“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”
but most of the time, it seriously sucks.
A few weeks ago I wrote about experiences that make living enjoyable(http://zacharykleinonline.com/personal-experience/my-cousins-comment/) but the past two weeks have left me a whole lot less enamored with the world I’m living in. Not simply because of the horrible Boston bombings and the incredible abrogation of civil liberties imposed upon our metropolitan area by the state, F.B.I. and myriad other agencies. This “shelter in place” (i.e. “lockdown”) had all the earmarks of martial law without being declared. And it makes no difference to me whether people were okay with it or not. Welcome to the rest of the world. Again.
I understand the need to capture bombers, the need to determine whether there are more explosives, whether there are more accomplices. All important, but important enough to run roughshod over people’s legitimate rights? I don’t think so, but again, welcome to the rest of the world.
Worse, there were about eight murders during the manhunt totally unrelated to the bombs, but they only deserved a paragraph mention in the newspaper. No manhunt for those killers. No “shelter in place.” No 24/7 news coverage. No media trucks and hoards of reporters (finally, a good thing) surrounding the victims’ houses. Nothing.
Pick a day and just read the headlines of any newspaper, and what do you see? Pick a local news station and watch a compendium of who went psychotic and killed someone flash across the screen followed by a weather report and sports. Just your typical news.
But all the above is minor league shit compared to what we as a species do to each other every single hour of every single day. There are the drones blasting houses, bombs destroying villages, people fighting over whether or not countries ought to have the nuclear capability to destroy the planet.
We’re still negotiating whether it’s okay to have the weapons that can destroy the fucking planet! Pick a continent, pick a country, pick a religion, pick a sect, pick an ideology, pick a people, and what do we find? Murder, mayhem, shattered lives, limbs, families. This is who we seem to be.
So this is why we sit on top of the food chain? To kill, maim, blow each other up and decide who can and cannot annihilate the world? Not content with simply slaughtering that which is supposedly on a lower rung, we aren’t satisfied unless we’re slaughtering each other. And we call this civilization? Sorry, we’ve left the realm of right or wrong, good or evil. Frankly, it all seems insane. Really, really insane.
And, for what? Sure, every war has its reasons, every religion a purpose to its blood-shedding, every ideology a leg to stand on, every invasion a rationalized reason, every country its enemies (well, maybe not Canada). So fucking what? Ultimately, is it really that important whose dick is bigger?
I haven’t even begun to list the atrocities our species has wreaked.
How a about a small sample of wars:
And if wars don’t float your boat, well take a look at how we now live:
World Poverty Statistics
|Total Percentage of World Population that lives on less than $2.50 a day||50%|
|Total number of people that live on less than $2.50 a day||3 Billion|
|Total Percentage of People that live on less than $10 a day||80%|
|Total percent of World Populations that live where are widening||80%|
|Total Percentage of World Income the richest 20% account for||75%|
|Total Number of children that die each day due to Poverty||22,000|
|Total Number of People in Developing Countries with Inadequate Access to Water||1.1 billion|
|Total Number of School Days lost to Water Related Illness||443 million school days|
|Child World Poverty Statistics|
|Number of children in the world||2.2 billion|
|Number of Children that live in Poverty||1 billion|
|Total Number of Children that live without adequate shelter||640 million (1 in 3)|
|Total Number of Children without access to safe water||400 million (1 in 5)|
|Total Number of Children with no access to Health Services||270 million (1 in 7)|
|Total Numberof Children who die annually from lack of access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation||1.4 million|
|Year||Ratio of People at Poverty to Wealthy Level|
|1820||3 to 1|
|1913||11 to 1|
|1950||35 to 1|
|1973||44 to 1|
|1992||72 to 1|
We as a species don’t give much of a shit about anyone or anything but ourselves. I have mine so fuck everyone else, the planet as well, what the hell. And if we can manage it, what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is also mine.
Yes, there were great acts of kindness and caring in Boston after the blasts.There were people who risked their own lives to save others, but we all love our cheap running shoes and cell phones—and don’t really think about their expensive cost to the people who made them. I’m not condemning individuals per se; this is a condemnation of our species’ conception of humanity.
There was a time when I thought the first fish that took a breath of air outside the water was a giant evolutionary step forward. Not so sure any more.
And now let’s return to American Idol.