January 10, 2007 at 10:23 pm (Quotes) (, , , , )

“Bobby realized he had never even scratched the surface of what was possible — that the wars and murders reported in the news were barely more than sports news updates, death for show, a screwed-up system of physical honor that varied only in scale and public accountability; that even the terrorists he’d interviewed had been dabbling in the shallow end of darkness. They at least wanted people to know what they had done. They weren’t just doing it for themselves. Bobby realized this made a difference, and also that if we were all the same species, there was little hope for us, that nothing we ever did in the daytime would bleach out what some of us were capable of at night. Some aspects of human behavior were inevitable, but this was surely not. To believe so was to accept that we had no downward limit. Just because we were capable of art didn’t mean what lay in front of him could be dismissed as aberration, that we could take what we admired and fence that off as human, dismissing the rest as monstrous. The same hands committed both. Brains didn’t undermine the savagery. They made us better at it.”

–Michael Marshall, The Straw Men

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