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July 17, 2012

Gawker Writer: You Know, A Made-Up Character on Breaking Bad Justifies My Belief That Holocaust Victims Are Twisted, Remorsemless Sociopaths

This is a Gawker writer (of course), but writing at Tablet magazine, which is some kind of Jewish arts and culture magazine.

It's a very confusing article, because, I am guessing, it comes from a very confused person.

Since I was 12 I’ve had an unappealing, didactic distrust of people with the extreme will to live. My father’s parents were Holocaust survivors, and in grade school I received the de rigueur exposure to the horror—visiting geriatric men and women with numbers tattooed on their arms, completing assigned reading like The Diary of Anne Frank and Night. But the more information I received, the less sympathy the survivors elicited from me. Each time we clapped for the old Hungarian lady who spoke about Dachau, each time Elie Wiesel threw another anonymous anecdote of betrayal onto a page, I eyed it askance, thinking What did you do that you’re not talking about? I had the gut instinct that these were villains masquerading as victims who, solely by virtue of surviving (very likely by any means necessary), felt that they had earned the right to be heroes, their basic, animal self-interest dressed up with glorified phrases like “triumph of the human spirit.”

I wondered if anyone had alerted Hitler that in the event that the final solution didn’t pan out, only the handful of Jews who actually fulfilled the stereotype of the Judenscheisse (because every group has a few) would remain to carry on the Jewish race—conniving, indestructible, taking and taking. My grandparents were not excluded from this suspicion. The same year, during a family dinner conversation about Terri Schiavo, my father made the serious request that should he fall into a vegetative state, he would like for us to keep him on life support indefinitely. Today he and I are estranged for a number of other reasons that are all somehow the same reason.

This person is estranged from her father? Partly over ("for a number of other reasons that are all somehow the same reason") what seems to be an incredibly trivial discussion about Terri Schiavo?

I didn't see that one coming.

Next thing and you'll be telling me "She eats to forget."

Somehow the article links a character on a TV show -- who has cancer, and sees his cancer as liberating him to do all sorts of crazy criminal shenanigans -- to Holocaust survivors, and how they use their experience to justify horrors they inflict on others (I imagine she means the Palestinians, but who knows).

All [Walt from Breaking Bad] has is indignation at the memory of his illness and the determination to flip the script: He suffered, now others will suffer. Walt and Breaking Bad express one of our most inherent psychological fallacies: the ability to do any number of consciously reprehensible things while persisting in considering ourselves the protagonist at all times. From world wars to breaking hearts, we cling to the destruction done to us in the past as a justification for the destruction we will cause in the future.

As Adam Carolla might say: Hey, even I'm offended, and I'm an anti-semite.

As I've said so many times: There is a subset of "politics" which isn't politics at all, but some very dark and twisted psychological baggage which would be anti-social to vent, except in a supposedly "political" context. The supposed intellectualization, abstracted nature of the discussion renders what would otherwise be the rantings of the mentally unwell into something fit for polite company.

Except sometimes this doesn't work, and it's all too obvious that We're Not Really Talking About Politics Here Anymore, Are We?

Bent and broken people. They used to rant on typewritten newsletters.

Oh, By The Way: Her Halloween costume?

Anne Frank.



digg this
posted by Ace at 03:38 PM

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