Sic Semper Tyrannis

In the recent CALL OF CTHULHU silent film (which I recommend, but only to already committed fans of HPL), I noticed the narritive technique used was the same as in a story by Poe or Machen or Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: whether in a detective tale or a tale of cosmic horror, you release the clues one at a time, and lead the reader to ever larger and more dreadful revelations.

So it was with some disquiet that I noticed, in the news of the day and the surrounding discussion, two clues pointing to a disquieting trend. For example, here is discussion at the Belmont Club, whose comments boxes are usually filled with discourse sober, grave, intelligent. Today they are discussing the hanging of Saddam, but the conversation soon veers into heated, nay, insane, terrain.  I do not recall, after the war trials of Nuremberg, the political debate in America entertaining calls for the death by hanging of Franklin Delano Roosevelt as a nazi war criminal. And yet this is not exceptional or unusual in modern political discourse.

I also read with some interest a book review by Stanley Kurtz of A BEE IN THE MOUTH: Anger in America, by Peter Wood. The theme of the book is a comparison of the modern treatment of anger (as a passkey to respect owed authentic suffering and moral superiority) versus the traditional treatment (as a sign of mental and moral weakness, foolishness, unmanliness). The conclusion of the book, as far as I can tell from a review, is that the New Anger is a recent and widespread phenomenon, and not likely to disappear in the near future. As to whether this conclusion is just, I make no comment, having not read the book and hence being in no position to judge the evidence.

I had known for some time that lust and pride and envy were well-regarded and applauded by the modern age; I merely have not previously contemplated to what degree wrath was applauded.

There is also an article I saw in an obscure New England journal that says a primordial and cyclopean non-Euclidean city of prehuman gods is rising to the surface of the Pacific some in 2008, but I suspect this will attract less attention in America than our presidential elections, which are set for the same date.