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Author Archive: "Jesse Bullington"

Abash’d the Devil Stood

I don't believe in evil. It's a word I use, certainly, because words are shortcuts and we all take the short way round from time to time, but that's all it is, a word to describe something we cannot or will not understand or articulate in any other way. If there were such a thing then I would have a much harder time condemning acts that I find selfish, cruel, or otherwise indefensible, because to say that evil exists is to provide an excuse for what I find to be obvious: that humans are animals, and as such often act in ways that other animals can never fully understand.

The first thing I thought when Powell's offered me a soapbox was, Don't come off like a pretentious jackass, be sincere, talk about something you love, like hiking or Vincent Price or Jack Vance or Umberto Eco, and next thing I know I'm using a Milton quote for the title and waxing on about philosophical uncertainties. I'm going somewhere less bombastic, really! Evil as human weakness versus evil with a capital E as a means of segueing into why I've ...


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