From the Editor

John Turner


I confess I am becoming radically hostile to human stupidity. In my family, we have just been visited by another instance of it. My daughter was out walking with her family and their dog a couple days ago, when pit bulls that had been trained to attack people who came near their house broke through a fence and mauled their dog. Now his life in in serious danger.

People who train dogs to be aggressive and attack are so abysmally, vilely stupid they scarcely deserve the name of humanity.

I can hear some saying that people have always trained dogs to be aggressive to protect property or themselves. Is having "always" done it supposed to be a justification? Up until the 1860s in this country, slavery was justified by the same argument. Longevity of abominable behavior does not make it right.

I have sensed over the past couple decades that we may be close to perceiving the truth about a range of idiotic behavior. But, lately, I've begun to doubt my hopes. War launched for silly or selfish reasons is, of course, the worst of it. But there are hundreds of practices involving lethal violence that continue to be promoted by some. In the same city where my daughter's dog was attacked there appears to be an underground world of dog fighting in which dogs are prodded to fight to the death and then spectators bet on which ones will survive. Slumpy, dumpy people like Dick Cheney take vacations to kill little birds, which have been bred for the very purpose of being slaughtered by creeps like him. This, they call "sport." It would only be sport if the birds could shoot back. But, then, of course, you wouldn't find Dick Cheney anywhere around it.

These brutal practices are inconsistent with decent life. There is no excuse for them, regardless of how long they've been around.

If we are really too stupid to learn that then we may well be too stupid to find ways for the human race to persist.



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Harvard Square Commentary, November 13, 2006