Sunday, February 22, 2004

Symbionese Rosebud

Through some tangential meanderings about the web I discovered that I share my birth date with an incident involving the Symbionese Liberation Army; a robbery of the Crocker National Bank in Carmichael, California that resulted in the death of Myrna Opsahl. This lead me to the particulars of one Patricia Hearst who at the time was going by the name Tania. This made me think of the computer military strategy game Command and Conquer Red Alert that I found myself playing quite frequently back in my carefree days of higher education. The Soviet side had this character named Tania who was a skilled marksman who was also capable of planting explosives in enemy buildings. I always wondered what significance the name Tania held. I think I may have figured it out. So this also led me to be reminded that William Randolph Hearst may have been instrumental in publicizing and orchestrating a 1937 oil-and-timber-industry-led media campaign to discredit hemp and marijuana which led to both the drug and plant being outlawed within months. I was also reminded of Citizen Kane.

The extreme measures people will undertake in the name of what they believe are a great hypocrisy. Anger does not cure madness. Misinformation does not cure ignorance. Fear does not lead to harmony. Obedience does not imply respect. The hearts of men cannot be purchased or coerced. Goodness is not equivalent to the propagation of your own truth or the destruction of another's truth. Goodness is the constant seeking out of new truth, the constant reevaluation of that in which you believe, and the awareness and willingness to feel and selectively follow your instincts.

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