If you attend to your direct experience, the thought of Africans picking cotton on a plantation provokes less of a heightened emotion than the thought of Jews baking in ovens. I am interested in the study of emotion. These are two “cultural images” that provoke some of the strongest emotions, if not thee strongest.
Unless you’ve been reading this site too much in which case those emotions might be somewhat dulled. Personally, I feel like I’ve “grown as a person” to not feel so emotional about them. One is able to look at the history of slavery and still conclude rationally that blacks shouldn’t have been treated so poorly. You don’t need emotion for that. Most people can only understand it with emotion.
With the “ovens” and “showers” it’s often even more of an overwhelming emotion, and that emotion seems to be a sort of fog that should be dispelled. Part of what makes us human is the ability to have a strong emotion and then be able to reflect upon it. Some might counter and say that sometimes emotion expresses the “truest truth”. How could you know that if you’ve never thought about the given thing rationally, even once, for one moment? Like I said, my own experience is that I’ve “grown” in being able to not be emotional about it and instead find humor in it. I used to be just like anyone else about the holocaust. The way people are so inescapably emotional is what I find so funny about it. They just have no control over themselves.
Try to examine your emotions closely when you read the following
There’s a good chance you will read that and think “it couldn’t be true” and that there will be an exclamation point involved in that conclusion.
Someone like me who doesn’t automatically fly off the handle when reading that has read various reports that do lead me to wonder about the degree to which what we know as “truth” is propaganda.
Do you want to be an emotional mess forever? All I want is to know about the century I was born in with crystal clear detail. How do you expect things to go right in the 21st century if you don’t know what happened in the 20th century?
While I’m sure not many will agree with me on what I’ve determined about reality, self-control does seem to be one of the highest virtues. If an elementary school teacher believed “all emotions are good” they’d be fired, because kids have all sorts of emotions that are not good. Is little Julia right every time she pouts and crosses her arms because she doesn’t get her way? Or is it that she simply doesn’t understand the meaning of fairness yet? Bradley wants to play with the play-doh, it’s not “your turn” every time, Julia, you need to learn to share.
Look what you did, now no one can have fun
I can see a kid rolling that into a poop shape and laughing. Probably not the kind of humor that should be reinforced.
Anyway, have you been keeping tabs on your emotional responses?
In my view, cultivating self-control is one of the highest duties of a human being. Otherwise how are they different from children? There are a couple writers I think are perfect for that, for maturing as a culture. Ideally, one would be able to read them rationally and refute them. Unfortunately, I think most can only read them with emotion. As for myself, I am able to read them without emotion AND I am not able to refute them. Maybe you’re different? Those writers are Faurisson and Mattogno.
Can you think of anything that stirs more of a sharp emotion than the striped pajamas behind the barbed wire, the emaciated skeletons with skin sitting on the bunkbeds, the thought of the horrifying screams as gas fills the room? As I like to say, “the mob lives in my head too”, and from what I can tell that IS indeed the most heightened emotion most people experience. Does it almost make you want to cry? One article title from Mattogno I saw earlier made me laugh actually, “Honeymoon in Auschwitz”. It hasn’t been translated so I don’t know what it’s about, just the concept makes me laugh.
Did you know that six million children under the age of 5 die of starvation every year? I bet the thought of gas chambers fills you with more emotion than the thought of that. Attend to your experience. Am I wrong?
Is that a healthy priority? A rational priority?
I’m more concerned with cerebral issues myself- the thought that six billion or more people have been given subpar educations. THAT makes me more emotional than the thought of gas chambers. And when I reflect on that emotion I find myself concluding that that’s a more rational emotion to have.
What does the holocaust emotion really do for the world?
You know it’s possible to wonder about that rationally and still conclude it’s better to be super emotional about the holocaust and not that emotional at all about starving children or children given a poor education? It’s possible, I just wonder why one would conclude thus. It seems arbitrary and even not productive at all that that is the most blood-boiling emotion most tend to have. That extreme sadness and rage seems like it could be redirected toward more worthwhile causes.
Ask yourself, is that emotion even more extreme after reading all of the above? For some it will be. I only request that you try to reflect upon that.
I’ve linked you before to Faurisson. Maybe you’ll never read some things and laugh like I do. There’s still a middle-way possible between that and being hyper-emotional. And you can’t really see the problems of the world clearly if you are hyper-emotional.