Outrageous Monsters In Unfathomable Actions.

Gosh, there’s a lot of talk about freedom of speech at the moment, isn’t there?  Outrage at everything from the word vagina to tasteless jokes, swinging by religion and sexuality for good measure.  I wouldn’t want to be a deeply religious homosexual comedian with a vagina right now, quite apart from the inner conflict, I’m fairly sure I’d be getting a rough time of it.  Agreeing to disagree seems unlikely to be honest, which would be fine if disagreeing to disagree wasn’t so bloody loud and embarrassing, my general view of society wasn’t a rosy one as was – yet still I find myself a bit disappointed with us.  It would appear that everyone has climbed so far up their own tree of viewpoint that they are reluctant to come down, even when the tree is being destroyed by rot.  
I have my own tree, of course, but I like to think (or have convinced myself) that I come down occasionally, have a look at everyone else’s, and go back up mine with at least a few cuttings.  I mean, usually I forget to water them, or they cross pollenate with something else and mutate into some awful catastrophe, but I have a go.  Yep, I’ve found outrage fascinating of late, so it’s been a brilliant month or two for me.
Only today, during one of those conversations designed to keep my brain functioning at work, there was a flutter of outrage.  Somehow we had got on to the subject of murderising and the like, I think someone had been reading one of those true crime books in which a grisly killing is gone over in great detail, and the end result was that we were talking about people as monsters.  One individual opined that they simply didn’t understand how and why somebody would do such terrible things, that it was unthinkable, unimaginable.  The underlying suggestion there, intended or not, is that through the action, the perpetrator removes themselves from humanity – humanity cannot fathom the madness, thus it cannot have come from humanity – and so the person becomes the monster.  I suggested that although I wasn’t going to go around killing or raping anyone – and I still promise I’m not – they are still the acts of a person, and that to state that such things are outside your thought process, is attempting to set your being apart from the possibility of similarly related actions.  To make you something untouchable.  Self deceit, essentially, of a self protecting sort, but deceit all the same.  All I’d meant to do, was point out that we’re all animals.  We all want to beat something to death at some point in our lives, not to do it but think it, and we’ve all threatened to kill someone no matter how empty that threat actually was.  We tend to be a bunch of bickering bastards given the slightest of opportunity, so don’t give it the big ‘I am’.  You’re not.  That’s all I’d meant to do.
But no.
What I had apparently been saying, quite unknown to myself, was that my fellow debaters were mentally disturbed assassins working for a higher power.  Which, understandably, notched things up a gear.  Now, even though I hadn’t actually been calling them mental killers, and even though if someone called me an assassin working for a higher power, I’d be thrilled, I can see how it might put someone on the defensive.  There followed a resurgence of an ongoing conversation/argument about capital punishment, sparked by the response to my misinterpretedponderings being that such Monsters (now with a capital) are so far removed from being like us normal, well balanced, grounded people, that we should be allowed to kill them.  Kill.  Them.  I know what you’re thinking, and I tried to explain that, but reason was climbing into the back by this point.  And we’d lost the map.  And I kept asking if we were nearly there yet.  So it seems when someone does a kill, we should erase them, sweep away the embarrassment, stamp EVIL on it, and definitely not wonder if stuff and things caused what happened and maybe do something about it?!  But Bob, I hear you say, what if someone broke in and tortured and killed your child?  Wouldn’t you want them dead?  Well, on one hand: yes, I’d probably want to tear off their skin and strangle them with it.  Which is precisely the reason we have a criminal justice system, however flawed – to remove stupid knee jerk, instinctive, eye-for-an-eye nonsense like that.  On the other hand: no.  I don’t want to end that persons suffering so swiftly, I want a longer sentence probably, tougher prisons, sure, but someone else killed?  No, you’re alright, ta.  We’re animals, but the whole point about being highly evolved animals with light switches and Scalextric and apps, is that we get to be a bit more thoughtful.
If humanity cannot fathom the act, it cannot understand the conception of the idea that preceded it, so is thought the point at which the monster is created?  Wouldn’t that be a bit terrifying, all a bit Minority Report?  If it’s unthinkable, we can’t know enough to kill, and if it is thinkable, then the thinker isn’t a monster, so, wow I guess don’t kill.  Is it thinkable that someone can be put in prison for making a poor joke, or drawing a cartoon?  Because like taking someone else’s life under the guise of justice, that really is offensive: to police ideas, opinions and thought, is an act that makes monsters of us all.  Some people are insane or troubled, some people are just shits, some people do things that almost earn them the title of Monster, but they’re just people, and certainly shouldn’t be reduced to action figure collectables or top trumps statistics.  Neither should they be glamourised, and it’s a society that does that.  Similarly, people have opinions, ideas, make jokes and talk, and if you don’t like it you get to not like it, that is all.  There is no thought that should condemn anyone, any opinion should be able to be heard.  They’re not monsters, they’re different, and that is both the worst and best thing about all you infuriating, interesting folk.

Not me though.  I’m just odd.

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