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Music of the Ghosts


A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of...
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Discuss Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner:
Teera sometimes feels that when names like Pol Pot's live on in history books and in our collective awareness, that it's a "triumph of evil." Do you think this is the case?

Created: 03/28/18

Replies: 22

Posted Mar. 28, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1584

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Teera sometimes feels that when names like Pol Pot's live on in history books and in our collective awareness, that it's a "triumph of evil." Do you think this is the case?

Teera sometimes feels that when names like Pol Pot's live on in history books and in our collective awareness, that it's a "triumph of evil." Do you think this is the case?


Posted Apr. 02, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebajane

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 211

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RE: Teera sometimes feels that when names like Pol Pot's live on in history books and in our collective awareness, that it's a "triumph of evil." Do you think this is the case?

No. This goes back to the question or remembering or forgetting. We need to keep monsters like Pot Pol in history books to lessen the chance of repeat mistakes but also to honor the people who suffered or dies


Posted Apr. 02, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 324

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RE: Teera sometimes feels that when names like Pol Pot's live on in history books and in our collective awareness, that it's a "triumph of evil." Do you think this is the case?

I don't agree, but at the same time I understand the author's point of view. We refer to these criminals and their horrific acts so casually, so matter-of-factly, that it distances us from the extent of the horror, I think. Books and movies that capture exactly what happened (or at least a little piece of the history) are a crucial reminder of the pain we can inflict on one another.


Posted Apr. 02, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beckyh

Join Date: 05/08/11

Posts: 78

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RE: Teera sometimes feels that when names like Pol Pot's live on in history books and in our collective awareness, that it's a "triumph of evil." Do you think this is the case?

Pol Pot represents pure evil to me and serves as a warning to be careful with assigning power to individuals. I think remembering his name and deeds is a way to say "Never again" and help avoid falling into the trap of a tyrant.


Posted Apr. 03, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

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RE: Teera sometimes feels that when names like Pol Pot's live on in history books and in our collective awareness, that it's a "triumph of evil." Do you think this is the case?

Adding to the comment above ... and yet there always seems to be a people that allow a tyrant to rise and control them, at the expense of others who are different. It feels like humanity never learns.


Posted Apr. 03, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
MarieA

Join Date: 10/12/11

Posts: 193

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RE: Teera sometimes feels that when names like Pol Pot's live on in history books and in our collective awareness, that it's a "triumph of evil." Do you think this is the case?

To erase evil out of history prevents humanity from seeing and recognizing good when it occurs and triumphs.


Posted Apr. 03, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 169

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RE: Teera sometimes feels that when names like Pol Pot's live on in history books and in our collective awareness, that it's a "triumph of evil." Do you think this is the case?

No. We need to remember the evil of the world so that it doesn't repeat itself. for example, we see people want to rewrite and erase actions in the civil war. They happened and tearing down a statue is not going to change history. We need to realistically remember our history and not deny it. Giving evil men a name and remembering them for the horrors they were responsible for, can help prevent such actions in the future.


Posted Apr. 03, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Maggie

Join Date: 01/01/16

Posts: 112

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RE: Teera sometimes feels that when names like Pol Pot's live on in history books and in our collective awareness, that it's a "triumph of evil." Do you think this is the case?

We need to remember history as it is, the evil with the good.


Posted Apr. 03, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lynnw

Join Date: 09/01/11

Posts: 154

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RE: Teera sometimes feels that when names like Pol Pot's live on in history books and in our collective awareness, that it's a "triumph of evil." Do you think this is the case?

If the world had just forgotten Hitler's madness or other despots, we would too easily allow others to follow in their footsteps.


Posted Apr. 03, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
clapshot

Join Date: 11/05/16

Posts: 16

RE: Teera sometimes feels that when names like Pol Pot's live on in history books and in our collective awareness, that it's a "triumph of evil." Do you think this is the case?

Not at all. Evil, after all, did not triumph in the case of Pol Pot or of Hitler. Nevertheless, we must remember them and their deeds.


Posted Apr. 03, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Beth350

Join Date: 04/15/11

Posts: 75

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RE: Teera sometimes feels that when names like Pol Pot's live on in history books and in our collective awareness, that it's a "triumph of evil." Do you think this is the case?

I understand what she means - particularly when as a Cambodian- American, she feels that keeping the name of Pol Pot alive in history books makes him seem more like the winner in the struggle - that the evil he brought to th country becomes generalized. Similarly, spending too much time talking about Hitler, generalizes the millions he caused to die. Each of the deaths perpetrated by either of these monsters was a person with home, family hopes and dreams. Their names rarely make it into the history books, although they were not monsters but human beings.


Posted Apr. 03, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 311

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RE: Teera sometimes feels that when names like Pol Pot's live on in history books and in our collective awareness, that it's a "triumph of evil." Do you think this is the case?

No, we need to tell the truth of what happened, no matter how horrific the events were. We need to teach future generations of how easy evil can take over if they do not know what evil is. If we do not learn from the past there is no future. A perfect example today, is tearing down statues. It is not going to change history, but we certainly need to know what happened.


Posted Apr. 04, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 215

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RE: Teera sometimes feels that when names like Pol Pot's live on in history books and in our collective awareness, that it's a "triumph of evil." Do you think this is the case?

