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Tuesday, 30 December 2008

in praise of being late

(spoiler: contains gross generalisations to the point of being racist.)

the holocaust, we all know it well for sure. but what is often glossed over is what made it quite so successful. how did those darned nazis get all those fine upstanding german citizens to look so avowedly the other way? and what was it about the italians that led 80% of italian jews to see the other side of the third reich whereas the figure is reversed north of the alps?

lots has been said about the various assimilatory practices of italian jews but, like, whatever. an important point missed by the majority of historians is the fact that italians just aint sticklers, they cannot abide rules, enforcers thereof and the people that listen to them (ok, I going on hearsay here but, hey, the I.I.B.A (international institute of the blogging arts) says hearsay is ok, ok? lets just say these folks aint for quitting (cigarettes, with the aid of a smoking ban, say) easy.

the germans, on the other hand, well, we all know just what hearsay has to say of those fine fellows. sticklers to a man, i tell you, not a rule-bender amongst the lot of ‘em. thus when the third reich made rules like “it is henceforth illegal to be nice to jews” they had no choice but to follow said rules and be horrible (even if they didn’t really want to be horrible at all).

much similarly could be said for today’s situation vis-à-vis the environment. no one wants to destroy the rainforest, pollute rivers, kill cuddly polar bears, etc. but ‘the rules’ (specifically the ones about returning profits for shareholders & untrammelled growth being ‘a good thing’) tell us that we have to. so we do. thusly ensuring our very own premature destruction. (not sure how, or why, you would time your own destruction, but hey ho)

so there we have it. the evidence is in. following rules, being on time, getting that gold star, puts you but a short scuttle away from mass-murder. the only way you can follow rules and not become an utter bastard is if you know exactly what those making up said rules are thinking/ doing and more importantly why. and just how many of us can say that? the only other alternative is to weigh up every rule you come across through you very own 'justice filter' and who has the time to do that? even then it is prone to failure as, in our globalised world, right and wrong are not so clear cut and those in power have a way of repositioning goalposts in a way that is frankly unsettling.

i, for one, will never be knowingly on time again!

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