Hannah Arendt

So I’ve had a wicked cough for about 2 months now, not exaggerating. It took me 4 weeks to actually visit the doctor, and then for the last month I’ve been changing antibiotics about weekly trying to conquer this seemingly little bug. I haven’t been able to have a drink or work out for WEEKS. And the antibiotics make me feel worse than the cough itself. This past weekend I spent helping my boyfriend move and sleeping. So much sleeping. Just TRYING to get myself rested up and back on top.

The only thing social you can do when you feel terrible is see a movie. So I saw two. The first was The World’s End. This was obviously the boyfriend and his friend’s choice. It’s just as terrible as it looks. Kind of funny, but ultimately pointless. But the second was the film Hannah Arendt.

It was fascinating. Hannah Arendt wrote about the trial of Adolf Eichmann, a former Nazi general. Stemming from her coverage of the trial she studied what she calls the banality of evil. She argues that the worst evil is committed by small people, who commit the evil without thinking. This general says that he never personally caused harmed to any Jewish individuals and that he holds no hatred in his heart for the people. He was simply following orders. His job was to get the people on the trains, he paid no thought to where they were headed – where he was sending them. The fact that a small percentage actually survived the train rides, was not his concern.. it wasn’t his department. Arendt wrote about the trial in a series of articles in The New Yorker leading up to the release of the book Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. Eichmann was viewed as the epitome of everything evil, so her report viewing Eichmann as a rule-following idiot resulted in death threats and lost the respect of several close friends. Despite the outpouring of hate, she stood by her opinion. The film was fascinating. There was a lot that I didn’t pick up on, but nonetheless my roommate and I are completely fascinated with Hannah Arendt and this banality of evil. The book is definitely on my to read list, and I highly recommend heading to the theatre and catching this one!

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