Monday, December 03, 2007

Of monkey spheres and Gaia

You remember the first time you met a teacher of yours outside of the school walls. the flabbergasted sensation you felt that these people actually HAVE A LIFE and are not shoved into school lockers in the after hours ? (not my line ... from here but not creative enough to come up with my own point proving 2 liner)

The fact is we still do that no matter how old we get, beyond the few dozens of people that we interact with regularly the rest of humanity is reduced to one dimensional bit representation of labels. They are no longer human, they are our politicians, garbage men ...etc.
That served us well back in the day when we were solely dependent on the hundred or so people in our pocket of the community.

Abu khamees was having a hard time so I don't mind him raising his prices till he gets through with it, I better clean up that oil spill in the street before 2il hajeh 2um jom3a passes by on her way to market and hurts her self. those sentiments actually were common place, and even though we had rules and we were still tempted to break, them the repercussions of our actions had a tangible weight that will hinder us. They simply will hurt people that are real to us.

Alas, industrialization had to kick in, and the image of goody spewing machinery was forever ingrained in our psyche. people started adopting the motto of "it's non of my business" more and more and who can blame them. it is human nature to simplify our lives, and its certainly far easier to think of Nike the "nice" sneaker maker rather than the 21 year old Filipino single mother of 3 that gets paid 5 cents on the pair to make them.

That ability that we have developed to attempt to simplify infinitely complex matters is the bane of humanity, we are quick to jump the gun to paint the world in our adopted version of a 2 framed cartoon. It is far easier to paint every homosexual as a vile misguided fudgepacker, or to just judge every Jew as a stingy big nosed bigot who is bent on the subjugation of gentiles and specifically Arabs. We honestly can't be arsed to bother getting to know each one of them and make up our own opinion so we adopt the stereotype and go with it having faith in our monkey sphere's dogma. Even the mere mention or attempt, "god" forbid, of painting them in a more human picture is highly offensive to people.

So on comes the information age, it systematized the manipulation of people through the exploitation of our simplicity. Efficiently mobilizing hordes of yay sayers that will nod after you without a second of hesitance. For after all we placed our trust in those "holy grails" of the system for they have transgressed beyond our petty little mistakes and follies. "the president has sex ! how presidential of him", "foreign Zionist agents are behind every bad thing that happened to the Muslims, its for real I heard it on the Al-Jazeera". That schism of Us vs. Them will inevitably lead us to conflict, for we are no longer able to maintain our contact with in our sphere. whether we like it or not our modern lives depend on more people than we are able to comprehend.

On the other hand we developed an insatiable thirst for information, the societies of alienation drove us to want to connect on an emotional level to revered figures. who's at a better position to feed that addiction than our medias, they don't challenge us any more they just shove us full with what we want to hear and sensationalize on our emptiness. Or you can just run to the other side and actually try to check up on everyday people and what they are going through, like for example hearing the stories of rape victims in Sierra Leone, or Sarudzai Gumbo the kid that was found weighing only 36 pounds, disfigured by cancer and aids and left to rot not because of the neglect of her family but because her country failed her and many others like her. The world is riddled which such tragic bed time stories coming from Iraq, gaza, from home to the ends of the earth.

Albeit, they are just that stories. we feel our 5 minutes, if so, of sorrow and pity and move on in our rainbow bright reality that we are blessed with and go parading that we pulled a lever claiming that we have changed the world and did out part by participating in the charade we call the elections. After all I can't give up my "coach" bag just because some unlucky bastard happened to be abused while making it, anyways its their own ignorance that made them do that job in the first place anyways.

Time after time getting hit with such stories & attitudes might awake an archaic notion of empathy in us, but alas we feel helpless to do anything and we are left to spiral into our own helpless depression. Only to be caught back in the cycle, being told that the latest cure is the magic elixir that holds the key to our happiness .

