About Me

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Deep South, United States
Consultant, inventor, mentor, chess coach,. Current projects involve No Till Farming and staving off blindness due to cataracts among other projects. I also do confidential ghost writing (without taking any published credit. My current blindness makes me put this on hold for a while. I should have one eye working again in about four months. Fact, fiction, all subjects considered. I have heard My daughter Jennifer is alive. I would love it if she were to contact me here. I understand she would like to know me. I have sent a message by circuitous route. I can only hope. My posted Email works as well. We have four decades to catch up on.
EUREKA IDEAS UNLIMITED

This blog has been up for more than a year. The intent was to generate dialogues about serious problems and ideas. It has been almost exclusively a monologue. I have not been looking for large numbers of participants.

I would be quite happy with a few dozen imaginative, creative, thoughtful and inventive people who wish to address serious problems and issues. If anyone has any ideas about how to attract such a talented group I will certainly pay attention. I am not as computer conversant as I would wish. Anyone who could help in this regard would find me receptive to sharing my skills in other areas.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Genocide

Mr. Anthropositor had some difficulty today. April is always a difficult month for him for several reasons. He tends to dwell on several battles with huge bureaucracies and the bureaucratically inspired and abetted genocides on several continents and islands. I can’t tell you why it seems to affect him more in April than in other months. It may have something to do with being required to report to faceless well-conditioned cogs in a soulless governmental machine who don’t even know where or when they err.

I am just the butler, but I feel I know him pretty well. Even so, I don't always see these upheavals coming or quite know why they occur.

Perhaps it is East Timor or the Armenians in Turkey or the Balkans or the Rape of Nanking or the current ongoing genocide in Darfur.

Or perhaps it has to do with the Rwandan genocide of about a million human beings which took place during this time of year which massively disrupted three ancient human cultures; the Twa‘s, the Hutu‘s and the Tutsi‘s.

In a bit more than a quarter of a year, a million people were hunted, tortured, raped and slaughtered. Roughly 10,000 people of all ages PER DAY were murdered. Even babies and young children.

The great superpowers knew about it in the first few days. They watched. They dithered. They applied a bit of ineffectual pressure. They fiddled while Rwanda burned. The could not even sort out who was at fault.

There were no strategic materials at stake in Rwanda. Why bother? Mind our own business. Who among us today even knows exactly who to blame? Perhaps we all are.

Think of it. A million people dead. Raped, beaten, shot, burned, hacked to pieces with machetes and pangas. Less than two dozen people were ultimately tried and imprisoned for these crimes. It was not just the soldiers on both sides of a revolutionary conflict doing this. Mobs of ordinary citizens went on the hunt for other ordinary citizens who were "different" than them. They were continuously moved to commit this ongoing murder and mayhem by Rwandan Radio broadcasts. Day after day. Month after month.

Those broadcasts could easily have been jammed. Why weren't they? Apparently freedom of speech issues. What nonsense! They were convincing people that mass murder was not only acceptable, but a patriotic duty!

I asked Mr. Anthropositor how he can keep thinking of these things. I simply can’t bear it. He said, “Someone needs to give a voice to the dead. I am just a dead man talking.”

And now that I have given him the Elixir of Shrinking Violet to arrest his grief and to silence his ravings, perhaps I must speak a little until he returns to his senses. I certainly don’t want to. I just want to forget. I can no longer bear even the sight of bright red liquids.

I think Mr. Anthropositor would tell you that these extreme examples are just the tip of the iceberg. That there is far more blame to be borne than that of the perpetrators of these crimes. Those who know, and do nothing, share the guilt.

Most Hutu’s and Tutsi’s are good people, just trying to get by and live as well as they are able. Even so, less than two dozen people were later held responsible for the murder of a million human beings! How can that be?

Some of the fault must go back to the original German Colonial regime of the early twentieth century, and the Belgians who took over after World War I. People long dead who were quite sure of the rightness and practicality of their actions.

These empire builders set the wheels of destiny in motion when they granted the Tutsi minority great economic and political advantage over the far more numerous Hutu people.

