Good Omens Question #8 ~ Us vs. Them

by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

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Veronica
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Re: Good Omens Question #8 ~ Us vs. Them

Unread postby Veronica » Mon Aug 14, 2006 7:22 pm

Gypsylee wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:
Is it human nature to need an enemy?


I have a hard time putting thoughts into words. My feeling is I don't know if its so much human nature to NEED an enemy as it is there are so many different ideas and opinions out there that it just sort of creates enemies. An intolerance to differences in each other. I don't think people start out wanting enemies, but would just like everyone to think like they do thus creating wars in different degrees.


I agree with you gypsylee but on the other hand some people look for something to grip about, fight with and argue. alot of people thrive on arguing, gossip or anything that stirs the bucket.

I think it would be impossible to not have opinion or disagreement its in how you display it is the key.
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Aug 14, 2006 7:24 pm

Very true, V. There are those that can tolerate differences and those that can't and feel the need to act on it. :-/
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Unread postby Veronica » Mon Aug 14, 2006 7:26 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:Very true, V. There are those that can tolerate differences and those that can't and feel the need to act on it. :-/


I find in most cases its best to :-|
Everything is always okay in the end,

if it's not, then it's not the end.



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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Aug 14, 2006 8:03 pm

Veronica wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:Very true, V. There are those that can tolerate differences and those that can't and feel the need to act on it. :-/


I find in most cases its best to :-|


:cool:
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Wow! What a ride!

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Re: Good Omens Question #8 ~ Us vs. Them

Unread postby Gypsylee » Mon Aug 14, 2006 9:03 pm

Veronica wrote:
Gypsylee wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:
Is it human nature to need an enemy?


I have a hard time putting thoughts into words. My feeling is I don't know if its so much human nature to NEED an enemy as it is there are so many different ideas and opinions out there that it just sort of creates enemies. An intolerance to differences in each other. I don't think people start out wanting enemies, but would just like everyone to think like they do thus creating wars in different degrees.


I agree with you gypsylee but on the other hand some people look for something to grip about, fight with and argue. alot of people thrive on arguing, gossip or anything that stirs the bucket.

I think it would be impossible to not have opinion or disagreement its in how you display it is the key.


I agree with you too. Where a lot of trouble starts is when one persons opinion is shoved down another persons throat, i.e., intolerance to differences and aggressive behavior. I have known people that are never happy unless there is chaos. Makes you wonder why. I have been having talks with my 13 year old son who starts high school next week about how to handle aggression from others. No easy solutions.
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Unread postby nebraska » Mon Aug 14, 2006 10:09 pm

When I read this passage in the book, I remember thinking "well, Duh! Of course that's the way it is!" but I guess I took the remark more as friendly competition than as exclusion, holy wars, genetic survival, etc. I didn't find any real animosity in the observation.

My uncle said something once about himself and his wife that I took as a life lesson -- he said "if both of us are alike, one of us isn't necessary." I took that passage in the book to mean something like that. Not necessarily as a real kill or be killed enemy, but as someone to compete with, to play games with as it were........how bland life would be if we were all the same and everyone was always on the same page!

And yes, I work with someone who thrives on chaos and truly enjoys pitting her co-workers against each other, baiting people to say things she can use against them, etc.It is like she throws out one or two comments, and then sits back to watch and laugh at the pain and conflict she creates. I don't understand that mentality at all -- she can't be very happy, can she? :-?

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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Aug 14, 2006 10:15 pm

nebraska wrote:When I read this passage in the book, I remember thinking "well, Duh! Of course that's the way it is!" but I guess I took the remark more as friendly competition than as exclusion, holy wars, genetic survival, etc. I didn't find any real animosity in the observation.

My uncle said something once about himself and his wife that I took as a life lesson -- he said "if both of us are alike, one of us isn't necessary." I took that passage in the book to mean something like that. Not necessarily as a real kill or be killed enemy, but as someone to compete with, to play games with as it were........how bland life would be if we were all the same and everyone was always on the same page!

And yes, I work with someone who thrives on chaos and truly enjoys pitting her co-workers against each other, baiting people to say things she can use against them, etc.It is like she throws out one or two comments, and then sits back to watch and laugh at the pain and conflict she creates. I don't understand that mentality at all -- she can't be very happy, can she? :-?


nebraska, your co-worker can not be a very happy person at all. :-/ I don't think the original quote in the book was meant to be taken in a harmful or mean way either. I think your uncle has as interesting way of looking at things, it would be very boring if we didn't have differences. When we start discussing the implications of the quote I think that is when it takes on a different meaning.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

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Unread postby Liz » Tue Aug 15, 2006 12:20 am

Hi Noodlemantras. :wave: I've been out of the loop today because I spent the entire day at an amusement park with my daughter. We are trying to get as much as we can out of the last couple weeks of summer break.

nebraska wrote:When I read this passage in the book, I remember thinking "well, Duh! Of course that's the way it is!" but I guess I took the remark more as friendly competition than as exclusion, holy wars, genetic survival, etc. I didn't find any real animosity in the observation.

My uncle said something once about himself and his wife that I took as a life lesson -- he said "if both of us are alike, one of us isn't necessary." I took that passage in the book to mean something like that. Not necessarily as a real kill or be killed enemy, but as someone to compete with, to play games with as it were........how bland life would be if we were all the same and everyone was always on the same page!


Nebraska, that is exactly how I took the quote too. In fact, I felt that it showed some hope for the human race.

Gypsylee wrote:Where a lot of trouble starts is when one persons opinion is shoved down another persons throat, i.e., intolerance to differences and aggressive behavior.


I agree, Gypsylee. I think intolerance for those who are different is the main issue.

suec wrote:What I find interesting is the way that Crowley and Azirophale do spin off and form their own sub-group, based on mutual interests. Entirely human.


On the other hand (being gray here), I think it is totally natural and acceptable to form small groups of those with like-interests. That does not necessitate being hostile to those who don't have the same interests. I also find that, after living as long as I have, I see that there are different "groups" that one can belong to within a certain social structure, and there can be cross-overs. For example, one can belong to a book club group and a Pokeeno group with a couple common members in each, as I do. But some of the other members in the book group belong to a different Pokeeno group. Does that make sense?
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Unread postby dharma_bum » Tue Aug 15, 2006 12:21 am

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. I think that the laws of the physical universe apply to the social universe. Ideas have weight and can be propelled by passion. When I think about the world right now, I think about how much of the physical violence is driven by intangible ideals... Do we need enemies? I’m not sure we have a choice.
"You can't broom out your head. You certainly can't broom out your heart. And there's a hot wire between them, and everything shows in the eyes."
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Aug 15, 2006 8:37 am

db, I suppose we haven't really been given a chance in a very long time to find out if we need them or not, have we?
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Wow! What a ride!

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Unread postby Endora » Tue Aug 15, 2006 9:12 am

The point about needing enemies is bruoght out in Primo Levi's If this be a man, the story of his time in Auschvitz. It is a bleak and terrible book, but one I would suggest all of us who live relatively untroubled lives should read.
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