The Other World Report

It is overwhelming to me, how much research I would need to do to back up the hypotheses presented here. Thousands of years of history, biology, sociology. A lot of the work has been done has been already, pieced together by theologists and philosophers…I just don’t know their names. This could become a lovely synthesis of experience and ideas, motivated by the need to promote some appreciable social change. It is just so big, the scope of ideas. Then again, it’s not. It’s all fairly simple in my mind, the foundation…I just have to find the details, all the true stories and guesses and tall tales grown too tall.

everything that has ever been censored XXXXXXXXXX
would probably be useful information to have, wouldn’t it?

IN OTHER NEWS

I find that, always, in the back of my mind there is some small current of worry, a constant wake up call. A narrative and subtext that goes something like this:

Front of My Mind
“I am going to talk the manager of the store about a job and I really would love to work there. We will have a pleasant conversation and I know there will be no jobs, but maybe when there are I will get one. I like this store. It’s friendly and pleasantly lit and the people seem quite happy. So, yay!”

Back of My Mind

OH MY GOD! THERE ARE TENSIONS BETWEEN NORTH AND SOUTH KOREA AND IT’S SO COLD HERE AND THE PRICE OF OIL JUST WENT UP AND OLD PEOPLE AND HOMELESS PEOPLE ARE GOING TO FREEZE AND KIDS ARE ROTTING THEIR BRAINS ON TELEVISION AND SOME KIDS ARE PROBABLY GETTING ARRESTED RIGHT NOW AND OTHERS ARE GETTING BEAT UP AND OH MY GOD! THERE”S A WAR IN IRAQ AND IN THE KUNAR PROVINCE THINGS ARE GETTING BLOWN UP!!!”

This cloud looks like it got blown up.

And then while I wait for the store manager to come speak to me, I see on the front page of the New York Times that suicide bombers hit a meeting in Pakistan, killing forty people and wounding others…people gathered to figure out a strategy to address the Taliban issue.

I watch the people in line make their purchases of beautiful, bright food and shiny bottles of wine, tidy little bundles of artisan cheese and they walk past the rack of papers and the picture of the man on the makeshift stretcher is flat and papery, his wounded body wrapped in white stained red.

I can’t seem to turn off my tendency to examine the contrast between realities. Even when I was I kid, I was worried about the world. All I had to do was walk through my warm, safe living room and hear the Reagan years news reports and all the names I thought sounded pretty, but terrifying. Khomeini.

This aversion of mine, to the broadcast of miseries, has become only more profound over the past ten years. I really know nothing of the details of any world conflict. However, it seems strange to me that people haven’t noticed that very little seems to ever change. We don’t even seem to really react anymore. I think the last time Americans reacted to the media was in 2001. Now we just feel a brief pulse of fear and change the channel, watch some ‘reality’ program.

The interesting thing about the conflicts of the world is that they, for the most part, have very little to do with the actual people in any given region. Additionally, the causal factors for these costly constant bloodbaths can often be attributed to the simple pursuits of power and profit.

It’s really stupid. Why do we keep letting this happen? Even more stupid is that the Western reaction to strife in foreign nations is often to simply launch a costly bloodbath in response.

Why do I feel silly in my belief that it is all avoidable? That so much has been the result of terrifically bad errors in communication. It would be much better if modern weaponry did not exist. It is ridiculous that we feel that any of us – leaders and people alike – have a right to bear arms. I have arms – a left one and a right one, they have hands on the ends of them.

Weapons are used to kill people, right? Why in the world do we even make things that are designed to kill people? I mean, that’s really sick.

Oh yeah, power and profit.

I don’t know anything about religion or the specific creed of any given system of belief, but I am fairly certain that none of them endorse bombing us into hell on earth. Oh well, too late now. We are stuck in offense/defense mode. Why is it that so many lunatics are given so much power? Why do people listen to them? Probably because they want answers, they want hope. Lunatic leaders, such as Hitler, come up with some twisted path to a righteous world and because psychological manipulation is much more effective if you can inspire fear in people, you create an opponent and promote them as something to fight against. Because the lunatics are quite crazy, they have no qualms about appearing confident and self-assured. Yes, the severely delusional often appear confident, don’t they?

People go along with it because we are innately tribal animals and our hormonal response systems reinforce the offense/defense reaction that is sparked by lunatics fearfully waving their hands spouting off threats that they, themselves, created. It is such a racket. Why do people keep falling for this? Nobody on this earth was ever born a fascist. I guess growing up is hard to do. They got older and, in all likelihood, they got scared…the world is, as I have said, a scary place. Fear can be quite easily manipulated into hate by a persuasive lunatic who says they have the answer and has the guns to back it up.

Isn’t it interesting the violent lunatics in our history and our present all seem to be men? That is really quite fascinating. There is probably some biological component to their bloody pursuits, some hormonal factor that reinforces their actions by making them feel mighty and strong. Couldn’t they just play sports? Do they really have to orchestrate genocides?

It is the void of human compassion that makes them lunatics. There are plenty of brutish ball players who, off the field, are quite kind. Some folks just like to try to run the game, all the games. Sometimes the lunatics will make up whole new sets of rules, whole new games…just so they can position themselves a winner. A lot of lunatics leaders were once rebels, just some crazy guy who could talk the talk and get some guns.

We all just want a noble function, a purpose. Really, though – how constructive is killing in the name of God and country, power and profit? Of course, in the case of lunatics – it’s never really about God or country, it’s about them.

It’s shameful, isn’t it? Maybe I am just incredibly dense, but it really doesn’t seem possible to me that these cycles just go on and on…offense and defense, never any lasting peace.

I stay away from the misery of international news because it makes me feel scared and powerless. I want to do something and yet there is nothing I am able to do. I am just as stuck as anyone else who is stuck. I wonder why the people who could do something aren’t doing more?

I guess because then there wouldn’t be much ‘news’ – would there? Or perhaps there would be more? Well, it’d better be good or I’m not watching. That’s all have to say.

All photos in this post from July 22, 2010. The clouds have been pretty nice the past couple of days, but I haven’t taken any pictures of them. I just watch them briefly and get on with whatever I was doing. I have enough pictures to sort through already.

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