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  1. #1 "Why Exactly is it Bad to Speak Ill of the Dead?" 
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    evilkumquat (246 posts) Sun Jul-13-08 05:03 PM
    Original message
    Why Exactly is it Bad to Speak Ill of the Dead?
    This is not meant as a snarky question, or a belligerent post, but exactly why are the dead supposed to get a "free pass" from the living?
    Look for this poster's other threads:

    Why Exactly is it Bad to Swear at Babies?
    Why Exactly is it Bad to Pick My Ass at Nice Restaurants?
    Why Exactly is it Bad to Send Porn to My Coworkers?

    It's amazing how the DUmmies have not been taught--or have completely abandoned--even the most basic elements of civilized behavior. And they're genuinely puzzled when others object to their savagery.
    “When the doctor is out, I’m in.”
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    Quote Originally Posted by nacho View Post
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    Look for this poster's other threads:

    Why Exactly is it Bad to Swear at Babies?
    Why Exactly is it Bad to Pick My Ass at Nice Restaurants?
    Why Exactly is it Bad to Send Porn to My Coworkers?

    It's amazing how the DUmmies have not been taught--or have completely abandoned--even the most basic elements of civilized behavior. And they're genuinely puzzled when others object to their savagery.
    When you walk among swine you are bound to step in sh*t !
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    Their replies are rather telling.
    tridim (1000+ posts) Sun Jul-13-08 01:11 PM
    Response to Reply #2
    9. People like Tony Snow don't listen to us dead or alive.
    IMO it's necessary to criticize BushCo enablers even in death.
    BDS, that's what it really is all about.

    Lots more are gleeful about Tony Snow's death.

    Mostly it's just lots of "jokes", gleeful comments and rationalizations. A few people have some decency and try to explain. Of course those who are so hate filled are not rational and it makes no difference.
    qazplm (1000+ posts) Sun Jul-13-08 01:12 PM
    Response to Original message
    10. It's not about the deceased,
    it's about the surviving family who arent responsible for the deceased's actions.

    It's about reciprocity, you don't talk bad about my dead relative and I won't slander your dead relative.

    It's about decency, there are some lines that aren't crossed, and speaking ill of the dead is one of those lines.

    You can feel "pleased" all you want to. Just don't get all public with that pleasure.
    leftofthedial (1000+ posts) Sun Jul-13-08 01:27 PM
    Response to Original message
    23. it makes no sense to give the recently dead a free pass
    it allows vermin like raygun to be glorified beyond all reason and canonized by those who would perpetuate the evil they did in life. The other side keeps ratcheting the bar of acceptable evil up and up and up every time one of their little mini-demons kicks the bucket.

    I think it is a mistake for a moderately liberal site like this to quash open discussion of the actual records and accomplishments of the recently dead and the likely consequences of their death. But Skinner owns the joint and gets to make the rules.

    I don't think the living owe any artificial respect to the dead that we didn't owe them when they were still living. In the case of recent dead neocons, we certainly owe more respect to the families of their victims (millions of people).

    I don't think speaking the truth or just our minds makes us jerks or "less than human" (which I was called for pointing out that Russert was a corporate media whore--duh!--like that was news).

    If their families don't want to hear it, they should not read websites or publications that didn't like the "dearly departed." I doubt the families of neocon corpses like Russert or Snow would visit DU anyway looking for sympathy (or for any other reason).

    Some living people seem to be so cowed by the very concept of death that they view it as some sort of get out of evil free card.
    Sentiments of how "evil" he was and how much they hate him (and everynone in the Bush Administration) is considered "open discussion of the actual records and accomplishments".
    Jack Rabbit (1000+ posts) Sun Jul-13-08 01:48 PM
    Response to Original message
    27. There are several reasons
    Edited on Sun Jul-13-08 02:06 PM by Jack Rabbit
    EDITED for a missing word.

    First of all, your idea of "good" and "evil" people reads like a bad B-western. The real world is a Dostoyevsky novel. The people in it are all morally ambiguous, without exception. There is no saint without his vices and no sinner without his virtues.

    When Jerry Falwell died about a year ago, somebody tried to take me to task for asserting his moral ambiguity. I stood by it then, and I do now. His public legacy may have been wanting when weighed in the cosmic balance, but no public figure, no matter how much bad karma he produces, is without his virtues. In Falwell's case, the virtues were all private. It should be worth mentioning that even people of different political stripes who knew Falwell, such as Senator Kennedy and Rev. Sharpton, found him warm and hospitable and called him a friend.

    That leads to the next point. It is disrespectful, not to the dead (who could care less), but to the living who are left to mourn for him. Was there no one to mourn for Falwell or Helms or whomever you deem evil? These men, in spite of themselves, were beloved of their wives and children. They had friends. Let those people have some space to mourn.