No; their presence is a reminder that we cannot allow evil to triumph. Names like Pol Pot and Hitler remind us that evil can win if we are not diligent, and show us the destruction we can cause if our worst impulses are unchecked.


Posted Apr. 04, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sweeney

Join Date: 05/24/11

Posts: 87

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RE: Teera sometimes feels that when names like Pol Pot's live on in history books and in our collective awareness, that it's a "triumph of evil." Do you think this is the case?

I understand her feeling. Just as Germans in many ways did not want to continue the conversation of the hitler regime for decades after it was over because perhaps it brought a seed of culpability. But as others have said, to bury evil only aids in its rebirth in yet another heinous form.


Posted Apr. 05, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kathryns

Join Date: 08/18/15

Posts: 9

RE: Teera sometimes feels that when names like Pol Pot's live on in history books and in our collective awareness, that it's a "triumph of evil." Do you think this is the case?

History is like Swiss Cheese. Full of holes. The more blatant the actions of a figure, the larger the hole. The actions of those who work in positive ways are often "behind the scenes" - the smaller holes - or no holes at all! - with little visibility and either small mention or no mention at all in history. That doesn't mean that their actions have no impact, however. There is most likely an army of anomymous individuals who have positively advanced humankind, with never-a-mention of their individual names!


Posted Apr. 06, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
annl

Join Date: 04/03/17

Posts: 25

RE: Teera sometimes feels that when names like Pol Pot's live on in history books and in our collective awareness, that it's a "triumph of evil." Do you think this is the case?

I lived through all of the Southeast Asia strife. I feel the book tries to look at this from the different character’s perspectives, those who were grown and were caught up in the movements, the children who escaped and grew up elsewhere, and those who paid the ultimate price. There is so much exposure in today’s world of communication of different countries and ways of thinking that this is not quite so horrifying. We also have enough issues in our own country with daily mass shootings that attention to these issues feels not as important.


Posted Apr. 07, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 235

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RE: Teera sometimes feels that when names like Pol Pot's live on in history books and in our collective awareness, that it's a "triumph of evil." Do you think this is the case?

I agree with those who think we should remember the names of the villains of history; it is more how we do that. We certainly do not want parts of history to be repeated nor should they be honored.


Posted Apr. 08, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
renem

Join Date: 12/01/16

Posts: 172

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RE: Teera sometimes feels that when names like Pol Pot's live on in history books and in our collective awareness, that it's a "triumph of evil." Do you think this is the case?

I have mixed feelings about that. On one hand we must never forget the past, good and bad, and on the other it gives notoriety to people who don't deserve to be remembered.


Posted Apr. 08, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janb

Join Date: 06/27/11

Posts: 15

RE: Teera sometimes feels that when names like Pol Pot's live on in history books and in our collective awareness, that it's a "triumph of evil." Do you think this is the case?

We need to remember the horrors of the past, and the names and stories, as a check to future unfoldings. History has a way of repeating itself in many ways, small and large. History, written or stories told, can have power to stop or change an evil course. Not all the time, but perhaps the next!


Posted Apr. 09, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Loveslife

Join Date: 08/01/15

Posts: 12

RE: Teera sometimes feels that when names like Pol Pot's live on in history books and in our collective awareness, that it's a "triumph of evil." Do you think this is the case?

Fortunately I have not suffered the losses and tragedies that Teera and others like her have endured, but I believe that the quote those who do not study history-with the accurate names- are doomed to repeat it. A name only has power when those who utter it allow it to overcome them. I do also believe that my ideas on this issue is the voice of only one and certainly survivors of villains like Pol Pot have their own ways of coping. People in today's culture of overwhelming information can also be in danger of not being able to giving these events diligent attention. Empathy is a gift that must always be nurtured.


Posted Apr. 10, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 410

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RE: Teera sometimes feels that when names like Pol Pot's live on in history books and in our collective awareness, that it's a "triumph of evil." Do you think this is the case?

Like most of the above I believe that it is essential that the bad stuff in history must be taught but I also agree that books and movies are better at making it real than a listing of facts which is what most history taught is.
History does repeat itself over and over and we must try to make the horrible parts real in order to not make the same mistakes again.


Posted Apr. 10, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alissac

Join Date: 05/14/15

Posts: 49

RE: Teera sometimes feels that when names like Pol Pot's live on in history books and in our collective awareness, that it's a "triumph of evil." Do you think this is the case?

I think it’s completely understandable that Tera would feel this way, having lived through Pol Pot’s years in power- to have reminders of him in history books must make her skin crawl bc he lives on. However, for those who have never faced such destruction, we need to be reminded and shown what evil can look like, calling it by a name, and showing how people and ideas can go horribly wrong.


Posted Apr. 13, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 323

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RE: Teera sometimes feels that when names like Pol Pot's live on in history books and in our collective awareness, that it's a "triumph of evil." Do you think this is the case?

After seeing the Killing Field and other places in Cambodia, Pol Pot cannot and should not be forgotten. He tried to wipe out a whole culture and did a pretty good job of it. It is similar to saying we should forget Hitler. In my mind, these people are getting negative attention.


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