As if it weren’t difficult enough to determine absolute cause for human criminal deeds, the field has now been extended to animals. Investigations are under way to decide whether Tilly, the killer whale who drowned his trainer in Florida this week, committed a homicide or involuntary manslaughter. (please note the word laughter in the second syllable) One whale expert claims that if the 12,000 pound orca had intended to kill, the carnage would have been much more devastating, thus proving that Tilly was merely whaling around in a manner appropriate to his species and size. Unfortunately, Tilly has two priors dating back to 1991, lending support to the profile of serial murderer whose crimes are possibly pre-meditated. In this respect, Tilly is more deserving of capital punishment than Travis, the humanoid chimp who had the mitigating excuse of being on Xanax at the time he demolished a woman’s face and hands. Travis was killed by the officer dispatched to the scene of the crime, thus precluding the possibility of our ever reaching “closure” on what motivated his anti-social outburst.
While the American animal behaviorists ponder what to do with Tilly, an Israeli psychology professor suggests that we treat the Middle East peace process like psychotherapy allowing “both sides to work through emotional aspects of their traumas, dreams and shattered hopes.” (Talking Cure Diplomacy, NYT 2/26) Carlo Strenger must have been comatose for the past few decades for him to say that “it is essential that emotions finally be given vent.” What else have we been witnessing but powerful religious and emotional tantrums as reactions to the existence of Israel in the midst of a Moslem part of the world? The professor feels that what’s missing from the middle east equation is not the willingness of the Arab world to live in peace with an inviolate Jewish state, but the failure of Israel and her enemies to acknowledge each other’s “narratives.” The post-modern jargon which is already passe fits the naivete of its dispenser, a man who still is not aware that talk therapy has been increasingly discredited for the past generation, and that his op-ed piece would make a suitable outline for Woody Allen transposing his own endless therapy onto an international stage. While we westerners fiddle with the banalities of our waning paradigms, mighty currents of dark, irrational hatred are manipulated for political power in the eastern world. Countering them is not within the purview of psychological constructs; it requires the methodology of the sword and not the word.
Have PoliticalMavens.com delivered to your inbox in a daily digest by clicking here