    The final point I will make here is that in no way is the dead immune from having his legacy critically examined. In the case of a public personality, such as Falwell and Helms, there is a great deal to discuss. But what's the rush? That legacy will still be there to examine next week, next month and next year. Do we have to start in immediately with with a vicious attack? Do we have to dance on a grave before the dead is buried?

    Furthermore, dancing on some one's grave is not a critical examination of the man's life. It is nothing but an expression of hate, and thus brings the dancer down to the level of the supposed demon who lies buried. True, we can be glad that Hitler is dead, but it is better to examine his life to determine why he elicited such a reaction from his fellow humans. That Hitler is dead is nowadays unimportant; had he escaped to Argentina, as some baseless rumors had it following World War II, he would now be 125 years old and a safe bet to be dead any way. But what of that for which he stood? Murderous racism that justifies one man killing or enslaving another over his ethnic origins is still with us in places like Dafur and east central Africa. That the state should be used as an instrument to eliminate undesirables is an idea that survives to this day. Kill that, if you can, and I'll dance on that grave.
    sfexpat2000 (1000+ posts) Sun Jul-13-08 01:54 PM
    Response to Original message
    29. In part because one measure of a person's character is how they treat
    the vulnerable and the dead are entirely vulnerable to what is said about them in that they can't defend themselves.
    Last edited by Carol; 07-13-2008 at 07:48 PM.
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    Pamela Troy especially gets on their case.
    Pamela Troy (562 posts) Sun Jul-13-08 02:09 PM
    Response to Original message
    35. Okay. Here's my answer.
    “Should I feel guilty because I’m glad he’s dead? If I feel like liberal democrats are American traitors, isn’t that a logical response?”

    Comment made in the wake of Paul Wellstone's death on Lucianne.com

    First of all, let's make something clear -- the announcement by the moderators about removing inappropriate comments in the wake of Snows death was NOT prompted by mere criticism of Snow's career. It was prompted by ugly "jokes" that were posted here in the wake of news about Snow's relapse several months ago. Some people here are trying very hard to pretend that the moderators are overreacting to "thoughtful criticism" of Snow. That's not what it is about. It's about people mocking the man's suffering, and the suffering of his family.

    Now, to answer your questions:

    Why exactly is it bad to acknowledge that the world is a slightly better place now that some people are gone, if for nothing more than a sense of justice?

    In most cases it takes a rather staggering freight of hubris and malice to declare unequivocally that the death of an individual human being has made the world "a slightly better place." Making this assumption in the context of politics isn't just arrogant and malicious -- it's dangerous. The notion that the death of certain human beings will make the world a better place is what has driven institutionalized mass murder on both the right and the left.

    "They aren't here to defend themselves" is a weak argument, since many bad people, while living, felt no guilt in attacking the defenseless.

    Whether or not the person in question felt guilt about "attacking the defenseless" is completely beside the point. Moral and decent people do not take their cues on morality and decency from the immoral and the indecent. A system of "ethics" that's applied ONLY to people you like is not a system of ethics.

    "It's disrespectful" also does not work. What is it about death that automatically grants one the respect that many were not willing to grant them in life because of their evil deeds?"

    It's not just Tony Snow's death. It was just as disgusting when people were mocking him for his terminal illness when he was still alive.

    "Think of the family?" Did the deceased think of the families of those who they were hurting? Did the deceaseds' families try and prevent the evil done by their loved ones? Didn't the deceaseds' families usually directly benefit from the actions taken by their dead relations at the expense of someone else?

    I had no idea you knew Snow's family so well and on such a personal basis that you can make such a confident assertion. That said, I can only repeat: Moral and decent people do not take their cues on morality and decency from the immoral and the indecent. A system of "ethics" that's applied ONLY to people you like is not a system of ethics.

    "It makes us look bad." Should we really care about what "they" think of us at this point? "They" have been working so hard for so long to hurt us; what they think of us should be the least of our concerns at this point.

    Inasmuch as "they" are not just Freepers and right-wingers, but other liberals and Democrats who loathe Freeper-like behavior whether it comes from Freepers or DU-ers, yes, we should care. This is a POLITICAL BLOG. Much of politics involves not engaging in such repulsive behavior that you alienate the very people you are trying to convince and embarrass those who would otherwise be on your side.

    I've written a great deal about this kind of malice, and how destructive, how ugly it is. In most of my writings, I've used the many, many examples available from the right side of the aisle.

    So I'm not going to bite my tongue when I see Democrats and liberals engaging in similar mockery of the personal tragedies of Republicans and Conservatives.

