Saturday, April 25, 2009

"Honestly, I felt a powerful impulse to shoot her...."

You might not find that line particularly funny. I do. I laughed out loud when I read it.

Without context, the line itself might seem repulsive. One wouldn't know the author is engaging in some serious understatement. There's always recourse for the curious to read the story itself, which is linked here.

Some who read the story will recoil in horror at the details. Life is tough. This particular "tragedy' isn't tragic at all, in any meaningful sense. One need not expect to fell terror and pity, as Aristotle would have it. There's no room for that in the story above. Far from pity, or pathos, one need feel only bathos. Some terrible things deserve only contemptuous laughter at the pain and suffering. Contrary to the usual line of being "heartless and cold," one who feels bathos in the event of bathos is reacting genuinely, while the sympathetic person is indulging in sentimentality, in false emotion. Some suffering deserves contempt. Really. Truly.

Those who weep over the death of terrorists, for example, like the fool in Iraq who got blown up on video while trying to fire a mortar at American troops, are faking it. It's laughable. It's "poetic justice," and not cause for sentimental tears or moralistic outrage. There is right cause for us to laugh at the man who blew up and died because he got his just desserts. False pity is false. One should laugh at fools. Sentimentalists, those who do not feel anything real at all, pretend to feel, and hence sentimentalize in public and intimidate others with their loud and aggressive moralistic displays. If ever I see one melting like the Wicked Witch of the West, I'm going to laugh out loud.

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