Sunday, August 16, 2009

When is B&C Passion-- Too Much Passion??

People sure do get worked up over Bonnie and Clyde. There are of course other historical figures and events steeped in controversy, which inspire such an outpouring of personal thought and energy-- but you'd have to admit, that list would be historically impressive. JFK, Martin Luther King, Mandela, Gandhi-- perhaps even Hitler. But remarkably, once one gets rolling-- it seems there's not much that can equal the passion expended, within a debate concerning Bonnie and Clyde. One might ask how in the world 2 Southwestern desperadoes from the Depression Age, ascended to such a lofty position within the "passion purge"?? After all, they were just 2 thieving murdering thugs who deserved what they got and should have been killed sooner. No they're not-- they were crusaders, who stood up for the downtrodden and fought for the oppressed against their oppressors. "See what I mean".

As with any debate, battle lines within B&C square offs are keenly drawn between 2 extremes-- then you have the middle ground. There are the B&C faithful, who "revere" these outlaws for a variety of reasons-- which their detractors can never seem to understand. Then there are the impassioned "defenders of right"-- who perhaps wish they could have grabbed a gun and shot B&C themselves, if damn it-- they were only born sooner. In between you get a better sense of balance, from those who view these individuals and events within context, and attempt as best they can-- to deal with this history "historically". I count myself among these centrists, in considering and commenting on B&C history. On the face of it, what Bonnie and Clyde and other outlaws from their era did was wrong. However-- extreme individuals and events are prone to reality, within times of extreme circumstance. And not many can question, the fact that the Depression Years were unique and extreme times. I often wonder how the people alive today would react, if they found themselves in the same predicaments our forbearers did in the 1930's??

My issue regarding such overt passion concerning B&C-- is that when commenting on B&C History, some let their passion come cascading out-- without bringing historical reasoning with it. To me when you color history to suit your argument, or craft emotionally charged statements to back your claims, then passion is playing too large a role-- and is thrust into a position where rightfully, it shouldn't be. Let's examine some selected statements from a recent B&C exchange:

These two were not blood thirsty criminals, I don't think Clyde Barrow shot anyone out of malice or in cold blood, more or less in a shootout or he was the one who actually never pulled the trigger. Bonnie never shot anyone, it was the times.. the dust bowl days.. bad seeds.

Frank Hamer was a living legend..... a real life Matt Dillon..... had some 60 kills to his credit when he retired from the Texas Rangers..... he preferred to bring his quarry in alive..... but was such a prototypical lawman, he was sent after the most incorrigible criminals..... by contrast, B&C were sadists..... good riddance to bad rubbish.....

Bonnie and Clyde may have been crooks and killers but were saints compared to banks and the United States Government!!!!!!!

White trash legends. How many people did they kill? A dozen? They got off easy.

I love these two! What love... what passion for life!!! Love them both! May they be together in heaven where money is not a big deal anymore. They did what they had to, to survive during those times... and that's okay with me!

Bonnie and Clyde were bad to the bone. God help anyone who got in Clyde's way. He wanted nice clothes, fancy cars, good food. Everyone else did without and worked hard. Not Clyde. He thought he was entitled to kill people and laugh about it. He didn't just murder 12 innocent people. These were people's fathers, sons. husbands, children. He ruined hundreds of lives in order to buy a camera to take these pictures, drive that car, wear those clothes. Plus, he was gay.

They weren't cool or admirable, but human nature has a fascination with crime and criminals. Sympathy isn't always rational. And many "good guys" in our society, while not violent, are found to be unethical and corrupt. It's not an easy situation to clearly sort out. Comment-- I wasn't sure which side to put this one on, so I gave it it's own color. I thought this the best statement of the lot, and one I feel is both insightful and interesting!!

The Bible does not condemn all killing: only murder. Killing a criminal for certain crimes is God's will. Scripture teaches in Romans 13 that the Govt. is God's "minister against them that do evil" and "does not bear the sword (instrument of death) in vain."

Whoa!!-- it seems truer extremes were never reached within a B&C debate. I wonder if that last comment, was also indicative of those who would use swastikas against others-- in support of their views over a current political debate?? May more rational people please prevail-- and come to terms.

Your Honor-- I rest my case!! When is passion too much passion within a B&C debate?? When it's forthcoming in statements such as these.
When I see expressions such as this, I often just shake my head. Too much passion-- not enough fact and way too little thought and reason, to me-- is not the right mix for historical conversation. Although they could be better, I can at least tolerate some statements such as these. But I don't pay any mind as they say, to B&C comments fraught with obscenities and impoliteness. To me, Moronic is the correct term for those who travel that road-- in not truly commenting on history, but instead-- exercising what some would claim as a right of rude but free speech. I just feel that kind of thing, only amounts to hateful banter from empty heads.

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