    I really have to say I'm astounded by the emotional stake so many DUers seem to have in hatred. Some of you clutch it to your chests like an alky hugging a bottle. Is reserving a group of people you can despise unreservedly so very important to you guys? Is everything truly spoiled for you if you DON'T have someone whose sufferings you can mock? I'm reminded of the people who become outraged at the prospect of prison inmates NOT being mistreated, NOT being abused, NOT being raped or tortured.

    Is that nasty tickle you get when contemplating the pain of someone whose politics you dislike so very, very important to you?
    Pamela Troy (562 posts) Sun Jul-13-08 04:22 PM
    Response to Reply #67
    74. My apologies. I briefly confused you with someone in another discussion.
    Edited on Sun Jul-13-08 04:38 PM by Pamela Troy
    You responded to the question about why someone shouldn't speak ill of the dead with "what if..."

    The answer is, it doesn't matter whether or not the survivors are, in your opinion, living off of "illgotten gain." You still don't "speak ill of the dead" as some here have, or express pleasure that they have died. How they behaved doesn't enter into it.
    Pamela Troy (562 posts) Sun Jul-13-08 05:57 PM
    Response to Reply #101
    104. Feeling relief at the death of a public figure responsible for the death of a relative is one thing.
    Posting a piece online declaring your relief that they died, and then denouncing other people for expressing sadness at the death is quite another.

    Sorry, but I don't for one moment believe that every person here who was posting disgusting "jokes" about Snow's cancer or equating his death with the death of an historical mass murderer like Hitler were people who had lost relatives to death squads. They were doing it -- and would like to continue doing it -- because some people find hatred exhilarating. It makes them feel strong, smart, and in control.

    In reality, of course, it indicates the exact opposite.
    Fox Mulder (1000+ posts) Sun Jul-13-08 03:45 PM
    Response to Original message
    55. I don't think it's bad to speak ill of the dead.
    I felt pleased when the evil people died recently.
    Pamela Troy (562 posts) Sun Jul-13-08 03:49 PM
    Response to Reply #55
    59. Hey, looks like you have a soul-buddy!
    “Should I feel guilty because I’m glad he’s dead? If I feel like liberal democrats are American traitors, isn’t that a logical response?”

    Comment made in the wake of Paul Wellstone's death on Lucianne.com
    Fox Mulder (1000+ posts) Sun Jul-13-08 03:52 PM
    Response to Reply #59
    60. Except that Paul Wellstone helped people...
    he didn't hate anyone or help Bush enable illegal wars.

    I'm not going to bait you. I see what you're doing.
    Pamela Troy (562 posts) Sun Jul-13-08 04:01 PM
    Response to Reply #60
    62. In short, you LIKED Paul Wellstone and DIDN'T like Tony Snow.
    Do you understand that ethical behavior is not ethical behavior if it's only applied to people you like?
    Fox Mulder (1000+ posts) Sun Jul-13-08 04:03 PM
    Response to Reply #62
    63. You're not going to change my mind on this issue.
    Throws hands over ears and sings "la, la, la, la, la, I can't hear you."
    Pamela Troy (562 posts) Sun Jul-13-08 05:02 PM
    Response to Reply #89
    91. There's something called "common decency."
    It includes not mocking the suffering or the early death of other human beings.

    You've not taught your children this?
    madmom (1000+ posts) Sun Jul-13-08 05:48 PM
    Response to Reply #91
    103. This has nothing to do with what I taught my children, It has to do with whose
    ethics and morality do we judge people by. I don't judge people at all it's not my place, but some think they have the answer to everything "decent".

    I don't think it mocking some one to say what they are whether they are dead or alive, I think it's called not being a hypocrite.
    Pamela Troy (562 posts) Sun Jul-13-08 06:04 PM
    Response to Reply #103
    105. If you consider ethics so relative that you don't understand
    why people should have and express opinions on the ethical or non-ethical behavior of others, how can you teach your children about them? If you don't "judge people at all," do you refrain from criticizing the policies of the current administration on the Iraq War? Torture? The treatment of dissenters?

    It is inappropriate to publicly declare that the world is better off because an individual has died young, as Tony Snow did. If you feel relief at his death that's one thing. Announcing that relief publicly is quite another.
    ileus (1000+ posts) Sun Jul-13-08 05:30 PM
    Response to Original message
    97. why do people get upset when not allowed to make fun of the dead.
    not meant to be a snarky reply, or belligerent comment.

    be happy when evil people die...
    Pamela Troy (562 posts) Sun Jul-13-08 05:41 PM
    Response to Reply #97
    99. Because hating goes down sooooooo smooooooooooth for some people.
    Exactly. It seems to plague leftists quiite frequently.
    Last edited by Carol; 07-13-2008 at 07:51 PM.
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