Mediocre Extremes: The Phenomenom of an Execution

The past few days have seen a flurry of articles and videos on the execution of Saddam. While I admit it is newsworthy, my opinion is that it is being blown way out of proportion. I am not surprised by that fact considering the state of our society. We are a people of mediocre extremes.

That may sound like an oxymoron, but bear with me for a minute. When you look at the things that gain our interested and “raise our blood” it is usually something that involves death or the possibility of death in some fashion. Tragedy makes us behave better towards our fellows for a time, but it is brief in the scheme of things. Hurricane Katrina, for example, brought out some of the best in people through charity in many forms. But why did it take such a disaster? There are and have been many in dire need throughout the world before and since that we, as a society, tend to ignore. Some people, bless them, live in the spirit of charity. Most do not.

I include myself in the list of those that don’t, so before you call me a hypocrite realize that this “rant” is aimed more at myself than anyone else. In truth that is not what ths post is about.

As I stated, there has been an extraordinary amount of online content concerning the execution of Saddam. The videos have leaked left and right as you would expect in this information age we are in and the emotions caused have been varied and diverse. Some people support the execution, some do not. Some are appalled by the availability of the video and audio whereas others are eager for it. Reading through many of the opinions has lead me to the realization that we are still moved deeply by things of this nature. The difference is that we do nothing about any of it.

In reading the blog of Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, he posted a humorous bit on the execution. Some people took it as he intended as humor, other were deeply offended and went so far as to leave comments that they will never read his blog again. These people think they are doing something by leaving this comment, that they are making a difference. Wrong.

Here in the States, we have so many different groups that support this or are against that. Using an easy example, we’ll talk about those sides that disagree on the U.S.’s involvement in the Middle East and specifically Iraq. Many pick one side or the other. You probably do, as do I. What are the sides doing however? Blogging about it? Setting up websites to tell others our onions? Who is listening?

Turn the clock back 40 years. The country was divided. They people did not have the medium of blogging and websites to voice their options so they did what the constitution has allowed for over 200 years. They gathered. They voiced their opinions in a venue that got the attention of the people. Sometimes they went too far and violence ensued, but that is what happens when passionate people come in contact with each other.

Today we write our little blog posts and hope that someone reads it. Some are fortunate enough, like Scott Adams, to have a large following, but in truth most of the people that tend to read the online opinions do so with an like mindset already. The government certainly doesn’t hear about it. Oh sure, there are “protests” but nothing like the gatherings of the 60’s and 70’s. Nothing that the government really has to pay attention to.

Having typed all of that it seems like someone may have an idea where I stand on issues. In truth I have tried to muddle the issue enough on both sides because my point has nothing to do with Iraq, Saddam, or the price of fuel at the local Chevron station. It has to do with the change in our perception of how we go about affecting change in the world around us. It has to do with the the decline in our true passion.

It has to do with the mediocre extremes.



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