Bleakness . . .

The world seemed to have jumped off the sanity tracks, and in the last few weeks or so it has done its best to damage the calm of most people. 

One of the more frustrating of the conflicts around the world is going on in the Middle East.

“Which one,” you ask, and justly so.

Right now, the one involving Israel and Gaza. I read of demonstrations all over the world, a few in support of Israel, and many in support of Palestine. I’ve been (cautiously) asked for opinions, and often opinions are offered up to me. 

I’m a tad different than most people. I can, and do, have a lot of empathy for the lives of individuals born in that situation. I can relate to individuals. I can relate to the suffering, the mental anguish, the constant fear of having one’s life casually and indiscriminately ended without warning and in the span of an heartbeat.

But on both sides those individuals form groups, tribes, nations. Most of all, their actions are fueled by religious beliefs. There my empathy ends, and I resort to cold logic.

On the surface, I know that if someone is shooting at me, if someone is threatening my life, and the life of my wife, I am going to shoot back. Go one step further . . . if someone is publicly saying their whole purpose in life is to kill me and my family, I would not only shoot back, but be completely and utterly ruthless about it. 

Except . . . assume it’s not my entire neighborhood, nor even every member of each household. Just a few from each household. Hmm . . . I would take some risks, try to get the ‘right’ person, but if it came right down to it, I would level my neighbor’s house.

It’s not equivalent of course . . . no analogy is going to encompass the totality of how screwed up things are. It’s a religious thing, you see. Did I say that already?

I do, in fact, have some experience with religious folks. I can sum it up thus . . . assume you put a group of people in a room and ask them to resolve tough moral questions. I can tell you with absolute certainty the religious folks are are going to be the least reasoning, least willing to compromise, most bat-shit crazy members of the group. It’s just how things are. They have a mandate, you see, from their imaginary friend. 

So where do I stand? These two articles basically summarize the things one should consider before going out demonstrating/protesting for or against either Israel or Palestinians. 

If you have a strong opinion one way or the other, you owe it to yourself to read them both, and read every word; absorb the words, let them sink in, let the ideas percolate without restrictions, without preconceived opinions. Make sure to click on the links; get all the information you can.

If you are too lazy to read (so many are, and yet so many swear by their resulting uninformed opinions), perhaps a video would help put some historical perspective on the ongoing bloodshed.

An explanation of the various characters is HERE

You see, if you don’t approach this with an opinion already formed, you end up like me, and basically be all “WTF!?”

You know what? I do feel for the individuals there, but the groups . . . the groups are supported by the individuals. There is no answer to be found. All this talk of peace, ceasefires . . . bull-droppings!

That said, something Harris says does ring a bell. One group is sworn to annihilating the other group, but does not have the means to do it. The other group has the means to do it, but they are not doing it. On that basis alone I cannot understand anyone supporting and demonstrating for the Palestinian faction.

Mind you, one does not have to support either side, but if one were to pick a side, for the life of me I don’t understand why one would pick the side whose plan of action is to kill every last man, woman, and child of the opposing side. What bothers me most is the way people rationalize their choices.

“More than 700 Palestinians have lost their lives, but only forty Israeli.”

The answer for Israel is clear . . . to gain more support around the world, they need to die in greater numbers. I say that because it seems to me people are deciding who to support based on body count. 

Ultimately, I get tired. I don’t have a soul, but if I did, it would be bone-weary . . . if it had bones. I’m tired hearing about the Middle East. I am tired listening to one side or the other explain their moral superiority. I came into this world with this conflict going on, and I am sure I will leave this world with this conflict still playing out.

That people choose to live their lives in multigenerational perpetual conflict is beyond my comprehension. At some point I get numb, and wonder what the fuck is wrong with those people.

And then I need to watch this . . .

 . . . and dream of a world dedicated to science, to expanding human knowledge, to take man beyond each obstacle they encounter, and to expand the understanding of the universe to the point that we may be able to create different universes just for the crazies, allowing the rest of us to try and live our lives in peace.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
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10 Responses to Bleakness . . .

  1. haydendlinder says:

    Wow, No ones commented yet huh? Interesting. The movie was fun but you do realize, or maybe you don’t, that both of those articles were Pro-Israel. And your summation near the end of your peace would imply you are leaning that way as well. I mention this because I think, though you may be tired, you do have an opinion.
    As for me? I’m Christian. My God is a Jew so I have to be as well.
    As for the conflict, there will be no simple answer or long peace over there until many people on both sides grow the hell up and stop trying to kill each other just because they can.


    • disperser says:

      Few of my readers read my opinion pieces, and fewer still actually comment on them.

      I would tweak your perception just a bit . . . there is a gap between being pro-Israel and being pro-Palestinian. Mostly, that’s where I sit. I’m not sure about the second article, but I know from Harris’s past works that he also sits somewhere in there. The other writer is new to me, but he also seem to not be firmly entrenched. Could be I’m biased.

      We’re commenting about the current hostilities, and in the current flare-up I find it difficult to blame both sides equally.

      Were we to talk of the history of the region, there is fault on both sides, but I come back to the fact that Israel is in a position of strength and as I say above, I have to put some weight on the fact they have not, or at least appear to have not, indiscriminately slaughtered people.

      I can’t say that about the other side.

      So I will say it again, and as it might not have been plainly said, in this current flare-up I am not pro-Israel, but I am leaning toward placing more of the blame on the Palestinians. With the strength of world opinion mostly behind them I think that if they were serious about resolving (or at least improving) the situation through compromise, they could.

      . . . but I go back to their charter. There is no compromise indicated. They wow a fight to the death. I find it difficult to rally behind that, and frankly I don’t see why protesters around the world do.


    • disperser says:

      One small quibble about “My God is a Jew so I have to be as well.”

      If you are ascribing to, or loosely basing your faith on the scriptures, god does not have a nationality. The fact it chose to manifest itself in the form of a man in one of the most backward places in the world does not imply to me it originally came from that place. It certainly did not retain that particular nationality after it ‘died’. As far as I know, jews don’t have the inherent ability to resurrect from the dead.

      One could argue, and some do, jews are god’s people, but nowhere do I read god is a jew.


  2. Carissa says:

    I’m tired hearing about the Middle East.

    Me too. Like you, this has been going on my entire life. Both sides need to grow the hell up. But I don’t see that happening any time soon. When, do you think, they’ll realize, “This isn’t getting us anywhere, and maybe it’s time to rethink our approach?”


  3. seekraz says:

    Well done, Emilio. I’ve enjoyed Sam Harris since I first read his “End of Faith,” so maybe I’m biased (on the side of reason) when I continue to agree with him about this situation…the other guy is also new to me, but his stance, although differently worded, echoes the main points raised by Harris. At any rate, this is, above all else, a matter of religion, however executed, and until those religions are abolished, this type of conflict will likely remain.


    • disperser says:

      Don’t think humans will ever abolish religion . . . I see no end to these types of conflicts, and if anything, I think they will only get worse.

      The only ray of hope is that historically religions moderate . . . so in another few hundred years we might see a ray of hope . . . until some new religion takes the world by storm, promising the ‘true’ message from god will bring salvation (or death if you don’t believe).


      • seekraz says:

        No…not likely that it will ever be abolished…and yes, will likely moderate for a while…but that last part sounds strikingly familiar already…about the “true” message and salvation and death…goodness…again? ;)


  4. AnnMarie says:

    Thank whomever you put that glorious video at the end . . . sanity at last!


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