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2014 Another Year of Living Foolishly? – Mark Ulyseas
This essay was written and published in 2008. Since then I have updated it every year. Except for a few lines here and there the basic essay has remained in its original form. It is a reminder to us that the inhumanity of humanity has not changed. In fact it appears to be growing in intensity. Sadly the more things change, the more they remain the same.
This year is grinding to a close and then hope will begin for the New Year. So what will it be?
- More wars for religious or commercial purposes? Cultural genocide? Child abuse?
Mutilation and other abuses of women? Human slavery? Beheadings? Decimation of another species?
- New insidious revelations that expose the all-pervasive criminality of governments, international politics and sections of the Media?
There is so much to choose from. It’s like a supermarket out there with all kinds of manmade disasters available on the shelves, one has simply to reach out and grab one. 2014 is ending on a note of negotiated delusions with the Climate Change Conference in New York. What happened to the good old days when we used a blanket instead of a heater? All this talk of saving the world is pointless. Everything is done half-heartedly. Let’s make a resolution for the New Year to decimate the planet. Destroy all our natural resources, pollute the rivers and farm the seas to extinction. At least we would be doing one thing properly.
On one hand we talk of peace, love and no war. On the other hand we bomb, rape, pillage, annex and subdue nations with money, military power and retarded religiosity.
For instance, let’s take a quick look at Afghanistan. The British couldn’t control the tribes in the 19th century, the Russians failed miserably and the American soldiers with their assorted comrades in arms, poor souls, are dying by the dozen along with faceless unarmed civilians. I suppose life is cheaper by the dozen. Hasn’t anyone got a clue as to what the Afghans want?
What about certain parts of the Middle East and in particular Syria and Iraq? Do you think they will run out of people considering the number of killings that are taking place? Education there is history – like the death of a six year old killed by a stray bullet. It stems from the barrel of a gun. The pen is for signing death certificates. And as ‘heads begin to roll’, aficionados of one religion pursue a scorched earth policy including hounding, raping and pillaging innocent civilians and their properties; people whose only crime is eking out a living on their ancestral lands and following their faith.
Statistics are essential in war zones. They can always be rearranged to suit one’s perceived objectives. The little numbers represent people; mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, relatives and friends. A neat way to manage these numbers is to write in pencil so that an eraser can be used judiciously.And as the death toll in war ravaged countries rises, a hysterical caucus threatens Russia and a host of other countries for deviating from the ‘acceptable norms of international behaviour’ like illegally invading countries on trumped up charges and bombing innocent folk back to the stone age…while deliberately turning a blind eye to China, a country that continues to violently dismantle the vibrant ancient Tibetan culture, brainwashing and incarcerating the Tibetans. Incidentally these very countries vie for commercial space in the seas off China.
Africa, the Dark Continent, what can one say about its peoples and their ancient civilizations that have slowly been corrupted by large corporations and foreign governments meddling in the affairs of the states: Buying and selling governments on mammoth proportions? Oh for the days of Idi Amin. Remember Entebbe and the blood baths? Everything is so quiet now, no excitement and drama except for bloody popular uprisings, theft of natural resources and other inconsequential happenings like the sudden spread of highly infectious diseases and mass kidnapping of school children for forced marriage and conversion.
What about the sub-continent, India? Do they still abort female foetuses? Burn women who don’t bring enough dowry? Continue to decimate wildlife? Persevere in the destruction of the environment? And do millions still exist on the threshold of life and death? And is the arrogant Indian Middle Class growing to newer levels self-indulgence? And are the subsistence farmers still committing suicide due to failure of crops, seeds often supplied by a multinational?
Forgive me, I missed that little country to the west of India; Pakistan. Poor chaps they’ve had such a tiresome year with the constant ebb and flow of political violence and religious fundamentalism peppered with suicide bombers that probably the common folk want to migrate to India… can’t really blame them. All they desire is to live in peace to pray, work and procreate.
Now let’s see who is left on the black board? Hmmm…the indigenous people of the Amazon are still fighting a losing battle with the powers that be to stop the plunder of their home, the rain forest, the green lung of mother earth. South America appears to be lost in translation. We never seem to get a lot of news from there except for soccer, drug lords and plunder of the marine world.
Let’s leave all this violence for some whale steaks. The Japanese are so considerate to the world at large. For a country that prides itself on rejecting nuclear weapons it has a rather odd way of showing its respect for the environment. I am referring to the mass killing of whales for scientific purposes and slaughter of dolphins on an industrial scale.
Actually you must admire their concern. Ever considered the fact that they maybe ridding the oceans of monsters that take up so much space and are a serious health hazard to humanity? I think Japan’s neighbour China has the right approach. It has dispensed with the cumbersome concept of human rights and its implementation. In its place totalitarianism with a small dose of plutocracy has been suitably installed.
There are many countries that lecture China on its human rights. Wonder who has a perfect track record? The world’s last Superpower? A superpower that continues to interfere in the affairs of other nations … at times actually sending troops and bombing unarmed civilians along with perceived enemies of the State? I suppose the term ‘collateral damage’ is more palatable than the word… murder.
Civil liberties are essential for the survival of a nation and so is the health of its people. In some areas of society where common sense has been the victim, Nature has found a way of retaliating by inventing diseases like Ebola, AIDS and Swine Flu, infecting millions and helping to keep the population in check. Of course, with a little assistance from humankind.
And once again, as we have done in the past, this Christmas and New Year we shall all sit down to sumptuous meals, drink whatever fancies our taste buds, shop till we drop and pamper our overweight children and pets. It’s the season of happiness, love and family especially for the homeless, injured and maimed children of wars, missing women in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and elsewhere, asylum seekers, political detainees and the fringe folk of the planet. They will surely be very happy and content with what they see, hear, feel and touch this festive season.
From genocide to environmental disasters it has been a roller coaster ride through many countries and peoples and cultures and religions. This journey will end only when we truly comprehend the reason as to why we have been put on this planet by a power far greater than we can ever imagine.
Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year to you…
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om