Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Humans: They can't be trusted

Last night, as the quiche was baking and I was settling in to the Dodgers game, Fitzgerald became afflicted with a planet-crushing case of the hiccups. Dave, thusly, was freaked out of his gourd. At one point, we both thought that the poor kid had eaten something heinous, which could be the only explanation for his bizarre behavior -- after watching him casually ingest one of our misbegotten dustbunnies, it was a likely possibility.

So, Dave lurched for the Yellow Pages and began frantically thumbing through the V's, searching for an after-hours veterinary hospital, as I cradled the afflicted child to the kitchen, and alternated between massaging his convulsing little abdomen and gingerly probing his throat with my forefinger. Minutes later, the lad was cured. I heralded to the front room that Fitzgerald was fine. Like nothing had happened, Dave cast the phone book aside and resigned himself to the ballgame.

Now, by this time, the quiche's crust had come to resemble the charred remains of the Arcadia Theater, yet, it was still surprisingly edible. We sat down in our cool living room and watched baseball as the animals hovered about us, waiting for the first clumsy scrap to fall from our plates.

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I was reading PostSecret today. One of the postcards expressed that the writer was doubtful about achieving world peace in their lifetime. It made me wonder if, since the existence of man, there ever was a time of world peace. It became a desperate search this morning, trying to find some kind of validation, and explanation that humans are not the innately violent, passionately murderous creatures that we see so often in the newspaper, in magazines, on television and occaisionally (or unfortunately) in person.

I found this.

It's so depressing to learn that this world, since our recorded beginning, has not been at peace. We have been motivated by one reason or another to kill, maim and extinguish our fellow man over religion, territory and virtue. The world, left to the charge of man, can never be at peace because man, in his nature, is not peaceful. We are opportunists. We hate passionately, we love passionately and we die for those passions. We martyr ourselves for reasons that evade logic. We murder others for reasons that defy our own beliefs. God, Himself, said that killing is against His laws, yet the most religiously fervent endorse wars despite these fundamental teachings to the contrary.

Arguably the greatest leader America ever knew, one of the most outstanding, reluctant hawks, Franklin D. Roosevelt, said this about man and his violent proclivities:

Peace can endure only so long as humanity really insists upon it, and is willing to work for it and sacrifice for it. Twenty- five years ago American fighting men looked to the statesmen of the world to finish the work of peace for which they fought and suffered; we failed them, we failed them then, we cannot fail them again and expect the world to survive again. -1945

5 comments:

Olivia said...

About that timeline:

True, we think the world is so bad now, but really it's no different.

I don't mean to sound calloused, bu we also go on and on about civilian casualties, when in the past war was not restricted to governments - it was common practice for villages to be destroyed and inhabitants to be murdered, raped and sold into slavery. When soldiers kept marching and shooting at each other until one side gave up and victory was won by the side with fewer losses. I mean come on...

Matt said...

Humans basically serve no greater purpose, we're kind of a parasitic infestation that only adversley affects the environment we occupy. We are not really parasites of course, most of natures parasites form symbiotic relationships with their hosts, where as we just do our best to kill it.

Cheery thought for the day!

lunaliar said...

Liv, with you being the history buff and all, do you think that modern times, as compared with say, English domain over their empire or, say, the Spanish Inquisition, excuse our modern tactics at all? Yes, in earlier, more barbaric times we spilled the blood of our enemies much more brutally and prolifically, which I contend is a reason for the slow emigration of man throughout the world until the 15th and 16th century, yet, are we to say that modern war is excusable as the lesser of two evils?

I have always been a reluctant hawk: prepared to defend but unwilling to make the first blow. However, when that assault is made, let the swift arm of justice fall. Yet, we should realize that justice and retaliation do not address where the problem roosts: inequity, both social and economic. As the disparity between two groups of people grows, as the "haves" become more and more displaced with "have nots," when there are more Trumps to stamp out the middle class, then violence and social injustice will flourish.

I think that economic generosity and social equality can really bring peace, and we should insist on this as a universal policy, something that the West is quite reluctant to do. Compared to the problems that exist around the world, a $1 million here and a couple more there is pittance to solve deeply rooted problems.

Matt said...

I used to be a reluctant Hawk but the more you look into it, the more it's just moral horse trading where we are basically saying one form of murder is fine, and another isn't. If you think the world trade centre was an abomination then you must also say that Israeilis deliberately trageting civilian centres is also an abomination and stop allowing them to wave the Victim badge every time they slaughter children.

It's an equal abomniation when those who oppose Israel kill innocents, but it's always reported as a far worse atrocity than when Israel commits mass murder. And it's all done under this Victim badge, it's like driving a tank through someones house , but it's OK because you have a disabled sticker on the back. When we start treating the people who are murdered with equality, and judging the actions of countries based on what they do now rather than what happened to a portion of it's people years in the past, then we might get somewhere. But if at any point someone suggests that killing innocent civilians of one country is justified because innocent civilians have been murdered on the other side - that person is morally bankrupt.

The sad fact is that the UK and the US are the worlds' largest funders of human rights abuses and terrorism, and I don't say that lightly - just look at what Turkey are allowed to get away with in exchange for construction contracts (look up the Ilisu Dam) and allowing the US to use it's airspace - it's improved in recent years but they are still a massive human rights offender. You hear a lot about Hallabja in Iraq, but never about the Turkish massacre of the Kurds in Hassake which was at least as bad. In Kurdish areas of Turkey, rape is still the most common method of torture used on female Kurds. Family memebers are still 'disappeared'. Wives are regularly beaten by the police if they go to the police station to support their arrested husbands.

But it's OK. Turkey are in NATO - they are our friends.

On the face of it we like to profess our fight for what is right, but it's only the thinnest of veneers covering 60 years of state funded terrorism, banana republics and vicious dictators. It's Moral horse trading of the worst kind and as long as they keep the fires that keep us scared stoked, most of us just allow it to happen and try to find the right in what we do. It's a problem indemic to both our governments and has been for many years.

I'll stop ranting now, sorry. I just found out teh Ilisu dam project and others like it coul be back on track, it's OK though. They're only Kurds.

Verbie said...

I don't have anything smart to say, but that's really cute about Fitz...that he can hiccup. Dudley has only sneezed on occassion.