Over time, one who is surrounded by horrors will become desensitized to them. The effect is magnified by the interleaving of those horrors with the rhythms and practices of “normal life.” It’s difficult to understand why that should be, but the effect has been confirmed by experience. My experience, at any rate.
When I first learned of this development Across the Water, it left me numb inside. It’s horrific enough to one who values human life. So why didn’t I get the chills and the Oh-my-God feeling that such a horror “should” inspire in a decent person?
It seems the desensitization has been in progress for long enough to be nearing its goal. What goal, you may ask? This one:
There was a portrait of a young woman who held her mouth wide open to reveal the fact that the inside of it was thickly overgrown with hair. It was very skilfully painted in the photographic manner so that you could almost feel that hair; indeed you could not avoid feeling it however hard you tried. There was a giant mantis playing a fiddle while being eaten by another mantis, and a man with corkscrews instead of arms bathing in a flat, sadly colored sea beneath a summer sunset. But most of the pictures were not of this kind. At first, most of them seemed rather ordinary, though Mark was a little surprised at the predominance of scriptural themes. It was only at the second or third glance that one discovered certain unaccountable details—something odd about the positions of the figures’ feet or the arrangement of their fingers or the grouping. And who was the person standing between the Christ and the Lazarus? And why were there so many beetles under the table in the Last Supper? What was the curious trick of lighting that made each picture look like something seen in delirium? When once these questions had been raised the apparent ordinariness of the pictures became their supreme menace—like the ominous surface innocence at the beginning of certain dreams. Every fold of drapery, every piece of architecture, had a meaning one could not grasp but which withered the mind. Compared with these the other, surrealistic, pictures were mere foolery. Long ago Mark had read somewhere of “things of that extreme evil which seem innocent to the uninitiate,” and had wondered what sort of things they might be. Now he felt he knew.
[C. S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength]
The forces of evil know their Adversary well. They know how He communicates with us: through the special, Earth-to-Eternity sense we call our consciences. So as clever combatants have always done, they seek to “sever the enemy’s lines of communication” by numbing our consciences. And they have labored mightily to do so, through all the channels they control.
Think about it all in that light:
- The destruction of marriage and the assault on the traditional family.
- The normalization of homosexuality and deviant sex generally.
- The replacement of education by political indoctrination.
- The normalization of various forms of intoxication.
- The promotion of transgenderism and other departures from sanity.
- The promotion of “victims” and “disadvantaged” as having rights superior to normal Americans.
- The insistence that honest men (or “society”) are responsible for the actions of criminals.
- The assault on the right to self-defense.
- The insistence that noticing the consequences of Leftist policies is “racism.”
Concerning that last item, Ace was on fire yesterday:
The left wing can’t deny the violence that is the direct result of their lunatic “free the criminal, imprison the law-abiding” policies, so they’ve decided just to — get this — call anyone making an issue of the rampant violence and chaos racist.
It’s racist that you noticed a 24-year-old woman with garden shears sticking out of the back of her skull.
Please read it all – and for lagniappe, have a classic bit from the late, dearly missed Florence King for emphasis:
Did your Congressman fuck a Doberman on the steps of the Capitol? He’s guilty of bad judgment, not dog-fucking. Who said anything about dog-fucking? Where in the world did you get that idea? Dog-fucking has nothing to do with dog-fucking. It’s a question of bad judgment, and if you don’t agree, you’re not only an –ist, you’re a –phobe.
The vicious assaults on Us the Normals and the norms we cherish; the dismissal of public order as less important than the “rights” of “protestors;” the denunciation of religion, the principal support to traditional morality; the constant promotion of self-evident perversities and lunacies as “rights;” the exculpation of crime as the fault of the victim; the conflation of desires with rights; the denunciation of those who object; and the campaign to silence all opposition to their madness…if it’s had a numbing effect on me, the Curmudgeon Emeritus to the World Wide Web, I can’t imagine what it must be doing to anyone else.
There is no Last Graf. As I keep saying, I write about what’s on my mind. Today, that’s the desensitization to horror being perpetrated upon us as we speak. Don’t let this pass un-pondered. A man whose conscience has been silenced is capable of anything. Ultimately, the conscience-numbing effect may prove to be a greater horror than all the individual wounds summed together.
God bless you for including that quote from Florence King. Brilliant!
She has a talent for just blasting the pretentious BS into outer space, doesn’t she?
I enjoyed Florence King’s writing for many years. I think I have all her books except for her bodice-ripper.