Jean-Paul Marat is a fascinating figure to me, and has been so ever since, in short order, I read GURPS Scarlet Pimpernel, which portrayed him as a disease-ridden&maddened monster, whose thirst for blood was only the most pernicious part of his madness — and then read Marat/Sade* — which portrays him as a disease-wracked champion of the people, albeit a people gone more than a tad mad themselves.
Rarely have I seen someone so vilified and so praised with so little in between.
“I believe in the cutting off of heads.” — Jean-Paul Marat
And while some aspects of him do horrify me, others I feel great sympathy with. I can be full of righteousness, full of wrath, full of the desire to see those I think dreadful people be struck down, whether mildly by, say, ceasing to be published, or simply eradicated from the earth like a bug smashed upon a windshield.
I want to be better than the latter — and since many of those I oppose are, one way or another, eliminationists, I want to be better than they are. But they do make it hard, from time to time.
“Five or six hundred [aristocratic] heads lopped off would have assured you repose and happiness; a false humanity has restrained your arm and suspended your blows; it will cost the lives of millions of your brothers.” — Jean-Paul Marat
And that is part of why; because the seductive temptation of removing a few heads, and hoping that the serpent’s nest they rise from will go away.
It won’t, and I know that — strike down a Fred Phelps and another one will rise, remove a Ted Cruz or a Dick Cheney and someone else will take his place. Which is why I disapprove of removing those heads.
That doesn’t mean they cannot be written against, and mocked, and argued with with every drop of pixel I can produce.
This is the place where I will, from time to time, write things longer than a Facebook post, on subjects that deserve that bit of Marat-esque vitriol. Here I will let out that inner Marat, in the hopes that letting him speak in ink will help quell the desire to see things written in blood.
* Or, to give it its full, and marvelous title: “The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade“