Is it ever OK to humanise notorious figures?

Portrait of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. (no ...
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The twin cinematic retrospectives on the careers of Hoover and Thatcher, both notorious conservatives that packed a lot of clout in recent Western history, invite this question. Today’s article at Eureka Street, Humanising Hoover and Thatcher – Eureka Street, takes rather a dim view of the practice.

I wonder though. As one privileged to work across a wide spectrum of the community, embracing idealists from the extremes of both the right and the left (and all the places in between), I consider it important to contemplate the human element that we all share. Heaven forbid – it might give rise to compassion for those who have committed the inexcusable! Well, compassion springs from knowledge, knowledge leads to understanding, understanding leads to constructive dialogue for improvement.

Maybe if we saw the human in each other rather than competing ideologies we may be able to deal more effectively with some of the contemporary challenges confronting us.

How successfully these two cinematic efforts achieve the task of putting flesh and bone on  these historic figures is another matter. However, I do not question the desire.

Published by wonderingpilgrim

Okay Boomer - that I am. But not one of them know-it-all ones! Still learning that the more I know, the more I have yet to learn. What I do know, however, I know well.

4 thoughts on “Is it ever OK to humanise notorious figures?

  1. I think our reluctance to bring these people out of caricature has a lot to do with our own deep-rooted fear. Stepping away from polarisation and collecting evidence is always a good way to distance ourselves and look at people like this with dispassion. And in doing so, I find it is freeing.

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  2. Love this: “Maybe if we saw the human in each other rather than competing ideologies we may be able to deal more effectively with some of the contemporary challenges confronting us.”

    Like

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