Pick your nightmare

war-3.jpgPakistan, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Gaza, Somalia, Sudan, Algeria, Congo oh…and yeah, almost forgot…Iraq. Take your pick of which violent, horrific nightmare destination to read or write about.

Two thoughts come to me as I read the news this morning. One is, I am so overwhelmed by the amount of violence and insanity in the news, and it is so widespread-so pervasive, that I really thought I couldn’t actually post on any of it. So instead, I’m posting about that feeling of drowning in a sea of informational war2.jpgdespair.

Second is, when reading through the news, Iraq was so far down the list of headlines as to be almost an afterthought. I go through Google headlines first, then usually BBC, Al Jazeera, WaPo and SF Chronicle in that order. Even a big news story like the female suicide bombers is way down the list of stories. I’m sure Bush and the Repubs love it – seeing the Iraq stories get lost in the sheer volume of violent news.

I will mention here, because probably no one else will…..While reading through the news I was mostly concerned with the plight of the gorillas in the Congo. I follow the efforts to save these magnificent creatures which you can read about here and here. It seems that much of the fighting in that area is taking place right in a nature preserve where the few remaining protected specimens live. No doubt that one way or the other this war will reduce their already critically small numbers.

war4.jpgI bring this up because I realized that, perhaps like so many of us, I am becoming immune to the human suffering taking place all around us. Reading all of it this morning, I didn’t really react until I got to the stories about these gentle, innocent beasts.

I guess this is why we let Bush get away with what he does. We just don’t feel it anymore. When we hear about dead civilians or 10 or 100 or even thousands, even if they are women and children, we just don’t feel anything anymore. Its just so absolutely common place.

It is so digusting and sad. So shocking. I would say we are turning into animals, but animals don’t behave this way. It is as if, in settling our disputes, violence and killing have become the method of first resort instead of last resort. Killing our own families and friends. Shooting our classmates and colleagues. Mutilating, whipping, stoning, hanging our women for “dishonoring us”. Molesting and abusing our own children. Letting our actions be guided by racial hatred instead of rational thought. 

What has happened to us? For gods sake, what have we become?

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Explore posts in the same categories: Animal Rights, Human rights, Indecency

8 Comments on “Pick your nightmare”

  1. jonolan Says:

    We’re what we’ve always been – hominids with enough cognition to do harm to others for abstract reasons. It’s sad.

    I have to disagree though with the specificity of the “racial hatred’ comment. We do great harm because of many hatreds besides racial ones. Deep down we’re still “extended family groups” or troops – think chimps, gorillas and baboons (definitely think Baboons) who are completely xenophobic.

  2. expatbrian Says:

    I agree, Jon, that racial hatred, while still deep and widespread, is not the only hatred we cling to. We seem to hate anyone who is different from us. It might be skin color or religious preference or sexual orientation or political affiliation or economic status. Our capacity for ill will knows absolutely no bounds.

    I’m quit sure that the world would survive much better and much longer is mankind were to be totally wiped off it’s surface. Calling this “civilization” and calling ourselves civilized is absurd. The evidence contradicts that. And it’s only going to get worse.


  3. Oh boy, roger that, brian. All institutions will start cascading apart soon in a free for all collapse and then it will really get ugly. 2008 is going to be horrible. I’m betting we’ll soon look back wistfully at $100 a bbl oil.

  4. Capt Fogg Says:

    The baboon troop comparison is very much to the point. I think we are who we always have been: apes with weapons.

    Some have begun to speculate that approval for George’s war has risen somewhat simply because the coverage has diminished. We would probably approve of the world more if we didn’t know about every awful tragedy. I think it’s obvious that media coverage of crime
    has more to do with our perception of danger than does the frequency or nature of the crime. The world has been a pretty awful place since our species metastasized and I suspect that it was as gruesome, cruel and violent a place before we became aware of all the gory details.

    But, yeah, it’s going to be a nasty year, I think.

  5. abi Says:

    Helluva post.

    It reminds me of that great line from Network (one of many great lines in a great movie):

    “We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV’s while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be.”

    It amazes me that, in the 21st century, we still regard the killing of children and other innocents as being perfectly reasonable, sane behavior. But we do, we accept it, as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

  6. expatbrian Says:

    Abi, that is a great line and it shows that we have not improved one bit since Network was made or throughout history for that matter. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Kenyanchick Says:

    FYI: There are no gorillas in Kenya. Your link is talking about an animal sanctuary in the Congo, which is very, very far away.

  8. expatbrian Says:

    Hi Kenyanchick. Error noted and corrected. Thanks for the info and for stopping by


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