Relentless Tedium

Read on Wednesday, from All God’s Children and Blue Suede Shoes

Industrialized workers discovered “a new capacity for boredom.” 
Factories introduced an uncommon level of tedium to the lives of the workers.

Read this morning from The Second World War in Color:

As Soviet territory was consumed by German armour the death squads followed in their wake, beginning a regime of terror that would last for three years and bring brutality and death to countless millions.  [countless millions…a disturbing phrase]  Eventually, the machine-gunning by the execution squads became so routinely boring and exhausting for the perpetrators that they resorted to throwing their victims into their mass graves alive.  In fact, the relentless tedium of shootings was one of the reasons why death by gas became the preferred method of the Final Solution when it emerged during 1941.

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.

This is a heavy WWII study we are in.  The statistics are so gruesome that the mind gets numb to the numbers.  We have begun watching Band of Brothers.  Lt. Dick Winters is a bright light is such a dark story.

This afternoon we’re going to the theater (! – last theater movie was Prince Caspian) to watch Valkyrie, the story of a failed plot to kill Hitler.  The word Valkyrie fascinates me.  It means one of the handmaidens of Odin who choses heroes to be slain in battle and conducts them to Valhalla.  But when I look at the word I see: Valkyrie.  And Kyrie = Lord, have mercy.  That’s a word study for the future.

I need a counterbalance to this heaviness.  I just finished listening to The Last Chronicle of Barset by Anthony Trollope.  I’m thinking it might be time for P.G. Wodehouse.   

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7 thoughts on “Relentless Tedium

  1. Interesting that you mention Valkyrie. I came home last night and turned on a documentary on the history channel ab/ Valkyrie. They showed actual footage of those defendants who didn’t manage to commit suicide before being caught and the horrendous grilling they took, much (the documentary said) for propaganda purposes. Hitler decreed that they should be hanged by thin cords to make it more torturous. 200 people were hanged in conjunction to this. Listening to the grown children of those involved was difficult, too, because many had no idea their fathers were involved in this. I finally had to turn it off halfway through–too hard to watch. But that’s as it should be–let us never forget!

  2. I will look forward to your review.  The last Tom Cruse movie I watched was at home: Charlie Wilson’s War?    Last evening we watched The Express – two thumbs up :)Perhaps Band of Brothers is what I need to watch in order to kick start my stationery bike regime.I trust Noah is at home now.

  3. Band of Brothers was such an eye-opener for me.  It brought my Dad’s WWII combat stories into sharp relief.  I had an epiphany of sorts about my Dad’s life after the war (when I was a child) while watching part of BoB.   I realized that Dad had contemplated his eminent death on the battlefield so many times that he became a GHOST when he survived the war.  You know what I mean?  I believe Dad left behind a large part of himself on those battlefields and has lived the last 63 years as a fragment of himself.  Yes, God has healed many of his heart’s wounds over time, but the nearly daily combat for nine months was more than I can imagine.I’ll be anxious to hear about Valkyrie.  We did WWII quickly a couple of years ago and I remember the heaviness of reading Elie Weisel’s “Night” and other books about the Holocaust.  Lord have mercy, indeed.

  4. Is this a study of WW2 you’re doing for yourself, or are you a homeschooler?  I look forward to reading your review of “Valkyrie,” too.  Also, I’ve never seen “Band of Brothers.”  Is it good? It’s a bit horrifying to me to think of people getting bored by murder.  What does this say about us?  How can that happen to a human being?  I wonder what part spiritual deception and oppression played.  It’s really hard to grasp that, and trying to makes me so sad.Kyrie!

  5. @LimboLady –  I really choked up when, at the end of the movie, the text said that his wife died in 2006.  It was the kind of movie that made me want to do more research about the subject.@secros60 –  perceptive comment about the ghost part of your dad.  I wish BofB had a larger portion of interviews with the veterans.  I really enjoy that part.  Valkyrie is more a “thriller” than a war movie.  There are no battle scenes: wait, I take that back. The movie opens in Africa with a brief scene of planes strafing the folks on the ground.  The tension is taut (duh!) and the pace never flagged.  Even though I knew (on an intellectual level) that the assassination attempt failed, I still felt the suspense of wondering how it would end up.  Does that make any sense at all?  Collin is reading Night this week.@Sherry – Robinson is dark, isn’t she?  @BooksForMe – Well, you smoked me out!  I’m a homeschooler in my last year of teaching my youngest son.  I don’t think the older boys ever made it past a “survey” of the 20th century.  Collin (my 17 yr old son) and I have the whole year to study the 20th century.  Band of Brothers is very excellently done (what we’ve seen so far) but is not for the faint of heart.  There are many war scenes, battle scenes, some vulgarity.  But there is one leader who really stands out as a wonderful man (Dick Winters).  He is the main character in the series and is a man all can admire.

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