Thursday, August 07, 2014

War


Our species: an interesting idea, but poorly executed.

Given the inescapable fact of our propensity for cruelty, how is anything else not trivia? It's not just our well-established willingness to ignore the suffering of others; our darkest secret is that given the slightest breakdown in the façade of social customs that keep us more or less on peaceful terms with each other we quickly degenerate into torturers and killers. And once the habit of cruelty begins nothing is harder to break, all the more so when we have, as inevitably we do, our own sufferings that cry for vengeance. No flag is unstained. Blood for oil, blood for land, blood for blood, blood, blood, blood.

Our tragedy is that our technological ingenuity has far outstripped our ability to manage the tools at our disposal in a manner that benefits our own species. How could it be otherwise? How could seven billion individuals with conflicting histories, destinies, and needs ever hope to find common purpose? Where is the will? If we can't find a way of destroying ourselves and much of the natural world around us, we will try harder.

Our overfull boat steams ahead
in the darkness with the pilot fled
and the captain mad
and though we huddle cold and numb
day may not come.

4 comments:

The Crow said...

Your post, especially the verse at the end, reminds me of Twain's "The War Prayer."

Thought-provoking piece of writing; thanks.

Chris said...

Thanks. I wish I could be more upbeat.

Tororo said...

Even harder to break than the habit of cruelty is, precisely, this habit of trying harder, originating in the inability to figure out that we perhaps pursued the wrong goal from the beginning. "This thing we use to do, it never worked too well in the past, but probably we didn’t try hard enough, let’s try harder" seems to be the only lesson we ever learn; "pilot fled? captain mad? who cares, as long as we steam ahead?".

Chris Dunn said...

Deftly worded. It IS unfortunate, isn't it? The answer to all our searchings seems to be "Humanity, by its very nature, must fail." The answer is impossible to accept--it tempts me to look further, deeper--but I look in the mirror and all I see is need and want and fear. F'ed up, man!