Thursday, June 30, 2005

Death Penalty Blues

Hi Everybody! : )

I just finished reading Emmet Tyrrell's latest article on the Death penalty. Mr. Tyrrell, like me, thinks executing people is not the best solution to that problem.
I have opposed the death penalty after being persuaded that it contributes to the culture of death that leaves many aspects of our wondrously free and prosperous society quite grim. Nihilism informs our arts. It is a large element in popular culture. It makes fugitive appearances in our discussions of the beginnings and the ends of life. By opposing capital punishment, I have hoped to highlight the glory of life and the vast possibilities for human beings to grow and develop in a civilized way.
See I agree with that. But then Mr. Tyrrell says some confusing things later on his paragraph.
On the other hand, Rader's appearance on television does unhorse one of the great myths held by many members of the intelligentsia, namely, that there is something fascinating about a murderer. For generations, certain easily bored writers have been finding "interesting" facets to crime and to criminals. The murderer was for them perhaps the most fascinating of criminals.
I don't want to be a persnickety persimmon but I just don't think the fascination with the murderer is confined to the intelligentsia. Maybe I don't know in what sense he's using the term, but it seems like many people of all types are interested in murderer. Back in school, that one book on Charles Manson was extremely popular among a lot of different types for example. The metal heads, the scary geeks, and the journalism hacks all seemed to love it. I never read it myself, cause it seemed like a downer. :'-( So I'm not sure about that part of Mr. Tyrrell's article. But the rest seems pretty good.

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