant.

That's the message.

This is knifey, from 'the internet'.

1 comment:

Ghismonda said...


Re: "We won't hear a good word said of him" - the idea that someone is evil is easier to believe if we don’t know that they ever did any good, I guess.

When Osama Bin Laden was murdered, I posted something on my facebook Wall in disgust at the White House snuff movie session. This was met with angry responses from a few of my friends. Apparently it’s OK to watch the death of a ‘monster’.

When Muammar Gaddafi was killed, I posted a video that detailed his accomplishments on my Wall. Some friends were surprised at the positive and progressive things he did for his country. One friend posted the YouTube video of Gaddafi being shot as a response, (When did snuff movies become acceptable?) accompanied by the word ‘Murderer’.

More recently I posted a video of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech to the UN. Some friends were pleasantly surprised by the content. A couple of friends responded with angry words - something to the effect that the Iranian president is not trustworthy and could not possibly be speaking the truth.

I respected Bin Laden as I would any other human being.
I support and promote Gaddafi's ideas because they are excellent ideas.
I applaud Ahmadinejad’s condemnation of the US because the actions of the US are reprehensible.
I choose to see another side to these people because nobody is thoroughly anything.

I totally get where you are coming from Knifey. Excellent message.


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