While we were watching the Academy Awards show…

ISIS was blowing up a nearly century-old library in Mosul, Iraq, destroying 8000 rare books and manuscripts in the process.

Now the chances were near a perfect zero that I would have visited this annihilated library or read even one of the burned manuscripts…

So why do I feel so upset by this, yet another barbaric, incomprehensible act of medieval madness inflicted upon the world by ISIS?

And now we hear they have abducted a group of Christians who are surely to be slaughtered…

And similarly evil and incomprehensible things are being done by other such medieval minded groups from Nigeria to Mexico…

Burnings, beheadings, bombings are happening so often now it seems I hardly notice anymore.

But something about destroying ancient texts and artifacts really, really moves me.

Something about losing a large chunk of rare history really hurts.

Well, at least I got to witness the embarrassingly historic moment of Neil Patrick Harris prancing around in his skivvies…



56 Replies to “While we were watching the Academy Awards show…”

  1. It is, as I feel you agree, terrible how the cowardly DAESH group murders innocents. Unfortunately, the coverage seems to begin to de-synthesize people to these atrocities. The destruction of a libraries that hold so much valuable knowledge, also moves me. It’s a way for these cowards to erase good to allow their evil to take hold, in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The thing that pains me the most is that there are billions of us who are passively watching all their horrifying actions! They cant be more than few millions in number! Yet billions are silent and those millions are taking advantage of our silence…I can’t imagine what will happen if soon the world doesn’t take a step against them as unity.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We should be infuriated by this blatant destruction.
    Decimation of libraries, especially ancient texts, is always done to keep the masses dumber and easier manipulated in an oppressed state.
    It is another gruesome facet of genocide, the erasure of a cultural history and significance through the intentional destruction of knowledge and records.
    And in that void created, the lies and oppression of a new empire can be built.
    Much more important than some bogus rigged award show with gaudy entertainment.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m sorry you feel that way, asotherswere. Surely there are many faults with Western societies; however, it seems our ire in regards to the contrast between us watching the Oscars in relative comfort and freedom and those blowing up libraries and burning rare documents in an effort to wipe out a culture is better placed toward those in the latter camp…


  4. I would be so much more upset by the barbaric acts of ISIS if we had not created the vacuum they have chosen to fill, and if we hadn’t given them the arms to do it with. Especially considering how many lives it cost us to get to this point, and all the people who were misled into creating them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m all for being disgusted by and wholeheartedly condemning our totally screwing up Iraq; however, here we are and what is going on needs to be dealt with…somehow. Allowing for ISIS’s atrocities because of past mistakes is, to me, comparable to allowing for crime because the criminal was raised in a broken home… Not acceptable.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. No, I certainly don’t mean to allow for it, I just simply am not surprised as we have a way of arming the worst possible people in an attempt to take out someone we don’t like, but it far less a threat.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This pains me, too, as does all deliberate destruction of books, art and artifacts, temples, libraries, and museums. This is not the first instance of such calculated destruction–destruction that is intended to obliterate a culture. Some groups throughout history have made it their goal to wipe out people they conquer, and they also want to eradicate all traces of their culture and heritage, as well. Even if we have copies or images of something, it is not the same as having the original, and an entire library or museum can never be replaced.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. While I think the acts of ISIS are horrifying and despicable, I don’t think that us having an Awards show in any way lessens or diminishes those acts in any way. That’s akin to saying that someone having a birthday party while someone is being murdered down the block somehow makes the people having a birthday party awful people. How could they? Why would they celebrate their birthday when they know there are awful things going on in the world? That murderers walk the streets every day? Don’t they understand this world has violence and tragedy? and that it could happen right down the block? Even next door? No one should celebrate birthdays ever again until all murderers are behind bars.

    Yes, ISIS is a horrible organization and what they’re doing is beyond reprehensible. Yes, they should be stopped. Should we (the United States) stop them? I’m not even going to get into that debate. But if it’s not ISIS doing these incredibly tragic things where they are, then it’s another terrorist organization in another part of the world. Atrocities happen everywhere, and I don’t think that juxtaposing them with things like awards shows makes the people who watch these awards shows (I don’t by the way, I think award shows are stupid and trivial) monsters or despicable for watching them. People are allowed to have their escapes. I read a book while all of this was happening. I’m not a monster.

