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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

MAN’s INHUMANITY TO MAN


MAN’s INHUMANITY TO MAN
 

One of the few things I like about being old is I can now admit when I don’t understand what something means.  When you’re young and you don’t understand something that everyone else seems to get, you just nod your head and act like, “Yeah, I get it.”

When I was a college student, I Walked out of that classic movie “2001 A Space Odyssey” and the entire theater was in awe of how powerful this movie was.  “Oh man, that was powerful, and the symbolism!  Did you see those dancing apes, and the talking computers?  What a message!”

Me?  Not a clue, but so as not to look like a jerk I would go along with it.

“Wow that was something!  I hear that message loud and clear!” Truthfully I never understood that movie, now as an old geezer I can admit I hated that movie and I don’t care what the critics say, that movie sucked.  It sucked big time!

When I was young, you would never admit to not understanding anything about sex, sports, or all things manly.  Now, I freely admit that I know very little about those things.  I’m not sure what the difference is, maybe it’s just like “Hey, I may not know stuff but Dammit come see me when you’ve made it past 65 you young shit!"

Anyway.

In school there was always one thing that I never understood, now I gotta ask, and I know there are some teachers out there.

What in Sam Hill does “Man’s inhumanity to man” mean.   In every English class I ever had and with every book or story we ever read, the teacher would ask, “What is the theme of this story?”

According to Wikipedia, the theme is “the central message of a literary work. It is not the same as a subject or plot.” 

OK…I still don’t know what that means, and I sure never knew what it meant in school.  However, after four years of high school it did finally sink in on me that no matter what book or story we read, apparently the “Overriding theme” of everything ever written is “Man’s inhumanity to man.”

That’s right, I still don’t know what that means, but according to every English teacher I ever had, “Man’s inhumanity to man” is the theme to everything.

So before Herman Melville sat down to scratch out Moby Dick he thought, “Hmmm…I’d really like to demonstrate ‘Man’s inhumanity to man.’  I know…a dude obsessed with catching a big fish!”

Mark Twain felt the best way to show “Man’s inhumanity to man” was to put two kids on a raft.

“Class, what is the theme of “2001 A Space Odyssey?”

“Progress isn’t always good?”

“No”

“Evolution never stops?”

“No”

“People have to learn to work together?”

“No”

“The theme of that movie is ‘Man’s inhumanity to man!’”

Why?  Because apparently the theme to everything is “Man’s inhumanity to man.”  Don’t ask me, that is what I learned in English class.

Well now after all those years of suffering through English class I finally have to ask,

WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT MEAN?

OK, I don’t know what “Sam Hill” is either.

15 comments:

  1. I'm not 100% for sure, but I think Sam Hill was the village idiot.

    S

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  2. Finally, the truth is out. (And yes, I am laughing hysterically. Why do you ask?)

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  3. thanks for the laugh. can't say i remember ever seeing 2001...

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  4. We just keep bumbling on, don't we, and the pundits are taking over.

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  5. My understanding of Sam Hill was more along the lines of What in the Sam Hell... At least that's how Mum always said it. Who Sam is and what he has to do with Hell? I haven't the slightist.

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  6. U think the theme of 2001....A Space Odyssey was the Computer's Inhumanity to Man which, as far as I can tell, is still the underlying theme of our lives.

    Incidentally, I loved that film for several reasons, one in particular being the long sequence of gorgeous visual effects when the spaceship is hurtling to crash on whatever planet that was.

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  7. Of course, thsat first phrase should have read, "I think".......Typos, the bane of my existence.

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  8. I can't help you with the meaning of Space Odyssey, except to say LSD made it very enjoyable back in the day. As for Sam Hill: Sam hill (1857-1931) was a railroad tycoon who built an estate in Washington State on the Columbia River in the middle of nowhere. His estate (Maryhill) is now a wonderful museum and I've visited it several times. Guests stepping off the train would look around at the empty landscape and say, "Where, Sam Hill, are we?" Sounds like a joke but it isn't.

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  9. I'm no English teacher, but as a biology teacher, I'm going to say that "man's inhumanity to man" refers to humans treating each other like animals.

    I don't know anything about themes. They might as well be ironic. I NEVER understood the meaning of irony.

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  10. I thought and think it means … play nice. We don't play nicely with each other. Hitler's evil is the benchmark to me…. of man's inhumanity to man.

    how in the hell could one human being be that evil to another human being. or that Jeffrey Dahmer person … eating other people. man

    lots of stuff in school I didn't understand … no man is an island … and where in tarnation is so and so …. tarnation? course that might just be a southern thang as is yonder. over yonder. drove me insane when I asked where such and such is/was….

    oh, lots of little ditties … never watched movies much from the late 60s through the 70s… too much thinking had to be done to figure out what was what… and all that realism came into play …

    I have no desire to see someone have sex on the screen or be naked … well, Hair was fun… loved that music too… OR see all that blood and violence crap...

    one scene still sticks in my mind ~ can not remember the movie ... but it was a mob thing ... Godfather? hmmm don't think so ... but they had a 'hit' on a couple of other mob members and they shot 'em in the knee an hit 'em with shovels and threw in a pit and one guy said ... Harold or whatever his name was ... I'm still alive ... I've got money... let me live... WHAP ... killed em dead. jeeeeez I hate I saw that. didn't avert my eyes quick enough ...

    took me until well? I still have to have the chains on my doors before I shower! damned Psycho movie.

    Back in Roy and Dale's day and Gene Autry and Hopalong Cassidy and Red Ryder … all the shooting and hitting and carrying on … no blood and the good guys kept their white hats on.

    now that's a movie… good music too … Happy Trails… to you … until we meet again… good stuff

    I realize I got off topic ... do you have an off topic rule?

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  11. I've never seen 2001, but now I kind of want to.

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  12. Okay...who is Carolyn and why is she trying to become your "longest commenter ever" ? Doesn't she know I've got that spot?

    Geeez. I disappear for a little while to give birth and recoup, and when I come back someone is trying to hone in on my place here.

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  13. lmao Katrina... I'm an old woman with LOTS to say ... just read your 'about you' on your blog...

    congratulations and holy todoing! 10? and your picture of you when you had 9? you're slim? pbfffft

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  14. I was one of those people who left the cinema in awe after watching 2001. I was impressed because I saw it in a wrap-around theatre and the space scenes were spectacular as was the Blue Danube music which went with it.
    Man's inhumanity to man theme? No way! Anyone who thought that had not previously read 'The Sentinel' - the short story the film was based around. Evolution was a better 'theme'.

    Looking back I have to say that I was disappointed in 2001 that we didn't have the space technology that 1968 film predicted. Now in 2013 we don't yet have a huge space station in the form of a wheel, a moonbase or intelligent computers. There's no indisputable evidence of alien intervention in man's past either.

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