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The Better Devil


My sister and I rarely talk, which is neither good nor evil because although we miss each other much, there is little room for disagreements. But since fortune blew us quite far apart, to live on separate continents – living with people who have slightly different takes on life – each interaction we have (whether in flesh or otherwise) is somewhat precious. Exclusive, almost sanctum.

But that rule is engaged only as  long as we are able to agree.

The moment one crashes the other, its all up in the air, and it wouldn’t matter if the Queen were in attendance, verbal missliles and shrapnel always fly in all directions; Nearby spectators may just as well buy popcorn, appoint a Ref. and snuggle up cosily on the nearest sofa, cause it does get rather animated. And lengthily so.

Sadly, today we did battle, this time over the phone, and of all the worthy disagreeable topics out there, of everything worth its salt that humans could disagree upon in our jolly little world, it was a race/ religion/ globalisation issue that took centre stage. Largely in light of the Brevik affair, Trayvon Martin’s case and the two Abu’s (i.e. Abu Qatada and Abu Hamza).

Grim and tasteless I know but there’s a perfectly good explanation to it; She, like me thrives on the failings of what humans have kidded themselves to call “the law“.

So, my father’s daughter is of the view that the above cases highlight the inherent animistic behavior of man, despite all his educationing, apparent sophistication and wealth. She holds that the world has not made much progress in instructing its citizens to begin to agree on some of the fundamental issues affecting human kind. Apparently, just as there are relatively few high-profile sexism cases out there, and just as rape and child abuse is relatively uncommon (at least in most western countries), the same couldn’t be said about terrorism and racism (which she says are more linked than many politicians would be brave enough to admit), whereby each month, brings with it another scandal, be it by some chap named Adolf, another named Mel, an unhealthy number of Abu’s, or some rich spoiled kid with a gun?  And ‘ the icing: she thinks so long as different humans (background, colour, height, sexual orientation, etc) remain social animals “living proximate each other in an organised society, someone will always have some pathetic excuse to harm another, be it physically or otherwise.”

Well, well,  although I consider her take utterly shallow I have to respect her views even if I fundamentally disagree, which I do only because these issues are all a part of a much larger scheme of things that play on the interrelations between one human and the next.

Firstly, are we not tired of talking about race or terrorism issues? Isn’t it pointless since you can never please everyone? Even Jesus Christ (for those of you who believe he walked the earth) or biblical scriptures couldn’t help humanity in this regard – remember the Jews / Gentiles thing. (which if viewed from a different angle equals to something not too dissimilar to racism??).

So, it follows, that if we were all roughly the same  size, and blue (for example like a Viagra pill) we would still hate each other as much, if not more. In fact in such a hypothetical setting, because we are all just too similar, there would be much need for differentiation, to try to change ourselves even more, aspiring to be different. To be original (i.e. tatoos, additional limbs, genetic modification, etc) and some of us would end up pink, black, and white – hence back to the same squabbles all over again. We can’t change who we are in terms of preferences either or our  inherent prejudices.

But thankfully we can enable our governors to put some safeguards in society, which if followed could ensure that we have a degree of peace about (although again that depends on your definition of peace).

One problem is that when those who are largely responsible for setting  up the racist institution did so, over the years, they went to great lengths in planting the roots of hatred and discrimination in society. They infiltrated drama and literature, religion and culture, sports, finance and banking, business … practically all aspects of life and a lot of the building blocks and segments of such an institution still stand today [whether visibly or hidden – in the system, in the mind ]. In present times this has created an unfair and irreconcillable society, and those with power, and priviledge, whose equals in those days ( and in some cases, even now) believed they deserve a greater share of the world’s resources (by virtue of some rule/law, race, nationality, social background, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc) will not give up the economic / social  priviledge ( or land) that depending on how you looked at it, “fate” [or years of accruing illegal wealth at the expense of others {those lacking dynamite, firearms, etc}] has given them, without a fight.

And unless they would be willing to balance things up, or clean up all these aspects of life [which trust me they couldn’t possibly be if it will lead to loss of their privilege]; elaborately, purposely, thoroughly, honestly; racism and terrorism will most definitely always be there. And unfortunately, as the world advances, so too will the terrorists which is unfortunate because maybe otherwise we could reduce the terror in the world today (ask yourself why were there less terrorist related incidents before  the1950’s, than is the case now)

NOTE that by a “clean up” i suggest World Anti-racism / Anti-terrorism Day and a detailed curricula to educate children in schools (you have to start at a younger age) of the dangers of racism and terrorism. This would be adopted worldwide in the same format as say Climate Change Legislation, and a systematic procedure to help countries in desprate economic situations achieve better economic prospects …but even then, there are no guarantees.

Another difficulty is that because the histories of the world have “evolved” to result in starkly different social practices, religious beliefs (whether you believe them to be real or engineered or poisoned by selfish interests) and ways of life, diversity is here to stay. Whether you believe in the christo-judaic summary of the genesis of life, or are a Darwinian, gripped by natural selection and evolutionary metamorphosis, the fact of the matter is we believe in different things, and will always believe in different things as long as the earth remains in its current form, but even if it didn’t we can’t force beliefs on each other. Now because of that, and the sorry fact that many of our ancestors have told lies or been involved in some war or another to grab land, riches or spread their beliefs, there remains deep rooted suspicions between and among us. By deep, I mean some people think in the lines “i would rather die or plan deaths than serve those deceptive cons who are only interested in land for their buddies and our oil.”

Those inconsistencies and negative but strongly held views have never been untaught – and in fact the present ‘guardians’ who are considered to be authorities in those matters are divided/ largely reluctant, if not shy to denounce them (i.e. dare ye ask Ayatollah Khamenei to condemn acts of terrorism in Palestine by Palestinian Militants, or an easier one : to endorse Christianity for those muslims who struggle with islam or who have an interest in exploring what christianity or other religions have to offer. Or better still, ask the Pope , or head of your religious faith to prescribe Islam to all who have trouble keeping a single wife, or to strongly condemn Israeli airstrikes on gaza. It’s simply not happening. Its because humans have created for themselves this maze, which when creating sounded like a good idea,  when in fact they were weaving themselves a devious trap)

Which brings me to my next and final point; isn’t it a case of trial and error, action and reaction in almost everything including religion faith.  Since you can’t change the prejudicial perceptions you hold against those different from you why then do those in authority / positions of spiritual prominence not admit it (not that its their responsibility or call to do so – but they are at least in charge of something which enables large numbers of people to listen or consider what they have to say)?

Is it because they are afraid, that if they say it’s a case of choosing the better devil {i.e. (1) worship whatever works for you, as long as you don’t hurt nobody – life’s just a really messed up story missing a hero; and (2) We wait here until they are sophisticated enough to attack us[ in which case, we’ll be annihilated] or (3) Go after them that are causing terror, eliminating one at a time, and lose our sons and daughters in battle along the way [but risk acts of retaliation from extremists], that they [those in authority / positions of spiritual prominence ] will lose influence – and we won’t believe another word from them?

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Discussion

One thought on “The Better Devil

  1. Thanks for the pingback!!!

    Posted by artjen1971 | April 23, 2012, 9:16 pm

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