Devil in the Details

Devil in the Details

David Katz 14/02/2020 5

Wouldn’t the Devil you loathe and fear appear disguised, deceive, and evoke your sympathy?

Wouldn’t the Devil you believe in and shun, attract rather than repulse you? Wouldn’t he assuage you to his side of every argument? Wouldn’t he make you love him, and hate those who called him out for the hate he sowed, and the evil he did?

Wouldn’t he make contemptuous disregard for the fate of nature, the jewels and wonders of all creation, seem righteous? Wouldn’t he make divisiveness look decent, greed- august? Would he not make the costs of his actions in discord, despair, and disgust; alienation and extinction; fire and flood- seem a small price to pay for the comforts of his seductive company?

Would he not turn brother against brother, and yet make them blame each other, or their sister- or you? Or blame anyone with skin of differing pigment, eyes of differing shape, birth of differing origin- just not him, never him?

Would he not subordinate the future to his litany of fleeting lusts? Would he not bully, berate, abuse, and intimidate - yet be inscrutably forgiven by those who preach charity and peace? Would he not be spiteful and vengeful and vindictive, and distort the hearts of his disciples to forgive, and love, and show mercy for his every merciless act?

Would he not spend the potentials of children and generations on his immediate indulgence?

Would he not sow shame and taint and stain, yet be shameless? Would he not be culpable, yet deflect and disperse blame?

Would not every detail propagated tell of the ravaging, rapacious blight of him - in a fine print to which his adherents are made blind by his very shadow?

Would he not tempt you to hate me for seeing what he is, and tempt me to hate you for failing to see?

Devilry is ever in the details. Let’s look together. 

The devil we recognize, know, loathe- holds little power over us. The devil who dupes us into loving him by hating one another molds our common fate, holds our collective, mortal peril in his hands.

Is there any hope for us to see by common light?

Just such details- are the narrative of now. 

We, together or parted, will decide its epitaph.


Dr. David L. Katz - son, brother, husband, father, human

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  • Jamie Holmes

    Everything is fine with the devil in the details :p

  • Tracy Leitch

    Thought provoking piece

  • Dave Matzinger

    When you know the origin of it, everything gets really dark.

  • Abel Lucero

    Masterfully done.

  • Corey Bramblett

    It reminds me somebody.. Can't say....

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David Katz

Healthcare Expert

David L. Katz, MD, MPH, FACPM, FACP, FACLM, is the Founding Director (1998) of Yale University’s Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, and former President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. He has published roughly 200 scientific articles and textbook chapters, and 15 books to date, including multiple editions of leading textbooks in both preventive medicine, and nutrition. He has made important contributions in the areas of lifestyle interventions for health promotion; nutrient profiling; behavior modification; holistic care; and evidence-based medicine. David earned his BA degree from Dartmouth College (1984); his MD from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (1988); and his MPH from the Yale University School of Public Health (1993). He completed sequential residency training in Internal Medicine, and Preventive Medicine/Public Health. He is a two-time diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine, and a board-certified specialist in Preventive Medicine/Public Health. He has received two Honorary Doctorates.

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