Thursday, March 27, 2008

the plight of humanity...

for lady macleod specifically, and the world in general. and because i feel this particular post deserves a certain amount of class to lend it weight, i will refrain from swearing.

i first became aware of the plight of the tibetans through rudehead. he not only had a "free tibet" sticker on his bumper, but his dashboard as well. and later, when i bought the beaster and proceeded to cover it in offensive and sarcastic stickers, a "free tibet" sticker was prominently displayed.

but to discuss tibet, i need to travel back in time to the moment when i first became aware of the world at large, and the not-so-pretty things that happen in it.

so we head back to junior high, when i lived in constant fear of world war iii, the bomb, and bullies who would tease me incessantly. what, i often asked myself, was the point?

it began then, with pre-perestroika russia, who, i was convinced, wanted to nuke us into oblivion and enslave whatever remained of the human race living in what was once the united states.

but as i got older, i became aware of a much larger, more sinister, and, even worse, very real underlying current among us homo sapiens on this, the third rock from the sun: we feel an almost urgent need to overtake, enslave, and conquer. and the overtaken, enslaved, and conquered feel a primal need to fight back with whatever weapons they can find.

the irish were bombing the english. the people of the persian gulf were throwing rocks (i remember being awash in the sheer futility of these poor people as they threw broken bricks at advancing tanks, almost as if a fly had picked up a grain of sand and tossed it at me to prevent the descent of the swatter). africans were starving while the overlords let the food donated by other countries spoil on the docks.

i learned about ghandi. i learned about nelson mandela. i learned the underlying details of the vietnam war. i learned about colonization, mistreatment, raping and pillaging. i learned about gengis khan. i learned about alexander the great. i learned about hitler. i did a report on hiroshima. i learned about annihilation, holocaust, and genocide.

and it didn't stop, o fair and wonderful beloved non-existant readers. russia embraced peace talks with the us, and let go of communism, and still small countries were being taken over by bigger ones. the wall came down in berlin, and still people were being slaughtered the world over.

and the other big countries, the "heroic" countries that should swoop in like a big brother into the fray to pull out the underdog, to quell the bully, more often than not, stepped aside, gave the cold shoulder, turned a blind eye.

when does it end, o my beloveds, my droogs and only friends? who knows, i sure don't. but in the early days of man, i imagine the fighting was at a much smaller scale, over food, shelter, and mates. did the early man wake up one morning with the desire to take over every tribe he could reach in a day's ride? did he enlist like-minded friends, convincing them with paintings of grandeur and avarice?

and the list of countries that have, at one time or another, behaved to a smaller, undeveloped country (or worse, the "lessers" in their own country) in much the same manner as china does to tibet are endless: england, spain, portugal, korea, egypt, italy, russia, south africa, turkey, germany, greece, mongolia, and i dare not forget the u.s. of a., who enslaved africans for many decades, pushed the native people from their land and traditions and forced them at gunpoint into places wherein no man should dwell, followed by shoving our way of living down any throat unlucky enough to have opened to shout its desire to live as it wishes unharmed, unhindered, and free.

we, as a race, worldwide, have become arrogant. we have grown too big for our britches. we have burned our land, tainted our waters, and killed our brother with extreme prejudice, all the while smiling maniacally and declaring it is our "god-given" right.

and so, my beloved non-existant readers, the stalwart and strong, the faithful and kind, i am barely joking when i say that i believe we are due a plague, a cleansing, or even the third world war i dreaded so much, because we need to be knocked down. we need to be thinned. we need to be bombed back to the stone age, when our only desire was to remain warm, eat, and reproduce. our respective gods to whom we pray and by whom we curse are residing in their heavens, alternately shouting with anger and weeping with anguish for the atrocities we heap on one another in their names, or in our own.

and with that, i will leave you for today. i am in desperate need of some quiet time to release the emotions that burn inside my eye sockets (i really don't feel like trying to explain to my mom that i am bawling for the plight of humanity), and to remind myself that, despite all this, i still believe there is hope, and that i am the jaded, cynical optimist.

darth sardonic

p.s. a note to let anyone who should happenchance upon this post, i am not amassing the makings of large car bombs. i am not mailing manifestoes to newspapers. i am not building a bomb shelter and saving cans of food. i do not think of myself as a "weapon" to execute god's wrath. i am merely a mortal who tries to raise his family to be open-minded, but not blind; and who occasionally looks at the bigger picture around him and shakes his head in shame with tears in his eyes.

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Blogger ds said...

Unfortunately, this is the way of the world. We humans are just upright, hairless apes with an over-inflated sense of our own importance in the grand scheme of things (insofar as there is any grand scheme; I happen to believe not), though it must be said that most apes are not as barbarous or vicious as our species undoubtedly is.

We are, in spite of ourselves, ruled by emotion and primal urges. One of the most powerful of these is the fear of difference and the need to keep similar close to us. So we group into families, tribes, communities and even nations. And we distrust and fight those who are different, devising ever more horrific but ingenious ways of doing so.

Asking human nature to deviate from this pattern too much is, I fear, overly optimistic though I do believe that the tendency can, with care, be reined in somewhat.

As I look around the world now though, I see little sign of that happening.

8:39 AM  
Blogger Pixie said...

Both your post and ds's comment are very thought provoking.
And we cannot change the world in the big scheme of things, but I do believe that if I smile at my fellow man he will smile at another, and so on like butterfly wings the other side of the world.
I can only make sure that I remain tolerant and open minded about my world, and teach those around me to do the same.
This helps of course as we spread our thoughts around the globe.
Overall I remain optimistic about the human race.... but that may be overly naive, only time will tell.

10:08 AM  
Blogger darth sardonic said...

very true ds, and at the same time i agree with you pixie. we are pretty barbarous, as a race, and i only have control over myself and those immediately around me. somehow or other, i still manage to be semi optimistic. or naive. no idea which.

11:20 AM  
Blogger wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Our species is undoubtedly barbarous and vicious at times. But it is also uncommonly kind and thoughtful. We must learn to triumph over the darker side of ourselves.

1:55 PM  
Blogger darth sardonic said...

agreed, wuastc, the trouble is so many seem to feel it is not really necessary for THEM to triumph over anything but the weaker of the species.

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know what to say to this, except that I agree. And that ever since we had our son, watching the news makes me cry.

6:24 AM  
Blogger zirelda said...

I didn't want to have kids because I didn't want to bring them into a world this cruel, this ready to be blown to bits.

Now I worry. Especially when I turn on the news and see everything that is going on. Cleansing would be a mercy.

6:56 AM  
Blogger darth sardonic said...

belle-exactly. i try to avoid the news as much as possible. and never have i been so emotional when confronted with the world at large as i have since having kids.

z-that is exactly why i keep saying it. i really feel that is kinda where we are headed. hope it isn't in my life or my kids' lives.

2:34 PM  
Blogger lady macleod said...

Thank you my friend, and well said!

8:12 AM  
Blogger darth sardonic said...

ty lady macleod, for the inspiration and the praise. more importantly, thank you for considering me your friend, that is possibly the highest praise of all.

4:19 PM  

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