Just read this review cum interview with Elie Wiesel by Stefan Kanfer at City Journal.
The good thing about it, is that it strengthened my pessimistic view of human nature. Humans are deeply flawed-that's conservative thinking. Conservatives do not see human nature optimistically. We don't see ourselves as redeemers of other forlorn people.
It also confirmed that Judaism is an excellent guide living as best as we can within our flawed, human lives. The mitzvot are guidelines that acknowledge the not-so-great inclinations in humans and try to steer us to better behaviour.
I have a problem with all of the abuse of Anne Frank's memory, all that hooey-changey crap about how humanity is still good after all. Because Anne Frank is dead-remember. She was murdered by the Nazis.
This article shows a bit of that hopey-changey still believe all people are good crud and I find those sentiments generally stomach turning.
I didn't know that Wiesel suffered catastrophic financial ruin because he was recommended to invest with Bernie Madoff (see my comments above about how terrifically flawed human beings are).
Then there is this nugget:
"In essence, this means that as a Jew who has seen the worst that history has to offer—and who notes the genocidal acts that go on unabated in Africa and the Middle East—Wiesel still sees the glass as half-full. And as a writer who saw how the perversion of language could contribute to genocide, he still believes in the power of prose and poetry to redeem humanity despite its inhumanity. “I continue to cling to words because it is up to us to transform them into instruments of comprehension rather than contempt. It is up to us to choose whether we wish to use them to curse or to heal, to wound or to console.” The author’s choice manifests itself on every page."
Sigh. So many problems with paragraph. Perversion of language did not lead to genocide. And prose and poetry cannot redeem.
I'm glad that the Jewish nation has poetry and prose, bud I'm pretty damned relieved that the IDF has no immediate plans to launch high impact poems against Iran or the Palestinians.
Live your life with optimum joy but not naivety.