Honestly speaking if the world and us as people "hold the course" we might usher in our extinction way before the prophesied Armageddon, hell we wouldn't even need any divine intervention to get to that point. the idea that we have been bestowed "dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth" is partly to blame for where we are now. The disposability of earth makes us care less of the footprints that we leave behind, for its non of our business. After all why should we hold any attachment or care for this earth if it is only a transient place in the greater plan of the universe. so a little global warming is just sensationalist mania for god has bigger plans, meh.

We don't have dominion over anything, we are just a small part of Gaia. Albeit the most damaging and selfish part, so far. As part of the biomass we hold it to our self and to our planet to wake up from this slumber of apathy, we are certainly not as helpless as we like to think. we have just grown accustomed to the leisure of our life that we forgot to look closely at where it has got us and the only thing we have been taught to do is to ask for more, more more more, more hate, more fighting, more food, more bling, bigger better stronger faster. Neglecting the effect of our debauchery on us as people and on our planet that has been generously harboring and trying to correct our ignorance and cope with.

I am not asking you to pray for Gaia, if you managed to make this far, am not asking you to worship her, and not asking you to be a hippie, or turn into a cynic tree hugger.
All am asking you is when you want to drop that wrapper in the street rather than holding to it till you reach the next bin is to think of what impact it might have on your surrounding(I used to do that thinking am creating a job and helping unemployment). when you buy the next buzz item at the store. think of who made it, where and what they might have been through. Never take the simple side of things and don't let anyone simplify it for you, read, learn and try. Try to not remain a pawn, shake off your shackles and stop fooling your self that you are removed from all the chaos going around you and try to make your impact. for no matter how small it is, even if is picking an anime instead of a disney movie just because their Modus operandi doesn't align with yours, then you are starting on the path no matter how silly that sounds.

For the times coming ahead of us are not going to be smooth sailing in any sense of the term, and if there is anything we can do about it we need to do it now. Drop your schadenfreude and adopt mudita.
Some might say am "bestowing my wisdom" on you, hell we all belong to varying species of hypocrites. So yes I am hypocritical in a sense, but am trying to find my path I'll let you know when I do. On the other hand don't take my word for it, or anyones for that matter, go and try to find things on your own and do what you think is right in your own heart.

Mount the Pixelated revolution

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  • Good piece, BamBam!

    It has always puzzled me that the biblical injunction to have dominion over the earth has been fulfilled in mankind raping & pillaging it instead.

    Sort of like husbands who are supposed to love their wives and beat them, wives who are supposed to respect their husband and manipulate them in circles. Moms who neglect and abandon and kids who shoot them.

    A little Golden Rule would go a long way, toward gaia, drivers on the street, the people we live with.

    hardly profound, but that's my 2cents. :)

    By Anonymous kinzi, At 4/12/07 12:16  

  • thank you kinzi, appreciate it.
    that always puzzled me (btw its not just biblical the same line is there in the Quran) the view that we are not depicted as care takers but a race with a carde blanche on this planet.
    and i do agree with that but facing reality its not exactly the most profitable path, since abuse is just has a bigger katching sound to it

    By Blogger No_Angel, At 4/12/07 13:58  

  • This is the first time i come across the gaia hypothesis! very interesting, what kept signaling in my head after reading is (( what is the impact of one )) and that i didnt think of myself as an abusing human being by my daily conduct and how i live,, but i agree that there are small stuff that can make a difference without having to do campaigns and be in groups or parties and help what is silently suffocating.

    schadenfreude no more

    By Blogger THUNDER, At 4/12/07 18:16  

  • Yes, I am sure every single one of us can make little changes that would help, but I am more into simplifying things, ofcourse in a good way. It can all be summed in one word: Love. It can conquer all, and without even a second thought. Love above wisdom, I really believe in that.

    By Blogger The Observer, At 5/12/07 18:21  

  • thunder yes, there is an impact that a single individual can make and we can no longer just be complacent and depend on our societies to move as whole

    observer hmm love is too strong of a word and i hate to wash it down and make it accessible to everyone but i'll compromise and say compassion. and again i bear to repeat some things can't be simplified they just are :)

    By Anonymous bambam, At 5/12/07 19:55  

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