I think Hussein is blowing it out of proportion. ma bidda hal2ad.
as for the OP, very good @agnostic . That's what I know about Ashura, good vs evil and how to fight evil. There is a lot of wisdom when it comes to Ashura, but unfortunately we have some shia clerics who are going against the wisdom of Imam Ali and Husayn for example encouraging "Tatbir" and it makes it in the media's front page showing how barbaric Ashura is when in fact it's quite the opposite and it does not encourage any form of violence on one's self.
I am not a spiritual person nor religious but Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah always got it right so I will leave you with one of his golden words:
"عندما نحب الحسين (ع) بعمق فسنبكيه بعمق نبكيه بدموع الرسالة و بدموع القضية و بدموع الولاء وبدموع الحب"