Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Depressed Mumbles

May 30,2012
Well, I’ve been retired since April 1, 2010.
Yet, I haven’t found opportunities to visit this site very often. Of course I’ve felt the impulse to vent, or simply ponder, here. Today’s news from around the world, transmitted by a gaggle of electronic methods, depresses me nearly every day. The rampant violence, of course, along with widespread poverty, heartbreak and prejudice has been too much for me to wrap words around. Especially prejudice.
This morning, in a typical retirement scene, Darlene and I played a decade-old Heat of the Night TV rerun as background. She leafed through magazines while I surfed the web. Vaguely I followed the plot, which took little effort because we had seen the program before, more than once.
As I said, watching TV can be depressing, but we have spent 70 years with it at least in the periphery of our lives. So, today, until the French Open came on, we watched reruns.
Alas, even as background noise, these old programs set in Mississippi usually dealt with prejudice, especially racial and religious, in the South. And, of course, they brought a scowl to my face. Overall, however, the programs dealt in a surprising way with Southern attitudes. Not of course, that those attitudes exist only in the South or in the United States. Anyway, the program involved a decades-old murder of a black man by a white racist, with most of the perpetrators being very old, dying or dead.
One perpetrator, feeling belated guilt, turned to the Bible. One of his comments indicated a quote from the book that gave him comfort. To paraphrase: If you want forgiveness, all you have to do is ask for it, believing in Him who can give it.
Although I paid less-than-full attention to the program, my hackles rose a bit with this scene. These bigots find in their religions a justification for committing murder. Then, if that eventually wears thin, they find in their religions a forgiveness that gives them comport. And, ironically, the loved ones of the victims also turn to religion for solace or even for revenge.
So, this depresses me. I cannot imagine murdering a man because he acts “uppity” or above the place dictated by his race, religion or class, which the TV program explored and which took place many times in the South.
 In Syria this week, for example, a slaughter of 100 people in a village, including about 50 women and children, took place. To show their disapproval over the episode, several countries expelled Syrian diplomats. Religious beliefs and prejudice, along with politics, lurk behind the slaughter as wells as the expulsion of the diplomats.

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