Sunday, 29 June 2003
|1912 - Where's this letter from?|
Name the source of this letter to the editor:
We need a war against barbarism of personal terrorism, too
The recent brutal murders of a 15-year-old boy, a mother and her two children, and a 79-year-old woman lead one to a question: Isn't there something wrong with a society that permits these kinds of crimes to occur? The question isn't whether the murderers will ultimately be brought to justice, or what the nature of that "justice" might be. Rather, the problem is that these crimes ever took place, that our society allowed them to occur. The people who committed these murders share one thing in common: a total disregard for the value of human life. Can you imagine yourself beating a 79-year-old woman to death? I can't. The time has come to stop listening to the excuses for such behavior generated by its socio- and psychobabbler apologists. Such people are simply and totally beyond the pale of civilized life. They are barbarians. People who exhibit such a love of violence and callous disregard for life can't be that hard to spot. They should be identified from an early age and separated from the civilized majority so as not to be able to do their evil deeds. Such a policy would be analogous to the "doctrine of pre-emption" in the war against terrorism. We've got to get back to having a civilized society. What we need is a war against barbarism.
According to wbwolf, this is the kind of thing a Texan would write. (Or so I assume, from his repeated public comments.) Wrong-o:
Maiden Rock, Wis
As printed in the St. Paul Pioneer-Press today.
What's next, wbw? Gonna stay out of Wisconsin, too?
current mood: irritated
Well, this certainly proves that one shouldn't judge others by what state they happen to align with... or which political party they're registered with.
I will criticise the idea, however. I don't know what to think other than it's very bad to try fitting everyone into someone's idea of "normal" and separate the non-conformists.
I didn't get the impression that wilford, or anyone that I know, was making the claim that Texas or any other state had exclusive rights to an insane populace.
However, a quick glance at Texas shows that there are some particular things that, if not shared by all of them, would seem to at least be shared by a majority. For instance, most Texans desire pickup trucks more than people of other states. This can be backed up by the fact that trucks outsell cars roughly 4 to 1 in the state, and most other states don't have that kind of margin.
This goes for politics, too. The sheer fact that Texas is Republican would obviously indicate a conservative majority. This doesn't mean that the whole state is made of conservatives, obviously; it just means that they're the majority, and therefore what people often refer to.
This can also be broken down more specifically; the majority of Texans, for an example, oppose homosexual relationships. This doesn't mean they all do, but it does mean that it's not the greatest state to live in if you're an out and proud gay person. Of course, that in itself varies from one part of the state to another; Austin actually had a small but noticeable outed crossdressing propulation, with no problems. You're more likely to have problems in the rural areas, where people are pronouncedly more conservative than in the cities (again, depending on which city and which part of). But one can generalize, without assuming that 100% of Texans are anti-gay, that the state in general is, because the majority of people believe that, the laws and behavior of the state government, and even a number of elements of the media in the state, reflect that.
One can similarly generalize that Texans are pro-gun-rights even though there are Texans that aren't, and etc.
As long as someone realizes that generalizations are just that, and can't possibly be expected to truly cover everything, they can be effective. Like I mentioned earlier, Texas can be generalized as a conservative state, even though it's not made up only of conservatives. As long as one realizes the latter part of that, it's still rational to use such generalizations as guides.
So one can make assumptions about what a "generic" or "typical" Texan can do. It may not represent every individual Texan, but it probably represents the will of the majority or the average of the sum of their opinions and beliefs. Just as long as one realizes this isn't all that there is, this isn't an entirely bad idea.
I will say at the same time that wilford's generalizations are a tad strong and I personally think it's ridiculous to go so far as to say you won't set foot anywhere in a state because of a glance at the generalized opinions and stances of a state. It's really just a matter of where you set foot in the state. Personally I think he'd like Austin and would love to show him around it sometime if I could talk him down here... oh well, his loss.
Oh, I didn't really get to the real point I was trying to make.
Just because a Texan didn't write it doesn't mean a Texan wouldn't write it.