Monday, May 19, 2003

I started watching "HItler: The Rise of Evil" on CBS last night, more or less against my better judgement. I'm not sure what I expected. One thing that bugs me about these dramatizations of "evil" is that they rarely ever show us anything new. They showed us his childhood in a montage that lasted maybe five minutes, and they never show him in a moment when he's not driven or obsessed.

Part of the problem is that we have a very limited imagination when it comes to evil. We see it in terms of psychosis and meglomania and we miss the point that but for a large amount of cold clear-headed calculation, the Third Reich may never have come to me.

"Conspiracy" on HBO to me was far scarier, because the business of committing mass murder was simply that, business to be dertermined over a long lunch by various bureaucrats. It's so mundane and so civilized and so completely divorced from the horror that they are planning, and yet so terrifyingly real.

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