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Wednesday, March 02, 2005


If you have been keeping up with this blog -- and who can blame you if you haven't -- you'll recall that the last time I tried to go see a movie, I didn't quite get what I wanted. But behold, tonight I ventured out again to quench my thirst for moving pictures and the result was more fruitful.

We got to the "theatre" at around 8:45 tonight, and I was surprised to find out that the theatre was actually more like a bar -- to be fair, no one told me the name of the place was the Camera Bar before I got there. Apparently, the place is owned by Adam Egoyan so there was a whole indy kind of vibe at the place. Anyways, to make a long description short let me just tell you that there were candles everywhere, the washroom stalls were all unisex, and the cinema was a small 40 seater in the back of the bar. The place was fantastic and I would definitely visit again if I got the chance, but that's not really the point of this post. The topic I would like to bring to your attention is: evil.

The word evil is tossed about so casually these days that it's hard to distinguish the good-humored evil from the truly evil. The way I see it, there are two kinds of evil: "evil haha" and "evil evil". Perhaps a simple example will illustrate what I mean. If your friend accidentally sits down on a chocolate fudge sundae and you laugh at him because he looks like he's incontinent, that's "evil haha"; but if that same friend unwittingly sits down on a beaker of glacial acetic acid and you laugh at him because he no longer has any buttocks, that's "evil evil". As you can see, the later form of evil is far more dangerous and truer to real evil.

So what's all this got to do with the movie tonight? Well, everything; because tonight's movie -- a documentary called "Shaking Hands with the Devil" -- dealt with the uneasy issue of the Rwandan genocides that occured a decade ago. The movie really got me thinking because at it's core it poses a seemingly simple question: "Are not all men created equal, so that no one life should be valued more than another?" Specifically, we're talking about the value of an African life vs that of, say, a Belgium, Canadian, or Amerian life. While at firt glance, it seems obvious -- "...self evident", even -- that all men are created equal, I wonder if that automatically means that all men must value every life equally. I know intuitively that the answer should be yes, but when I really think about it I can't really say it's the way I feel. Let's say I had a brother who was in the army -- I know it's far fetched, but humor me. Now, say also that it's 1994 and someone tells me that if my brother goes to Rwanda, he might be able to save 1000 Rwandan lives but he may also be a casualty. Well, you know what? I know* his life should be of equal value to the life of a Rwandan, but I don't know 1000 Rwandans, so for me I value his life more and I wouldn't want him to go. At the end of the day, was this not what happened in Rwanda? It sucks a lot, but can we really say we are surprised?

Tell me, does this make me "evil evil"? I've always joked that I'm evil, but when I say that I mean "evil haha". Am I wrong here? Comments welcome, but personal attacks or non-constructive criticism will be ignored in the order received.

Your Favorite Jerk


At Wednesday, March 02, 2005 5:05:00 PM, Blogger Jon said...

Hey Dave, good question. I've given this an awful lot of thought over the last 24 hours (well, more like 17), and I must say, the idealistic person in me says "of course it's worth letting my brother go to xxxxx to save 1000 people," but would I in reality be so willing? It's easy to watch the doc and say "man, why why why?" but much harder when faced with actual action and response. I think that if I ever wanted to go over to a war zone to provide humanitarian assistance, my parents probably wouldn't be so hot on the idea either...but I think that if I was really convicted and felt a calling to go, they would let me.

At Thursday, March 03, 2005 4:54:00 PM, Blogger eviljelly said...

I see fault with your premise, that it's evil to value your family over people you don't know.

P.S. Cthulhu is kickin' rad.

At Saturday, March 12, 2005 4:34:00 PM, Blogger Flami said...

"Evil evil" reminds me of a prank call I have on here, heh.

Some things are easier said than done.


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