An Ode to Evil by Matthew Peluso

Does good always triumph over evil?

Not for its victims, for whom timing was everything—too late for them.
Not for the millions slaughtered in the camps—was Nuremberg a triumph?
The tens of millions un-personed by Stalin, Pol Pot, etc.
What benefit to them the death of the dialectic? Reconciliation committees?

Nor for the murdered Bosnians, machete-hacked Tutsis, beheaded Afghan women    
How have the ex post facto treaties helped them? Pieces of paper signed by politicians.   
Chemical weapons still tolerated. School shootings becoming a national pastime. 
No coincidence, since evil is much faster than good, violence leaving peace in its dust 

Evil explodes into the world, an independent force, immune from reason
It shocks, horrifies and stupefies comprehension, strategy, response, paralyzing action 
Accelerating, gaining momentum exponentially, expanding, succeeding, gloating, destroying
Completely and permanently—people, places, history, memory, mental health

While the good ask “how,” “why,” “what” to do in a de rigueur and futile exercise in dialogue
For years before evil is stopped, implodes on its own, mutually exclusive, irrelevant from good
Leaving soul-crushing grief, loss, damage that permeates, persists in the psyches of survivors
As the untouched, the unaffected, the never-in-danger celebrate the alleged victory of good. 

Not necessarily out of ignorance, or malice, or even callousness toward the suffering of others
But because evil can never be eliminated, not even fully prevented, only reacted to  
As best we can, with our limitations, with the inherent limitation and obliviousness of goodness
Which by its very nature first seeks only to see itself in others, in everything, until proven wrong

A slow process that gives evil a head start while trust is passively placed in good to triumph   
Slowed further by the relentlessness of existence, the immediacy of personal consciousness  
Too narcissistic, too demanding, too arrogant to just cease, drop everything and change focus
From the particular to the universal, from itself to others, especially those distant and foreign
In time to do anything other than reflect on the continuing and undeniable effectiveness of evil

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