Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Red Lines In Art & In Life


President Obama's metaphorical "red line" drawn in an attempt to prevent or dissuade the use of chemical weapons, still could mean the use of military force by the USA and consequently even more killing. Seems to me to be counter-productive in the worst possible way.

We all have metaphorical red lines of one sort or another. This is being illustrated vividly by current TV series Breaking Bad.


I've mentioned Breaking Bad in a post once before, in February:
Thoughts on Crime and Morality. Since then, when we'd seen a backlog of old episodes via DVD, the series has returned to TV for its final season, a season taken in two "bites", first bite watched again via DVD, but we're now properly on board in real time on Sunday evenings for the last few episodes of all.

The story, layered and layered again as it is, never ceases to surprise us with twists and turns. Brilliant writing, even more brilliant acting, well deserving of Awards already received.

I never forget that, as Walter White, his family and his young, much abused protégé, Jesse Pinkman stumble towards what can only, logically, be a dark ending for all involved, that the insidious seed from which all this grew was lack of proper health care availability in the USA.

First we watched the "breaking bad" of a formerly mild mannered though talented chemistry teacher, his interaction with others who were either already broken themselves or on the cusp of it. The story was then about Walter White's breaking. As will always happen, once an apple turns rotten, the rot spreads.

We are now discovering exactly where, as with Obama and chemical weapons, the secondary characters each find their own "red lines". Walter White's wife, his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, all formerly presented as fine, moral, upright citizens, have at last reached their red lines and are, verbally at least, beginning to break bad.

What would it take for any of us to break bad? To consider killing, or even harming, another person? Threats to loved ones? Threats to our preferred way of life? Threats to our hubris or dignity? We wouldn't know for sure until presented with such scenarios in our own lives.

For our President, it's not a difficult choice. He can and does order drone attacks, which regularly kill innocents and children. I'd say he's broken bad already. He has the authority, now, in his own mind, to attack Syria, but is attempting to give himself cover by seeking the approval of Congress. How many of them have broken bad?
He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.
Friedrich Nietzsche.

15 comments:

mike said...

Once upon a time...my much younger days...I viewed a person's mental health and morals-ethics as rather intransigent. I've since realized that we are all crazy some-how-or-other, and it's a matter of how much and when.

The ability to rationalize and justify can lead to the most wonderful or the most decrepit affairs of the mind. The USA's current collective mind has been corrupted in the name of safety and security for the past decade, and now we are adding "in the name of humanity" to the list. There are countries and groups right now that would like to eradicate the USA "in the name of humanity"!

“It would be well to realize that the talk of ‘humane methods of warfare’, of the ‘rules of civilized warfare’, and all such homage to the finer sentiments of the race are hypocritical and unreal, and only intended for the consumption of stay-at-homes. There are no humane methods of warfare, there is no such thing as civilized warfare; all warfare is inhuman, all warfare is barbaric; the first blast of the bugles of war ever sounds for the time being the funeral knell of human progress… What lover of humanity can view with anything but horror the prospect of this ruthless destruction of human life. Yet this is war: war for which all the jingoes are howling, war to which all the hopes of the world are being sacrificed, war to which a mad ruling class would plunge a mad world.”
James Connolly

mike (again) said...

P.S. - I am very glad that Obama DID decide to let congress have the debate and resultant determination. Obama's reluctance to act on Syria has caused congressional chest-thumping and his recent decision to act is now causing congressional chest-thumping. Our congress is particularly effective at being non-effective, so this should be interesting.

♥ Sonny ♥ said...


I too am glad Obama is taking it to congress.. Let them ALL be made to stand up and speak their vote Yes or No and have it on record..

Twilight said...

mike ~ "In the name of humanity" can be bent to cover a wide arc of misdeed - reminds me of what parents often used to say to children before beating them, "I'm doing this for your own good - it'll hurt me more than it'll hurt you!"

I'm glad, too, that Obama stepped back from the edge and threw the hot potato to congress (phrase borrowed from Marty Kaplan). Whether they'll get their act together in a rare show of good sense is another matter entirely.
Obama will be covered either way.
A "Yes" gives him Congress to share blame if it all goes wrong; a "No" gives him an out in case the GOP call him cowardly or worse, or if he has actually, privately, changed his mind on the matter.

It'll be interesting to watch, yes!

Twilight said...

Sonny ~ Indeed - and we shall be watching and taking names!

LB said...

"Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men." Martin Luther King, Jr.

If we allow ourselves to be led without questioning the motives and wisdom of the 'bad' choices of our leaders, how culpable are those of us who remain uninformed and silent when our voices (or support/lack of support) might have made a difference? I wonder what it will take for more of us to finally wake up, break away from the herd and follow our individual consciences. And to stop choosing between the lesser of two evils when neither choice is likely to achieve anything positive or of lasting value, most especially when it causes harm.

We may not play a direct role in perpetuating the violence or corruption, but where is the red line for those of us who are indirectly responsible and therefore complicit? Maybe the concept of red lines needs to be expanded to those smaller choices each of us makes each and every day. Our mind's ability to make mindful, informed, moral choices is a lot like a muscle - it becomes more reliable with daily practice, *before* a major crisis hits.

Thanks for posting the link to an online petition the other day, Twilight. Among other peaceful ways to be heard, it couldn't hurt and it might help.:)

Twilight said...

LB ~~ Very wise words!

Lesser evilism has brought us to a place not many of us can truly feel happy about. At election time some of us find our hands tied, with only the two evils, greater and lesser, from which to choose (this happens in OK), so i left the Presidential box empty in 2012. Other states have more choice but much negative pressure against 3rd parties from media.
The rot has reached the heart of the electoral system, it's now controlled by money, corporations, bankers, lobbyists, not We The People. It's hard to know what remedies remain for us.

I did send the online petition letters from that link, one each to our 2 senators, our representative (again), and the President. I doubt they'll do much other than be counted - but as you pointed out the other day - that counting is important.
:-)

ex-Chomp said...

Lesser evilism brought us to nothing that is true.

But the next step in Obama policies, the fact he waited even too much, and then worried even too much, is teh rpesence of Mars in his natal sign but being his Acendent in the opposite sign of his solar sign of birth makes him so erratic.

It is clear United States decided to leave the Middle East for the oil and now they increasingly do **not** buy oil abroad but the problem is that the geopolitical interest born out frm George Bush II's Age cannot be erased as they never were. And so the traditional allies in that area, Turkey, Saud Arabia and Jordan State do **reclaim** Usa to act.

Not an easy choice for Obama and so he deciced to delegate partly his decison to the Congress

Twilight said...

ex-Chomp ~ Yes, Mars is heading towards O's natal Sun now, and it is conjunct his natal Mercury.
But I see him as forever covered in a cloud of Neptuney illusion - I have from the start, but could have hoped the illusion would have less nasty consequences.

I'm not well-versed in oil trade, but even if the USA is, at present, able to provide its own, or much of it, the powers that be here would not want the vast amounts of oil still avaiable in the Middle East to be in the control of Russia or China.

If developed nations of the West had been spending their treasure on finding new energy sources, those as yet unimagined, instead of getting into a variety of wars since 1945, when they were not being attacked (as in WW 2) killing more of their fellow-humans, we'd have been in a much better place now. But that's me being Neptuney.
;-)

LB said...

The president's progressed chart is interesting too - progressed *Aries* Ascendant *exactly* square p.Saturn in Capricorn in the p.10th. O's p.Moon is also in Aries, with ruler of p.Moon and p.Ascendant (p.Mars) in the p.7th. P.Mercury is there too (also in Libra and exactly opposite p.Moon).

O's p.Mars is also exactly sextile p.North Node in Leo, which is *exactly* conjunct p.BM Lilith - both in the p.5th house of self-expression and gambling; p.Mars is exactly trine p.SN in the p.11th. Right now, O's p.Aries Moon is *exactly* trine p.Leo Uranus in the p.5th. Trines allow for an easy flow of energy - it's up to us how we use them.

I'm not sure, but I *think* O's p.Mars is nearing an opposition to his natal Part of Fortune in Aries.

I only glanced, so I'm sure there's more. These progressed aspects seem challenging enough.

Twilight said...

LB ~~ Thanks LB - I'm not into progressions myself, but do appreciate your input on this. Your observations will be of interest other passing readers who are more circumspect about astrology than I. ;-)

Anonymous said...

The chemical weapons claim is a lie: http://www.naturalnews.com/041883_Syria_chemical_weapons_sodium_fluoride.html

Twilight said...

Anonymous ~ I doubt it's a lie. what the article says is that a certain ingredient, fairly commonly added to water supplies, is also an ingredient in Sarin gas. This kind of argument could be made for many things. Chemicals have positive and negative uses - laying aside whether one considers fluoride in water supplies a very bad thing or not - it's hardly the killer that Sarin gas is.

Juno said...

Hi Twilight - did you see this cartoon a few weeks ago? It sums up your initial point in a very funny way:

http://christopherkeelty.tumblr.com/post/60685108460/i-finally-got-around-to-watching-breaking-bad

Twilight said...

Juno ~ I did see that one, yes - excellent! Thanks for reminding me about it.
:-)
I now await the "Breaking Bad" finale on Sunday night with a mixture of impatience, dread and disappointment that it really will be the end of this superb and many-faceted series.