Monday, August 31, 2015

The course of WWII : from fungophobia to fungomania ?

Hitler's Nazis described all the Jews as being a fungoid growth, a poisoned mushroom, and said the next war would see either the death of all the Jews or the death of all human civilization.

And Zyklon B was to be their fungicide of choice.

The Nazi's use of metaphors about fungoid growths spreading their invisible threads through national bodies, of slimy smelly molds found only in dark dank decaying places, and evil and deadly 'devil's fruit' mushrooming up everywhere overnight was not at all unusual for that inter-war era.

HP Lovecraft, as well as a host of otherwise ordinary writers, easily outdid the Nazis in their vivid descriptions of the ultimate evil as being fungoid in character.

And in 1945, when atomic bomb explosion clouds first emerged looking at least as much like cauliflowers as mushrooms - guess what species got overwhelmingly picked to describe this horrible new weapon of war ?

There was no doubt that fungophobia was the in-house mental illness for of all western civilization, be it Allied, Axis or Neutral.

All the more paradoxical then --- in the full G K Chesterton sense of that term --- that WWII also ended with much of the world in the throes of fungomania.

All over a small, smelly, slimy, blue green smear, a common household pest, that gave suffering humanity its best ever lifesaver : penicillin.

Ironic, isn't it ?

No comments:

Post a Comment