The Germans and the Belgians are sure to find it objectionable to shoulder the blame for any of this. Did the Belgians not give autonomy to Rwanda when they abandoned the country in 1959?

Well, not exactly. On the way out, they flipped the power structure upside down, apparently using the logic that the majority should take power over the minority which had been in charge of the real management of the country for a half century of colonial rule. That was the real fertilization of this particular serpent’s egg.

Perhaps I have been around Mr. Anthropositor too long. I sound a lot like him. I may even be as verbose. A final thought.

I am quite sure Mr. Anthropositor would point out, genocide is not decreasing. It is spreading. Numbers of victims continue to rise. Numbers of places it occurs continue to rise. The variety and methods of murder continue to rise.

This plague threatens us all. We must find our way to peace. We must find or make common ground no matter how extreme our differences. We must abjure fanaticism and extremism and terrorism in ALL of their forms. We must start now. Or our addiction to hatred will kill us all.
Ichabod

4 comments:

Nicole said...

I have been able to ascertain whether this site is a cooperative effort or merely typed under fictitional pseudonyms. It's slightly complicated really, but I trust that in time I might figure it out.

For now, I just wanted to stop by and say thank you to whichever one of you (or whichever of your personalities) left the comments on my blog this morning. It is usually inspiring to receive affirmation for my thoughts, particularly from those who appear to have a few thoughts of their own (which it appears is the case from reading a bit of this blog).

I apologize for the general comment that really doesn't have much to do with the post at hand, but I did want to say one thing about this post, which is that recently I have been made more and more aware of ongoing hostilities in Uganda and particularly of the plight of potentially tens of thousands of child soldiers there (you may have seen my post about this on my blog).

I am wondering, do you have any thoughts about what the average US citizen can be challenged to do that would be of any use in these situations? Do you think it's a collective apathy that allows these things to continue or is it really just a massive system that even if small groups or individuals are stirred to action simply cannot be swayed?

I don't intend to get too political in this question, although I realize that there is some degree of politics in it and that no question can even really be asked without revealing some slant or another. I hope that I have not asked a foolish question. I'm young and relatively inexperienced despite my strong opinions on certain topics and am always interested to hear the thoughts of others who have had different and sometimes broader experiences with these things than I have had.

Thanks again,
Nicole

anthropositor said...

Nicole,
It is refreshing to read your words. You have no cause for apology. You are active. You are engaged in the process of living and learning and growing and participating. You will not grow up to be one of the movers and shakers. You are a mover and a shaker.

Politics are ugly and messy and frustrating and often tragically misguided. I do my best to ignore these frustrations, pervasive as they are.

We must remain engaged. We must find ways of cooperating with one another. This cooperation must not simply be mindless adherence to nationalistic dogma.

No matter how much we love our country, we must also think of ourselves as citizens of humanity. And when we find ourselves at odds with things done by demagogues who appeal to our natural nationalistic spirit in defiance of logic and reason, we must resist. Not with chanting and silly slogans, but with reason and well-designed collective cooperation.

If politics is as dirty a word as it seems to be, it is because so many of the politicians are so incredibly flawed. This crosses all party lines and national borders.

And unfortunately the problem is not confined to our political representatives, but to deep corruption in all of our necessary institutions.

Our legal systems, our educational systems, our health systems, the production of our food supply and medicines and the other materials we depend on, our fuels and the many consumer products we have come to think are absolutely necessary to our lives are undergoing massive failures at every level.

Our environmental crises are proliferating so quickly we cannot even count them anymore. And our leadership has shown clearly that they are completely baffled about what to do, or even which problems should take priority.

We warehouse our aged populations. We forcibly retire our aged citizens or give them strong incentives to quit participating in society. We already hear rumblings that the retirement benefits and medical services the aged receive or require threaten to destroy the economy. We systematically devalue old people and we do it so skillfully that they themselves believe it too.

I very rarely see a TV ad directed toward the aging population which does not depict the aged in insulting terms. The Giecko Caveman is treated better.

