Friday, January 11, 2013


Vengeance (ven-gence, n.): punishment inflicted or retribution exacted for an injury or wrong.

Durga is the Hindu goddess of vengeance, and while I am not versed in Hindu gods, I like her title. On the rather unlikely chance that I were offered a position as a Hindu god, I might consider being Durga's male counterpart.

And how/why might a mild-mannered, happily-ever-after romanticist want to go to “the dark side” as the Star Wars franchise calls it? The answer lies in Oscar Wilde's observation that “a cynic is a frustrated romantic.” I have always expected good from people; simple courtesy, consideration for others, open-mindedness, tolerance, honesty. I am the young boy standing at the edge of the sparkling swimming pool in the movie The Impossible, suddenly swept away by the 30-foot-high wave of the tsunami.

We are so battered, so inundated, so swept away by endless, daily tsunamis of ignorance, intolerance, bigotry, stupidity, lies, greed, gratuitous cruelty, and callousness that it is truly a miracle that we—and our sense of humanity—manage to survive.

I am frighteningly often made so furious by these assaults that I would truly love to be a male Durga, with the power to give those responsible the justice they so sorely deserve but almost never receive. I would have to be very careful not to overreact—though overreaction in light of many of these offenses is hard to imagine.

I'd start small...with internet spammers whose blatantly unconscionable contempt for their prey removes them from any chance for clemency. They would be forbidden to ever go within 50 feet of a computer or any technological device that might enable them to contact another human being.

Bigots would be forced to live forever among the people against whom they display their hatred, while being rendered incapable of harming them in any fashion.

The greedy would be stripped of all their possessions and forced to live with only the barest of necessities for the period of one year, after which any recurrence of the transgression will result in a repetition of the same punishment.

Liars whose intent is to unfairly deceive or who display malice toward those lied to would be struck mute and denied access to any form of interpersonal communication for one day for the first offense and one additional day for every subsequent offense.

Those whose offenses are based on stupidity rather than malice would be required to attend classes in the appropriate subject(s) until they were able to pass a rigorous test proving the eradication of the cause for the stupidity.

Most importantly, in my role as a god of vengeance, I would instate and rigorously enforce the biblical principle of an eye for an eye. Every deliberate transgression against another human being—every physical or emotional pain deliberately inflicted on another human or animal with the intent to harm—would be experienced in exact kind and to the exact degree by the perpetrator ten seconds before they had the chance to harmed their intended victim(s).
I know, it's highly unlikely that I will ever be granted the power of exacting vengeance from those who so richly, richly deserve it. But oh, how delicious the contemplation!

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Kage Alan said...

I wonder if not allowing internet spammers to go near a computer is punishment enough. Perhaps they could be given a list of addresses of people they've spammed and had to physically apologize for their actions in person and explain why they did it? That should keep them busy and serve as a deterrent never to venture online again.

Dorien/Roger said...

Great idea, Kage. I shall implement at my inauguration.