Descent Into Bullyboys: A Green Circus

 An old Carleton College (and later Africa Peace Corps chum) shared this bizarre website, which matches old 1960s-70s "Family Circus" comics with quotes from German Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.  While I usually tip my cap to Alexis de Tocqueville, Nietzsche had a similar "blogging" style of writing... composing philosophical metaphors and cultural observations without editorial oversight.  There's always the outside hope, if you blog honestly, that something might be recognized for its value - de Tocqueville letter, Nietzsche quip, later-bro.  Afta!

Nietzsche Family Circus
Randomized pairings of Family Circus cartoons and Friedrich Nietzsche quotes. Refresh for a new comic and share your favorites.
nietzsche family circus cartoon
"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster."

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster."  Dudes, it's so much simpler than "ayatollah of e-waste" or "priestatollah", and at the same time shows that the controversy over used product liability and stewardship fetishes is much older than technology itself.

Eric Cartman's Authoratah, Joe Benson's Bullyboys, Stewards Ayatollah of E-waste, and the courts of To Kill a Mockingbird have a common theme - Tyranny of the Majority, or Tyranny of the Oligarchy,

Is the "cognitive risk" we all carry, trying to weigh risks to physical bodies, risk to our children, risk to other children ("nurture" evolution), and risk to our souls, becoming even noisier and more complicated today?  Do high tech devices and software, tomes of legal regulations, and information about faraway people and places make it more difficult to be "ethical"?

Well, historically most of the people trying to follow "ethical" guidelines could not read or write, and just to make sure the Priests kept the holy book in Latin.   There was obvious empirical evidence of extremely complex systems - the stars in their orbits, and genetic breeding. And as confusing and obfuscating as access to the internet may seem as we row hard against a tide of cognitive dissonance, the "objective facts" were much more difficult to come by in Nietzsche's time, or Aristotle's.

Religions offered simple solution.   Outsource your ethical consideration to God.  Pray daily.  Observe the Lord's simple rules for daily decisions (no eating pork in the Middle East, no eating beef in the Indus River Valley, no eating people outside of Papua New Guinea).  If all your information about ethics comes from a holy man (funny the percentage of all religious authorities who are male), and you survived when others did not, your word  gets passed along, gene-like.

It's therefore our duty, in each single generation, to eradicate bad ideas.

This includes bad ideas that our close friends, and "popular kids", have embraced and advocated.  This means putting ourselves in the role of Aticus Finch.

If you know that a popular idea has no social or environmental value, and puts innocent people in jail, there is enough reason to reject it.  If you know someone who wants to fight monsters, but who has become a monster, do like Mike Enberg and reject your role.  Or better, take a role, exchange a walkon part in a war for a lead role in a cage.

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