What does reading about war do for me?
Am not going to be in a real war any time soon. Unless the Hungarians get a little too patriotic, but I doubt that.
It doesn’t do much for me in any practical terms. It’s helped me learn languages. I can improvise classes about war. Handy if I happen to have students who like this topic.
Am not sure why I do it. Because I grew up with a father who was very excited about military history? His eyes would light up in a most hypnotically beautiful way when he talked about insane historical events.
Sometimes I think it helps me deal with every day situations. Lately I have come to think the opposite is true. I go through life as if all those wars are still ongoing. The more I know about all the bad shit that’s happened in the past the less I can appreciate the present and the state of the world. Things might be peaceful now, filled with busy busy worker bees and Netflix binge watchers but not so long ago Europe witnessed genocide and did little to stop it.
All that pain that humanity experienced has become a part of me. I can’t be happy because I know what Einsatzgruppen did to children in front of their parents’s eyes not so long ago and not so far away.
I have to stop filling my brain and my system with all that sadness, brutality, cruelty and indifference.
I have poisoned myself by wanting to know too much about humanity’s past.