Saturday, 3 August 2013

Purging the Pure

Greetings, all.
            Let me apologise, first and foremost, for the distinct lack of activity around here over the last fortnight.
            Circumstances that dismantle routines have a knack for breaching everyday life, don't they just? Times when we are filled with an optimism which dances around our fears as if they are small hurdles crossed with a carefree jump; when the devastating consequences, the dreaded repercussions which all lead to that sheer ignominious feeling clutching our stomach - all of it is forgotten in these instances of numb hope. Do we blind ourselves to all the ramifications because with hope, perhaps, comes an ever-so-slight loosening of the chains that bind us, that keep rooted our ambitions, that limit our very existence? To hope is to give ourselves a strange lassitude we can employ in taking steps, increment by increment, towards success, towards amelioration, towards appeasement...
Suffice to say, something came up, and I feel terrible for failing to post.
            Henceforth, Friday will again be the day to peruse the depths of Fractured Paths in search of my ponderous ramblings.
            Life is, to some degree, hinged upon retention. 500 viewings over the course of my first month of blogging - frankly, I found myself speechless. I expected, perhaps, 100.
            So for those of you who have endured the enervation triggered by inchoate thinking, the sort of thinking (with regards to destiny, faith, death) that does not suffer fools, that will leave the disinterested and the half-hearted by the waysides, I thank you all.
            Perhaps their disinterest was a blessing. Philosophy, I understand, is not for everybody.

For you, Returning One, let me continue on this road, interminable in its shout against the wind of the unknown.
            Not long ago, I saw The Purge at a cinema - an interesting film; however, my place is not to criticize nor critique - this is not a film review.
            A twelve hour period where crimes including murder, rape, criminal damage, are all legalized; where emergency service workers fade as would shadows into rocks and niches - their own lives hanging in a balance as fraught and precarious as those of any human being who leads a life without the privileges of political or state sovereignty.
            Privileges which, in The Purge, can be the difference between life and death.
            Why are these heinous crimes legal for 12 whole hours? The premise is that, the formation of this period called The Purge, where almost anyone can do anything to alleviate pent-up anger and stress, has slashed crime to an all-time low. 364 and a half days a year, people are amicable towards one another, because for 12 hours, everybody can express their inner daemons as violently and as viscerally as they need to. Economically, socially, the U.S.A. is in a state of beneficence. 

As the film wound on, a strong theme became apparent. It was played on in a way which felt - to a large extent - realistic in its realisation.
            A group of middle-class people, perhaps in their twenties, are hunting a less fortunate man who, presumably, is homeless, impecunious and also unarmed. Their goal - to alleviate their anger, purging the daemons within themselves by butchering this supposed 'lesser being'.
            Darwinism strikes the mind immediately, a 'survival of the fittest', thesis, that humans, given the freedom, will do whatever it is they must do to not just survive, but prosper.
            Two animals fighting over prey are fighting for the fundamental reasons of survival and ensuring they can eat. Within humanity, there seems to be less of a leash and less of a threshold as far as triumph and massacre are concerned - why, I ask?
            This group, they consider the drifter (who cannot afford succour), to be less worthy of survival. Their argument is that his homelessness, his poverty, his (on the face of it, in their eyes) non-existent contribution to society, all neutralize his privilege of living when compared with the affluent, the employed, the stable, the educated, literate, powerful, well-informed, the connected.
            This man is their prey, because he is perceived as sub-human.
            What is the origin of impurity? The first moment somebody (obnoxious, arrogant, solipsistic?) believed they could place the life of another in their own hands? Was this the moment? To believe you can kill something, somebody, does it make you feel power over them? The power, the right, to control their existence. Why? Because by categorizing a person as below yourself, by seeing them in comparison to yourself as impure, you are forming (as we humans are wont to do) a justification, and more horrifyingly, an excuse, for wretched behaviour. Once the reprehensible can be justified, it can be exacted, it can be made an asseveration of righteous dominance, and what is righteous dominance when compared with everything else?
            It is purity.
            Genocide, racialism, the Holocaust, they are each horrific examples of purity being deployed as a justification for crimes of war. They are the worst examples, antithetical, ultimately, of what it really means to be righteous. And who is it who declares that these people are 'sub-human'? Who is it who cannot see past their opaque egos?
            The leaders.
            This is not a political rant. Nor am I specifically attempting to correlate totalitarianism with obscured, arrogant perceptions of purity, of how being of one race, class, colour, age, intelligence, whatever, is conclusive in highlighting a widespread foible.
            Humanity is different. Humanity has adapted best to nature, to the world it has been forced to evolve within in order to survive, and as mentioned, prosper.
            Should this be enough of a challenge?
            Perhaps it is in some parts of the world.
            However, perhaps, ladies and gentlemen, the problem is that people, suffering the ennui one suffers when a triumph is revealed to be nothing other than an ephemeral instance of not losing, are ever bound by a 'conquest' mindset. If a weakness is discovered, it will be exploited.
            Everything is a competition with humanity. For there to be a winner, there must also be a loser, and all too often, failure, in the eyes of humanity, is a failing.
            Purity is impure, ladies and gentlemen. Just another tenet we call upon when conditioning legion upon legion of followers. It is the justification for the callous. It is a plummet into the most caliginous realm of the mind we might be able to access - that of chaos.

At the end of the film, I believe the script writers had managed (to some degree) to portray a realism that purity, as I said, is impure. (Watch the film and you might see where I'm coming from). That to see yourselves as perfect, as exemplary, as the apex of righteousness, is ultimately a failing of moral virtue.
            Regarding the plot, and various debates about whether this purge premise could work, I offer my own voice - crime in the world we live in, whether rife or not, is ever being tackled by the combatants of justice and justice systems. To acknowledge rationality and justice is a wonderful intelligence of humanity's to boast. To actively encourage crime, of any kind, at any time, repels justice, repels rationality. Human leaders should never place citizens in any danger - to exist in a civilized world is to fight crime, and fight it we do.
            Cleansing of any kind which afflicts innocent lives, human or animal, is not cleansing, it is murder.
            Pure murder.


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