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Tony Grist

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Typical [May. 6th, 2005|11:19 am]
Tony Grist
BBC 4 treated us to extracts from the Goebbels diaries last night (splendidly read by Kenneth Branagh.) "Goering went out of his way to be kind to me. What a nice chap he is." This isn't so much the banality of evil as the Pooterishness of evil.

Venice is Goebbels' favourite city. He is shocked at the number of Jews in Berlin; they do so spoil the look of the place. He wanders out into the countryside during the siege of Berlin and finds it restful. Nothing that goes wrong is ever his fault. Hitler is above criticism.

Is this all there was to the man? Was he really so utterly without ideas, imagination, culture?

"Evil genius" is a contradiction in terms. The really wicked are never much more than crafty. Goebbels was a silly little man without the wherewithal to grasp the enormity of what he was doing.

A typical politician, in fact.
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Comments:
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-05-06 05:41 am (UTC)
Goebbels was unreflective. He never seems to have questioned anything.

But he must have had some talents.



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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-05-06 08:16 am (UTC)
Well, that's something.....
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From: saskia139
2005-05-06 07:51 am (UTC)
I think novels about suave serial killers like Hannibal Lecter are so popular precisely because really evil people are not like Dr. Lecter. He had wit and culture and taste (if a rather warped taste). But you *can't* have those things, I suspect, and also have what it takes to kill dozens/hundreds/thousands of people. Or you can't *lack* what it takes to kill and still *have* intelligence, culture, imagination.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-05-06 08:19 am (UTC)
I agree.

Real serial killers are pitiful saps.


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[User Picture]From: qos
2005-05-06 05:25 pm (UTC)
That's an interesting observation. . . *goes off to ponder*
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[User Picture]From: sina_says
2005-05-07 07:56 am (UTC)
can you use pooterishness in another sentence for me?
:)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2005-05-07 09:29 am (UTC)
John Major hid a sour and revengeful nature under a facade of amiable Pooterishness.
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