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8/14/2015

Among Mad People

Humans are a mad species. Mad in the sense that they are crazy, like mad scientists, Mad Max and MAD magazine. Every one of those mads describes one aspect of being human. Insane, post-apocalyptically distraught and nuts. But in terms of "being angry" we are even madder than mad. We always did have the capacity to get really really furious at stuff. Broken TV - damn you!! - slow driving people holding up the lane - you idiot! Our "mad" is a blow out, a detonation, like a thunderstorm, quick and painless.

These days, everyone is able to witness everyone else's madity (don't be mad it's not a word) on social networks, and our angriness has become an everyday condition. The madder - the better. The madder - the more we care. Like mad magicians we're in the business of abstractly spreading unfocused anger bolts at the world. And if you're not sharing those sentiments and hop the anger train, you're accused of either being a placidly naive lamb, on their side or you just don't give a damn. So, it's easiest to follow the invitation to be outraged. There's something going on every day. Nestlé, Homophobia, Amnesty, Hunting, Religion, Health, TV shows, Summer. And that was just in one week.

The good thing: we're not bearing grudges it seems. Maybe we have evolved to be a more forgiving species. No more feuds? Giggles, no. More likely that with this large a variety of annoyances to pick from, we forget what we were mad about yesterday.

Why I care? The abundance of red flags everywhere made me lose the will to rant. And that makes me really really mad. But seriously, in all this time being spent angrily, the ability to be critical, to go look for information beyond the bias we seem to lack. We think we're more enlightened than we actually are. There is so much information. We just don't take the time to get it. All of it. Too busy being mad.

7/24/2015

Go play with your kind, Kitty!


In life, most things we do are pretty much self-explanatory. We are born, we go to school, we work. Eventually we get married, have kids, and some time after that we die. Somewhat anticlimactic, I agree. Yes, but there are certain challenges to encounter and our bookstore's self-help section to deal with things that are slightly out of our reach. How to get that job (that we're not qualified for) or how to get a partner (we don't deserve). And those books contain more or less fishy techniques to justify our desire for social climbing. As primates, we always want the biggest piece of cake, and as humans we're convinced outwitting instinct must be the way to go. But all in all we'd probably be appalled if we knew how much of our decision-making in life is driven by pure instinct rather than calm consideration. I can hardly tell why I do certain things, and why I don't do certain others, but I get the distinct feeling the reason must be found somewhere on the opposite end of "free will". Is it "right" though to live like that? I don't know. It certainly feels right, but that doesn't have to mean anything in the grand scheme of things.

Well, I don't have any point of reference here, since I know no other way of existing than my very own. But I imagine, since we're all human those must be similar, with survival being the most elbowing instinct of them all. The fear for survival can take many different forms and sizes, mostly ugly ones. Actively killing our kin for food, luckily not so much a commonplace in the Western world anymore. But since we all own a lot of shit and feel like we've accomplished something, passively fearing for one's place in society is much more prevalent these days. Racism being the operative word to name that fear. Yet we always seem to be surprised by news of racism, riots, police brutality or the sad German trend to burn down refugee hostels. Well we shouldn't be. We shouldn't be surprised. It's the oldest fear there is. It may even predate spiders and heights. The fear of losing cultural identity, belongings or jobs is a natural part of existing within a community of diverse beings. Just because it's there doesn't mean we can't do anything to counteract that fear. We should and we do. The fear itself has to do with a lack of information (or wrong sources of information) rather than stupidity. Just so you know you're not immune, all you smartie pants! Information is a good way to work against that, most of all some form of political education, so we may understand the source and reality of such fears. How are those foreigners stealing our jobs again? Oh righto, they don't. Of course, the media are an untrustworthy companion in this endeavor, being deeply afraid for their own survival, they play into the hands of our fears like a horror movie plays into the pants of small children. But there's other ways of enlightenment.

We are afraid, and that's a fact. No point in complaining about it. And the country that came up with Nazis should know better than to ignore those tendencies or feel like we have means to control them. Fears can't be controlled by an intellectual elite. And what a horrifying concept that would be..
That being said, now what do we do about these fears?

For his first birthday, someone gave my son a book about a cat looking for playmates. The cat asks dogs, ducks, pigs to play with her, and they all refuse due to the cat's lack of dog-like, duck-like and pig-like qualities. So in the end the cat finds other cats to play with. D'oh! The moral of this story? Happiness found with your own kind? I'd say the moral is being aware that the concept of racism is omnipresent, validated like that, through allegedly harmless story patterns.

"Go play with your kind."

5/10/2015

There's Spiders on the Interwebs


I had a blog on the interwebs at the foot of the Ngong Hills...well, duh. I still have a blog, though deserted at daytime, I'm always close by at night, never far from putting down thoughts in writing. And I seriously realize I need to do some spring blog cleaning before spring turns into summer, and summer makes me want to do everything but clean, even on and between those dusty interwebs.

So, how have you been doing lately - she asks - casually. Are you OK? Have you been shaken by the various crises of this earth or did you just stop caring? I mean, seriously. Horrific news, every day. We are being sold, our private lives being spied upon, our data being inflationary goods for intelligence worker drones and the nations that employ them. They doodle on our love letters, and draw funny faces on our porn collection. The guy with the mustache got an even bigger mustache. Funny stuff. They rated our naked holiday pictures from 1 to 10. If there has ever been a moment to uprise, that moment is here, staring us in the face. Unfortunately, we let it pass. We just shake our heads in disagreement if we're not too busy having insignificant thoughts about nothing. We're all fresh out of disappointmental energy. And anger is that much harder to come by. We feel as though we're the smallest link in the celestial alignment of our existence. We're just too damn unimportant. I have to ask this of me, of everyone: are we? Are we the insignificant ant in this equation? Let's see: human - check. All limbs and brains intact - check. Human Rights being beaten with a stick - ding ding ding, jackpot! Hey there, you with the sad eyes, we do have some power. Confidence, please. We have all the power. It's not us and them. It's only us, and we control what we do. This idea of big nobs separate from us, it is an illusion.

You could hold the view that we had it coming. We got lazy, we let things run into the ground. But I'd like to think there is a slight ticking noise going on in the background, and it gets a little louder every day. At some point, there'll be an explosion. It's what happens when people are undermined, cornered. People and wolves. It's what needs to happen, so we can be free for a while. Until the next election, take-over takes place, coup, whatever you want to call it. Because wolves will remain wolves, and the balance between freedom and security will always be fragile and fleeting. And nature will catch up with itself eventually.