    As for the destruction of ancient texts, that’s what happens in war. It’s a sad fact. The Library of Alexandria, the burning of churches, etc… I’m not saying it’s right. I’m just saying it happens.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Very well said.

      I’m not going to feel guilty for watching TV while ISIS does something horrific. That’s on them. Yes, I could join the U.S. military, but what could I do it about then? The U.S. military certainly didn’t stop what happened here for whatever reason.


      1. I don’t believe my post says anyone should feel guilty for watching TV. I’m all about watching TV – mostly Netflix nowadays- and especially cheezy award shows. I spent 20 years in the military protecting my right – and anyone else’s who happens to reside within the borders of the US – to spend as much time of my life as I want on such inane fun or/and bore…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s kind of how it felt, like I was supposed to feel guilty about it. If that’s not what was intended, then that’s cool. Like life, interpretation happens, no matter which way you’d prefer it to go. :)


    2. I like the spirit of your reply and concur with its message; though it appears you are reading something into my post that isn’t there and isn’t intended and indicting me for it. From the reports I read the two events were occurring near simultaneously and I find that highly ironic seeing how important Hollywood is in our propaganda fight for the hearts and minds, so to speak…


      1. Sorry if I read into your post something that wasn’t there. I didn’t mean to come down so harshly on you, I think there was a comment before mine that said something about the western world being despicable that set me off.

        I apologize for putting words in your mouth that you didn’t say.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. This reminds me of a PBS special I saw years ago, on how wonderful is Muslim North Africa and all its fabulous libraries–in which the books were literally turning into dust, and no one had ever bothered to make copies, so they couldn’t be read anymore. Which in turn brought to mind that scene in “The Time Machine” (1960), when the Eloi tells Rod Taylor, “Oh, yes–we have books!” And the books, from centuries of neglect, have turned to dust.

    But at least the Eloi didn’t cut your head off. They were too busy being lunch for the Morlocks.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, a German poet, philosopher, historian and playwrite, also close friend of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, once wrote:

    “Rarely do we arrive at the summit of truth without running into extremes; we have frequently to exhaust the part of error, and even of folly, before we work our way up to the noble goal of tranquil wisdom.”

    I wonder if anyone could have imagined, which range this exhaustion of the part of error, which unbelievable magnitude of folly once mankind would have to face, when written in 1786. Whether, actually, genocide and sending ancient knowledge into oblivion to rewrite history for future generations have to be subsumed.

    It seems to me that humans, as being just one among millions of species living on planet Earth, surviving WW I and WW II, living in an extremely fragile peace over the last 70 years, even overcoming the Cold War, are just at the very edge of WW III. We have done our warm-up, our stretching and are now well prepared for our next run into extremes.

    I would bet every fortune that the cockroaches*) will outlive us. Their simple way of existence shows much more of a tranquil wisdom than any of our so called “leaders” has recently shown.

    *) I am not writing about those really bad-tempered, disgruntled cockroaches we learned about in MiB! ;-)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for your compliment, Kurt.

        Sometimes you saddle your horse for a joyful ride, but finish in a stampede.
        Reading your well written and informative post, Schiller’s quote popped up in my mind. All of a sudden, my tame gelding turned out to be a Trojan horse, which did not need to get spurred, but bolted just by itself.

        I just learned on CNN, that three young British women found their way from the UK via Turkey to Syria, now assumed to be on ISIS-controlled territory.

        There is, as a matter of fact, already a second front at which we have to fight ISIS: at home, in our countries, where those in-humans quite successful lure our young men and women into their sphere of influence. As the example of these three British women proves, an intensified border control will never work absolutely.

        The young generation, those people are the more susceptible for absolute solutions – such like presented by any kind of extremists, not only ISIS -, the less perspective they have in their lives. Socially disadvantaged classes, uneducated, unemployed, poor, but also highly educated and intelligent people with good or very good jobs, but – or _because_ of their knowledge – desperately disappointed by what they experience day by day in their environment – their loss of the sense of common values as goals to achieve leaves the kind of vacuum extremists can easily refill with “new” and “brilliant” ideas, values and seemingly reachable goals.

        As long as there will be this kind of vacuum, it will be misused. So to start our fight against extremism of all kind, we must begin to teach our children 5 universal ethic and moral values: 1. Not to harm your fellow men.*) 2. Not to lie. 3. Not to steal. 4. Respect your fellow men. 5. Tolerate their opinions and beliefs.

        But I just notice, that I really have to turn my horse backwards to the stables. It’s been a long ride, yet a refreshing one, too. Or, as Britney Spears would say:”Oops! I did it again!” ;-)

        Best regards,
        Harald Klein

        *) Apparently, not to harm includes not to kill, so there is no need for an extra point here.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Its a deplorable act on both counts, the taking of lives and the destruction of those ancient libraries. In a sense the libraries are like the humans that wrote them, they are the collected and written knowledge of people with intelligence that had something valuable to offer mankind for generations to come….unlike the dolts who sit like pigeons on a perch crapping on the collected works of better people. The isis pudding heads possess nary an agile thought to their actions, blind paupers they are, who have no clue that they are a most ignorant, miserable people, and the most vile culture on the earth. They may try to hide history by destroying it, but, they will be written in the history of the world for who they really are…”the boil on the butt of humanity.”

    oh…btw, great post Kurt….love your stuff! ~dave

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Reblogged this on thatswutshised and commented:
    Powerful to read. The question becomes- do we allow terrorist actions to choke out our own shallow existence? Or, do we put on the awards show red carpet special, just keep going and hope it will all stop soon?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Deplorable as this destruction is, it isn’t new. Unfortunately those of us who care about these things might be in the minority, outnumbered by vandals who would destroy things just because they are paid or influenced to do it…or worse, in the name of some twisted religious leanings. Ignorance and stupidity can’t really be conquered. Are you familiar with Fray Diego de Landa, who destroyed much of the Maya history…only to regret it and attempt to reconstruct it 50 years later (under orders as much so as conscience)? When I first read deLanda’s own account of his crimes I actually cried.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I googled friar digeo de landa… there’s a lot of stuff there. Also, here’s a link to the book on Amazon…in case you would like the ISBN and othe information. It’s worth a look. :-) In de Landa’s defense, he was not really acting under orders from his superiors, and he got into a LOT of trouble over what he did. He returned to the Yucatan later and rewrote as much as he could remember.

    I think maybe the ISIS destruction is being done largely by thugs, who would not appreciate the ancient treasures.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I agree with you about ISIS. I would bet many of their recruits are in it just for the pillaging and other nasty mayhem. Will definitely look into de Landa. Thank you, Grandmama2011.


  13. The dilemma for (so called) civilcation is that wars of attrition rarely erraticate the (so called) evil. The dilemma for (so called) puritanical rebellions is that they rarely erratical all the (so called) evil they view in the world. But, both approaches destroy people and antiquities. Thus, Confederate minded folks are still fighting our (USA) Civil War 150 years later, and we still have texts by Livy, Hero of Alexandria, Plutarc, Cicero, Moses, many prophets, the Evangelists (and a bunch of other gospel writers, not accepted by orthodoxy), etc. Regarding the Academy Awards, does anyone remember what was the hot movie in 2006, 1996, 1986, 1976, 1966, etc? Well, if ISIS does not go after NetFlix, I bet we could figure out that answer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is tragic enough when the loss comes as so-called collateral damage of war; however, it is beyond comprehension when such historic value is intentionally destroyed all in the name of religion. I know the loss of something ancient doesn’t compare to the loss of life, but still…


  14. “And similarly evil and incomprehensible things are being done by other such medieval minded groups from Nigeria to Mexico”

    You forgot to include the US in your listing of medieval minded groups. Perhaps you’ve forgotten that ISIS secured much of its weaponry from the US / NATO invasion of Libya. We couldn’t allow Gadhafi to establish an alternate currency exchange to the US dollar for African oil, so we backed a rag-tag assortment of folks we labeled as patriotic rebels with devastating air-strikes, toppled the regime to let them know who’s boss, and continue to bemoan the fact that the third world hates us.

    It is easy to blame others (those fur’ners); harder to find the faults within our own domains. I personally like doing the harder things, but I’m used to being the odd-ball.


    1. Well… I don’t see the comparison. The US isn’t willingly going around destroying ancient sites, artifacts, etc. There surely has been collateral damage but it is not our national policy to try to erase another country’s history as ISIS is doing. To blame the US for what ISIS is doing because we armed Iraq is your prerogative but it is a prerogative I strongly disagree with.



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