Judgement at Iraq

Just finished watching "Judgement at Nuremberg" on televsion. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055031/

So now I find myself longing for 1960's America. Or more specifically, for a time when "survival" and the privileges of class seemed not mankind's highest aspirations.

But maybe I'm just deluding myself about actual reality then. After all, I was every bit of 8 years old at the end of that decade. But having watched Nuremberg I say unabashedly that the art of film has not risen since.

Sure "Million Dollar Baby" (though I haven't actually seen it yet) looks like a true, honest, and moving film, but does it address the larger philosophical issues reflected in times such as these. Times of war. Times where the speed of life and death (mostly death) seem accelerated.

OK. By today's standards, if not those of 1961, Nuremberg's morality was too obvious. Its acting too good. Its actors too fragile (Montgomery Clift and Judy Garland, both past their careers and very near the end of their lives... embarassingly tragic.)

But then that's really the point isn't it? At least for me it is. I mean, as human beings, what is it that we survive for? To what true purpose? To what great end? I was taught: for the advancement of our species -- for its highest principals and noblest aspirations.

So how does torturing human beings, simply because, given the opportunity, they would torture and behead us, fit this model of Western idealism? Are national pride and "animal spirits" ( http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/economics/keynes/general-theory/ch12.htm ) really worth dying -- and killing -- for? Nuremberg said NO. But Iraq says YES.

Biology is our curse. Art our last, best hope. And for today at least, Spencer Tracy is my hero.

Todd Ryder


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