Thursday, January 1, 2009

Understanding the "tragic ease" of . . . .

Tony and Angie, old friends from Mexico City and Hollywood, were with us overnight for New Year's Eve. Tony has been selling nutritional supplements in Mexico City and Tijuana for 40 years. Last night he and I were at El Nido drinking beer while the ladies were at church and I asked him about the Cuban “blue scorpion” treatment for cancer and as a buffer against chemotherapy. He said it has a good reputation.

This evening when our guests had left my wife told me she had brought up the blue scorpion matter to Tony herself. He told her yes, that it has a good reputation and that another good treatment that is not widely known is to eat dog shit that’s white. Irene was rather set back. So was I when she told me about it. Even after several beers Tony had not mentioned the white-dog-shit cure to me.

And then for some reason that I cannot recall Irene began telling me that when we were in Visalia in the 90s and she had breast cancer, that while she did the chemotherapy process she was also taking capsules filled with a powder made from the toe nails of Peruvian cats. She said she didn’t tell me because I would have had a negative attitude about it. I probably would have. It does not appear to have harmed her, however, as she has been in remission for 13 years.

It only occurs to me now to wonder how the white shit of a dog is packaged for consumption. I think I had been imagining that you just winged it. That couldn't be right.

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I have learned that there is a conference to be held in Germany the last week in January called “Perpetrator Research in a Global Context.” On the homepage I read where the conference is organized in tandem with the Holocaust Research Centre at the Royal Holloway, University of London and the Essen Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities, the German Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb).

I read where: “From both an academic and a civic education perspective, it is imperative that we develop a framework for understanding what Germaine Tillion described as the 'tragic ease' with which people become murderers or mass murderers.”

I think Ms. Tillion put that very nicely. All we have to do is agree on what it means to murder, and what it means to murder en masse. We would then be able to begin to rewrite the history of the 20th Century, an effort in which revisionist arguments about the Holocaust would play a major role.

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