January 27, 2023- Frankenstein has never been alone- at least in the minds of onlookers.
The characters in a recent historical fiction series about World War I traded the insult “Monster!”, with some regularity, as the decidedly monstrous acts, which some of them indeed committed, came to light. “Women at War” pulls few punches, in delineating both patriotic acts and inglorious schemes-among both French and German adversaries, in the early days of the “Great War”. Few of the principals are spared the consequences of their flaws, sometimes almost immediately following their acts of honour and heroism. Only two-a priest and a brothel owner, consistently behave in a truly wretched manner.
“Monster” is a seldom used word, these days, as we focus on origin stories whenever encountering despicable acts. In my life, I have encountered few hideous souls-and even they were made, not born, into monsters. I learned the details of the last one’s life, even as she was doing her utmost to freeze my soul.
I have only been so characterized once, by someone who had scant room to talk, though his life experience should never have happened, especially to one so young. When children seem monstrous, almost invariably, they have had diabolical role models, whose actions should not be witnessed by anyone. The only question is, “How far back does the monstrous lineage go?” Hitler, after all, was raised by a hideous father, whose own story foreshadows his child’s descent into demonism.
I ponder this tonight, in thinking about the most recent spates of massacre by firearm. I know many people who believe, honestly, that firearms are necessary for self-defense. None of them would think, for a moment, of using a gun on a child, or other innocent person. In each of the recent cases, someone who is either filled with self-loathing, or has been indoctrinated in the ideology of fear, has carried out an assault on innocents. Time, and juries of their peers, may well cast the perpetrators of these crimes as monsters.
For now, each of us has to weigh our own actions, daily, and rise above our own basest instincts. Let us defend innocents from those who would harm them for their own gain, and not harm anyone in our own right.
I awoke today to news of another monstrous story — a mass shooting that won’t be reported as such because only 3 of the 7 people hit actually died — the other 4 are critically injured and in the hospital. I think of hideous as referring to visuals — this was not a visual — it was the act of a monster, whether born that way or not. It is disturbing to me that one person struggling for live should determine whether a shooting is “massive” or not — all shootings are distressing and should not happen!
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I read about the Benedict Canyon shootings- definitely a monstrous act, and as we saw in Memphis, all shootings are the stuff of nightmares.
The cycle of violence is perpetrated and passed from generation to generation. But not all individuals who have been subjected to heinous assaults (physical and psychological) become monsters, and not all monstrous acts are committed by persons who have suffered abuse. I feel that if the ready availability of fire arms was taken out of the equation far fewer people would die.
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An automobile is not freely given to the mentally ill, so why firearms are so distributed is beyond my comprehension as well.