Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"We've always been at war with Eastasia"

This is what's wrong with the (American) world today. CNN World News Headline: "What's the deal with Kate's dress?"

Bah. Humbug.

Anywho. The latest events around the world got me thinking a bit. Our current state of media is incredibly, incredibly fickle. They're like the girl of your dreams who leaves you once she finds a suitable upgrade. The process repeats with the next guy and so on.

We're getting plenty of news regarding Libya. But what happened to our buddies from last month: Egypt?

But I digress. Right now it looks as if Gadhafi may regain control of Libya and is pushing back the rebels. The UK and France seem to be pushing the U.N. to control the airspace of Libya so Gadhafi can't gun down the rebels with his air force. The USA is undecided apparently - though earlier Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, had mentioned supporting such an action. Additionally, it's stated that Russia and China are likely to vote against such an action: "such a move is unlikely to win the backing of veto-wielding Security Council members Russia and China, which traditionally object to such steps as infringements on national sovereignty".

An interesting thing that's forming amid this is Gadhafi's claim "that the foreigners' aim was to seize oil and take their freedom away" followed by "'If al-Qaida seizes Libya, that will amount to a huge disaster,' Gadhafi said. 'If they (al-Qaida fighters) take this place over, the whole region, including Israel, will be dragged into chaos. Then, (al-Qaida leader Osama) Bin Laden may seize all of north Africa that faces Europe.'"

I find it strange that he could make such seemingly contradicting claims. Perhaps there's truth in both.



Following this I started thinking about The Chrysalids, 1984, and Aeon Flux and their closed-society nature. In The Chrysalids (which is the most recent of the three I've read/watched) the setting begins in what appears to be a small town where everybody knows each other and they all think their town is the best place on Earth. Anything else is some hellish nightmare. Combine that with 1984's point made by mentioning in the book something to the effect of "We've always been at war with Eastasia" changed from how they had always been at war with Eurasia.

At a whim the leaders in these novels have singlehandedly changed the perception of the people living inside their walls, but the theme is the same - Their land is the best. Anyone outside of their land must be an infidel.

Which brings me to North Korea.

We see practically precisely the same scenario playing out in our lifetimes right now. Right in front of us. News articles come out here and there and you catch little things that reflect what's going on.

There's practically an everlasting famine over there. Some reports are sprouting up now claiming that they're going as far as asking for food from Zimbabwe - an already impoverished country.


I was poking around articles on North Korea hoping to find some first hand accounts from North Korean defectors and stumbled across this which discusses an account of a man who was a prisoner there.

Further down in the article it mentions "One Seoul-based humanitarian organization interviewed 100 prison camp torture victims, who reported caning, electric torture and the kicking of genitals. Many, in months and years after, suffered from insomnia, nervous breakdowns and social phobias."

At first I'm appalled. How can other humans treat each other like this. But then I remember the events at Abu Gharib and realize that this isn't a political issue. This isn't some behavior of only barbaric nations. This is a problem with people as a whole. There's some disconnect with some individuals...something that makes them feel ok with treating others so horribly. Where does this come from? Is there some biological reason for this? Is this found elsewhere in the animal kingdom?

Which reminds me of yet another thing. It "was a series of social psychology experiments" "which measured the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts that conflicted with their personal conscience".

Lots worth pondering here...

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