Monday, November 1, 2010

Readings: The Uses of Logic

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This brief excerpt is from one of the short stories in The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel. The title of the piece is "BEG, SL TOG, INC, CONT, REP"--which refers to knitting, and has absolutely nothing to do with the quotation which follows:

Dr. Diamond told a story about the young daughter of a friend. The little girl had found a frog in the yard. The frog appeared to be dead, so her parents let her prepare a burial site--a little hole surrounded by pebbles. But at the moment of the lowering, the frog, which had only been stunned, kicked its legs and came to.
XX"Kill him!" the girl had shrieked.

Doesn't the conspicuous problem of a live frog at its own funeral demand of the rational faculties a common sense solution? And isn't the little girl's quick calculation analogous, for instance, to those we have recently seen made by our political leaders in their conduct of foreign policy? Since the black holes that are our foreign wars have been dug, don't we need to continue to fill them with more shattered corpses in order to justify the initial digging? It's all quite logical, if you think about it.

Well, isn't it?
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2 comments:

screaminian said...

makes sense to me.
i've seen this knee-jerk reaction in myself.
as far as our "keep 'em busy abroad so they won't attack us at home" strategy is concerned, well, we neglect to realize how patient our opponent is.

Rodak said...

Yes, but that neatly sidesteps the moral issue involved in preemptive murder. That short story would have no meaning, if considered only from the standpoint of how important the life of a injured frog is...