Douglas Arvidson is a past winner of the WICE/Paris Transcontinental International Short Story competition. His short fiction has been published in Paris, Prague, and in literary magazines in the United States and he was recently invited to be a staff writer for the Prague Revue, a cutting-edge, online literary journal ( The novels in his fantasy series, The Eye of the Eye of Stallion, include The Face in Amber, The Mirrors of Castaway Time, and A Drop of Wizard's Blood. His new novel, Brothers of the Fire Star, was selected as a finalist in the ForeWord Reviews 2012 Book of the Year national awards and as a finalist in three categories in the 2013 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards: Action Adventure Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Young Adult Fiction. It has become part of the pantheon of Pacific literature and is now included in school literature programs. Brothers of the Fire Star is an adventure story set in the Pacific during World War II and concerns two boys of different races and cultures who escape the island of Guam in a small sailboat when the Japanese army invades. They must then struggle to survive as they master the secrets of the ancient Pacific navigators. Appropriate for young adults as well as adult readers, Brothers of the Fire Star is available on Barnes & Noble, ( and Visit the author's website:

Friday, February 25, 2011

Murdered Yachties and Genocide: The Fires of Hell Continue to Blaze in the Dark Heart of Humanity

The ageless, ever-present, dark heart of humanity has yet another a face and this guy sets a new standard.

“Our strength lies in our intensive attacks and our barbarity...After all, who today remembers the genocide of the Armenians?”  Adolf Hitler

“But with dogs, we do have “bad dog.” Bad dog exists. “Bad dog! Bad dog! Stole a biscuit, bad dog!” The dog is saying, “Who are you to judge me? You human beings who’ve had genocide, war against people of different creeds, colors, religions, and I stole a biscuit?! Is that a crime? People of the world!”

“Well, if you put it that way, I think you’ve got a point. Have another biscuit, sorry.””  Eddie Izzard

“What connects two thousand years of genocide? Too much power in too few hands.”
                                                                            Simon Wiesenthal

The horror of it all. The unspeakable dark heart of humanity has been recently running more amok than usual.  Of course it's been running amok for a while. I'd say, since evolution completed the rudimentary genetics that made it uncomfortable for those ape-like creatures to stay up in the trees. Minus our prehensile feet and tails, we thus became "human"-- you, me, Jesus, the Pope, Buddha, the Queen of England, John Lennon, Vladimir Lenin, and Groucho and Karl Marx--all of us. We came down from those branches, starting walking around and started looking for trouble--or, more likely, brought the trouble down with us.

But we're all still up there, really, up in those trees howling our savage song; we all carry dark-heart genes in us. They are bone deep and indelible and unexpungable. On good days, in good times, most of us keep them barely suppressed by the need to be civil enough to each other to live together. And you don't have to be the citizen of a third-world country to display the murderous heart. Push us a little too hard and even we comfortable American suburbanites can do things like shoot the other comfortable suburbanites that cut us off in traffic.

That's child play, though--bush league stuff. To get truly world class, we need muddle-brained dictators who hire assassins to slaughter their own people. Or how about skinny, semi-naked, child-pirates launching a grenade at an American warship and then shooting innocent Bible-slinging yachties at point-blank range? How about mass graves revealing the bulldozed remains of thousands of slaughtered innocents. And that's just this week.

Don't ask me for answers. I'm one of you. I have my own well-disguised, nicely suppressed, simmering rages working down deep in me somewhere, too. I can feel them sometimes and it's scary--very scary.

Well, all right, I'll try a suggestion because just complaining doesn't solve anything, and I'll keep it short. Obviously religion doesn't work, nor does the absence of religion help us control our murderous hearts. Here's what I think will work and it's a simple enough rule:

Parents must raise their children in a home free of racism, sexism, religous intolerance, violence, anger, and hostility, where thinking and questioning are encouraged, and where mutual respect and a gentle love for one another is expressed often and sincerely.

That's it. No big news. And it would seem to be not much to ask. Such a simple way to fix the worst of the humanity's ills, and yet.....

All four Americans on this lovely yacht were murdered this week. Staggering amounts of cold blood were needed to complete the task, this 'banality of evil."

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