Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Copyright Eso Benjamins, aka Jaņdžs
32 Not-Violent Populism (IV)

There is likely to be a story of how it played out in a “live” life show, but the more abstracted message in Hindi religion tells how when you wish to revenge on someone with mortality in mind, the best revenge is to go to your enemy’s door and kill yourself in front of him when he opens it. Unforgettable trauma is the aim of such revenge.

Indeed. The trauma imprints itself in memory. The memory never goes away. I know this because I once had a comparable event take place one night when a hundred and more miles away, I watched on the horizon an ominous aura of flame—Dresden was being bombed and was burning. I have a picture postcard framed that shows bombed out Dresden from the pedestal of an ancient Goddess on the roof of an office building that survived. Anywhere from 70,000 to 200,000 and more people were killed, mostly burned and baked in a bombing holocaust on order from the Allies. Churchill was the leader to sign off on it. Five childhood friends of mine are said to have disappear in that holocaust.

This is why the Hindi understanding of revenge that really works, tells it from a point of view of a profound understanding of what it takes to bring peace to the world. We ought to know and understand this story, because people who deserve revenge are not just a few. The death sentence is out at least in the juridical sense. Extra juridical killings are frequent however. Still, the Hindi story tells you where the secret and price of community survival is.

The post-neo-modern world (perhaps someone has a better description of it) knows nothing of such stories. This fat monster has lived on the habits of consumption without knowing whence what it consumes comes from. It does not see before its mind eye the bacon as a dead pig hanging from a hook on a conveyor belt. I see it, but I shut my eyes to it. Those who watch news on television actually watch with closed eyes as well.

We have held our eyes closed to the events taking place in virtual reality cities for hundreds of years. The forest for beast and land that grows potatoes and wheat are out of sight and unknown to city people. The climate change crisis is caused not by ancient subsistence farmers, but by strangers-princes and then by cities forcing the farmers to cut forests for their forts and navies and then till the land tenfold its yield at the same subsistence pay.

The expected 4C rise in average temperatures , with temperatures in some places rising 10C, means the sea will rise up to ten meters or 30 feet. This also means that over the next hundred years the population of the world has to reduce itself by four billion people to arrive at a sustainable level. It cannot be ruled out that in the process, we overshoot and five billion die. Maybe this is for the best, because when we recover our senses, we can look to an increase in numbers again.

But how will we die off? How will we reduce our numbers quickly? Some say we will kill each other and the strong will prevail over the weak. Some say that large virus epidemics will come as the Black Plague once did. 50% of us will die in one swell swoop in two or three year’s time. Then another plague will come. And the sea level will rise even as we die.

To survive the die off means to have a community with very strong bonds. City apartment dwellers will not be because they form no strong bonds with each other. The wealthy, reduced from neo-conservative Wall Street princes to marauders, will form gangs of extra judicial killers of the “unsustainable” who refuse to die. Drug use will not only be legalized but will be considered a blessing, given that drugs make dying easier, and we may be among the ones to die off. Already the pressure of drug consumption makes resistance by “government” futile. In Ciudad Juarez, the monthly murder rate went from 30 people a month to 160 when “government” sent troops to interfere. There are no sure signs that government is getting the upper hand there. The price of memory in this is ten bloody heads in buckets, each bucket a head, put along the highway for the police to find.

Let us come back to our neighborhood. The only bonds that neighbors have with each other today are a fence and money. If money fails, so will the fence—unless it is a brick wall with cannon on top of it.

So, where does the strong community come from when it isn’t?

Though I know little about Hindus, next to the above story of revenge, I am fond of Ganesh the elephant headed God. Because letters are sometimes pronounced differently, the same Ganesh may be pronounced as Yanesh. Yanesh is a relative of Yan, Ian, Ivan, Johan, Jan, Gionvanni, Huan, Jahnis, Dionysius, etc. The Latvians, Lithuanians, and Byelorussians may find that one summer solstice, their traveling God John returns to them with an elephant’s head on his shoulders. That would surely be a memorable image for them. The image might even bring back memories of John the Healer with Water who wore a sheepskin loincloth. Let us think of John as he was before there appeared one named Jesus to supercede him.

John the Healer with Water did not beat around the burning bush. He charged into it. Most of us can recall seeing his head on a dish after Salome, the king’s incestuous daughter, had danced for the king a pleasing dance and demanded as the price of free sex the head of John.

Nevertheless, when the community of Johns heard of John’s death, it did not fall apart. It soon found another John to take his place.

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