Sarah’s latest post reminded me of the stubborn, irreconcilable divergence between communitarian and individualist thinking. While it is a recurrent topic here, I’m afraid that it’s not much of a political winner, because even though Republicans are more individualistic and Democrats more communitarian, politics inherently lends itself to communitarian “we” style arguments (which means that even individualist Republicans have to pay major lip service to CYA communitarianism).

If some insane animalistic humanoid munches on flesh, it becomes a reflection on all of us, which it simply is not. I can remember being irritated as a child by the scolds who claimed that “we” somehow all bore responsibility for the Kennedy assassinations. Or the King assasination. Spare me. Those who did it did it. Those who did not do it did not do it. If a woman aborts her baby, I didn’t. Why is that so complicated? Why am I included in the relentless, all-encompassing “we”?

But that’s the problem politically. Things that happen become “we”things, and grist for the political mill. Especially appalling things. More especially, appalling recent things, like the Florida cannibal. The way people talk, you almost get the feeling they think cannibalism is a brand new American phenomenon.

Sorry, but I have to say that if we are going to apply the “we” perspective to cannibalism, we had best not forget our brother Ed Gein — who did lots of unwholesome munching in the 1950s. Or Albert Fish, whose activities date back a century.

Our cannibal culture has a lot to answer for. And always will.

MORE: Copycat cannibalism? Is such a thing possible? And what are the implications for communitarian hunger? Possibly detecting the latter, Drudge links two cannibal stories today.

And Clayton Cramer says this about one of them:

How many cannibal incidents do you need in a week to start wondering if the zombie apocalypse paranoid might have something to it?  First, the bath salts crazed cannibal in Florida, now this college student doing the human recycling thing in Maryland.  The college student is from Kenya; I didn’t think this was a custom of that part of Africa.

I refuse to comment about Kenyan customs. This post is out of hand enough as it is. Especially if consider that one of today’s stories involves a gay cannibal.

Talk about bad taste!

MORE: Almost forgot about cannibal music: