Friday, November 25, 2016

Looking At The Face Of Cruelty:

We have all dealt with cruelty at one time or another in our lives. We can probably picture the cruel person right now. We can remember and picture it clearly because it was so personal and real.

There is much cruelty in the World. Thing is we see it daily as well, being played out in our news feeds. However it just doesn't seem as real, does it? Regardless if the cruelty being played out is far worse than anything we have been faced with. We see the news of a woman who was raped and left for dead. We see the young girl sexually assaulted, beaten and thrown in the freezing river. We see young children being pulled out of the rubble of blown up buildings. We see a police officer shooting someone. We see a Woman being punched in the face. We see a person being tasered to death. Lot of cruelty. Thing is we don't seem bothered by it. We can look at the face of cruelty and it is not something we truly have to deal with - in these circumstances.

See that is one of the problems. We are dealing with our own situations. We are looking at the face of cruelty in our own lives. For some of us its crippling.

Still I can't help feeling somewhat fortunate despite facing cruelty. I may even see the other people's cruelty as something so far removed it does nothing to my views. It doesn't seem cruel regardless of how obscene the acts are.

We are in the midst of a world wide societal change where cruelty is almost normal. That is messed up. We can still see the be-headings. We never forget the screams of the airplane recordings as a pilot locks the door and flies head on into a mountain. We see the bodies of blown up and shot up folks all over the world. Still its weird that the harsh cruel words someone said to you feels worse than all of these real images we see?

There are so many images of police being cruel to people these days. It should really bother us. The cruelty of the police goes beyond everything we are suppose to believe about police. They are no longer there to help but are now just the tool for punishment. It seems they relish in the cruelty they perform. Doesn't it look like that?

This week in Standing Rock the police were cruel to people. They shot at them with water, rubber bullets to the heads, gas canisters which caused extensive damage to a girls arm. And the thing was the police can be seen laughing as this is going on???

I wonder about people when they do a cruel act. How is it they can do it without consequence or any remorse or regret for their actions?  We see it all the time. The rapist who feels like a victim - she asked for it. The cop who "feared for their life" as he shoots an unarmed person. The cruel boss who thinks they own you because they sign the pay cheque. The corporate executive who demands the Women in the office grant him sexual favours. Do they realize how cruel they are?

Police kicks handcuffed woman in the head. Cruel
“[T]he infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists. That is why they invented Hell.” 
― Bertrand RussellSceptical Essays

“People speak sometimes about the "bestial" cruelty of man, but that is terribly unjust and offensive to beasts, no animal could ever be so cruel as a man, so artfully, so artistically cruel.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

I am reminded of events in history where we have seen cruelty. Cruelty at different degrees: the dropping of an Atomic Bomb. The genocide of a millions of Jewish families. The genocide of the Tutsi. The rape of Bosnian Women and genocide. The bombing of Aleppo's children's hospital. The mass shootings of 6 and 7 years old in Sandy Hook school. The police using dogs and batons on Marchers in Birmingham Alabama. You know what is said about those incidents of cruelty?  It was back then. But its not back then.

Why is it when in the midst of cruel actions we don't see it as cruel? The police in the US are killing people, minorities-Black/Hispanic/Indian with what seems like a zeal. Having a heck of a good time killing folk. 

We are in the midst of so much cruelty in the world that it almost seems normal. Except for our immediate dealings with cruelty we really don't pay much attention. Maybe we have some momentary outage or moment of sad reflection to what is going on out there but then what?

What are we doing while Looking at the Face of Cruelty?


  1. Kia ora Steve - long time between comments - I can't seem to keep up with my blog anymore - but I have a 9 and 2 years olds so I've got lots of excuses. I wanted to ask your opinion about this. I see this as blatant 'red face' and unacceptable and I note the organiser says, "The float has been part of the Santa Parade for many years and features local children dressed as people of the Ojibwe tribe, complete with face paint and headdresses." and "If she had a good look at that float, some of it belongs to a tribe that I went to the reservation of in Buffalo. They know about this float and they gave me some headgear to use on this float.

    "We have the blessing of that tribe.""

    Can this be true? What do you think?

    Feel free to email me if you want.

    Kia kaha e hoa. (Stay strong friend)

  2. Great stuff for you with the kids. Man we are still have NZ as our plan to visit. Just happens cash crunch and life gets in the way. The family still does some trips to close places in North AMerica. So that is cool. I will for check out the article. One of the things here is people are diligent when it comes to addressing cultural appropriation and the devaluing of images. The 'we are just honouring you" doesn't fly anymore - with mascots and other images. So I am real glad to hear from you. You guys are in Gods country there for sure. Take care and thanks for the reply. Steve