And look at me! I’m sixty-six years old, have a serious cataract in one eye and an early cataract in the other, am a year and a half into recovery from a stroke, and still refuse to think of myself as a part of the useless aging population.

I am a young person trapped in a classic body which needs some extra maintenance and daily care. In a great many ways, I am healthier than a typical youngster of thirty or forty.

Until recent months, with my cataract, I had not seen a doctor for over two decades. The average sixty-six year old in an industrial country takes three to six different prescribed medications per day, not to mention all the over-the-counter nostrums he consumes voluntarily. This is absolute nonsense.

Wisdom and experience are widely thought to be obsolete, even by the aged themselves. And of course many of the aged are thoughtless, dimwitted, worthless and obsolete, without much redeeming value at all.

If I look a little deeper though, I discover that generally these individuals came from the ranks of stupid, dimwitted, worthless young people who just never got over it.

But I want to end this litany of problems on a different note. I could as easily write at length about all the wonderful things humanity has achieved.

And certainly there is value in recognizing our many fantastic achievements. There will be time enough for that when we have gotten the emergencies under some sort of control.

Ichabod? He is simply a valued and loyal servant and friend. We each have our place in the scheme of things. I couldn’t do his job. He couldn’t do mine. Together we both do better. …And we are a good influence on each other.

Thank you for your dialogue with us Nicole.

Anthro

Nicole said...

I will not reply in full to this response (thanks for writing it) at the moment as I have somewhere to be in a little over an hour and some bills to pay before then, but I did want to reply to your most recent comment to my blog.

Your "agnosticism" should not impede our dialogue. If I understand Jesus Christ on any level, He was not the type to push people away. He spoke to people where they were--sometimes he brought confrontation, but usually only to the pious religious elite who needed a reality check--He called them such pleasantries as "You white-washed tombs" and "You brood of vipers." But to those who didn't know Him yet or who were in need, He spoke with loving, carefully crafted metaphors, going to where they were, not fleeing in fear of their differences. I think of a woman at a poor, ostracized woman at a well, a learned older man named Nicodemus who came to him by night because he simply wasn't sure what to think of the mysterious new teachings of Jesus and didn't want to risk his reputation.

I think that everyone is on some kind of spiritual journey, moving either closer to or farther away from God. I think it's difficult to believe in the goodness of a good God in the face of the horrors of a world that seems so horribly out of control at times, but I say difficult, not impossible.

And I think it would be ill-advised for the thinking Christ-follower to remove him or herself from an ongoing dialogue with those who do not have faith in Him is to really miss the point. All who saw him after his death and resurrection were not pushed to the margins and timid and fearful. They marched boldly to martyrs deaths, spreading his message across continents at peril of life. These are the same who fled and hid when He was arrested. If that's the truth that I (or any other Christ-follower) embrace, then I should be sharp and open to discussing various thoughts. If I am confident in my faith and not backing down because it has become so radically counter-cultural in this post-Christian nation, then I should always be ready to give a reason for the hope that I have but also not always in need of sermonizing, which (amusingly) I think this comment is beginning to border on, though so unintentionally.

All of that is to say that I think that to the extent that our interchange remains beneficial, enlightening, challenging or any other combination that pushes us each to deeper levels of understanding or effectiveness, then I will not hesitate at its continuance. I have already enjoyed the ability to stretch out a few dialogue muscles that don't get stretched every day.

I do want to be sure to mention that I may not always be able to write such long commentary, since I do have a full-time job, am taking a class and am involved in some other organizations. Today was just a lucky hit for a day for you to first contact me, I guess, since I am laid up here with this passing sickness.

Well, I should get going for now.

P.S. I do not hesitate to use the word "Christian", but do it here to avoid some of the reductionism that I think begins to be attached to the label because of certain who claim the label but seem to have no concept of it truly mean anything about Jesus Christ Himself.

Teresa said...

I like Nicole was sort of confused about the pseudonym thing.
There are some weighty issues the world faces right now. We do need to come the realization that genocide is happening and call it what is.
Incredibly interesting website you have here.

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