Atomic Jesus Supernaturalist
Reading daily news of the world online: it's an up-to-the-minute experience in real-time global confusion. According to the news, nothing is getting better, everything is getting worse. The global situation is defenestrated, shattered, busted into a million-million pieces of attitude, opinion, and belief. Public Relations 101 says "attitudes, opinions, and beliefs are the three levels of actively engaged consciousness that human beings express in their relations with one another." Attitudes, opinions, and beliefs. According to PR-101, attitudes change often, opinions change less-often, beliefs change rarely if at all.
If reading the daily news (pick-any-day) is an indication the attitudes, opinions, and beliefs of every person on the face of the earth are now a matter of extreme public urgency. The way the online stream of "news" tells it, there seems to be a move afoot that will blossom and grow into a world where every whim of every individual attitude, opinion, and belief will be dealt with in a way that makes everyone "happy." That's the goal (or so it would seem).
Of course, it is an absurd goal. It may even be absurd to imagine that the daily global report even suggests such an absurdity. But if it is not universal happiness that is (by the daily news) suggested, dreamed of, and sought for by men of good will, then what the hell is it? What is it that the newsmakers and the news-reporters want (???) if it's not "peace on earth and goodwill toward [all] men."
This writer thinks they (the newsmakers and the news-reporters) want to be the attitude-makers, opinion-adjusters and belief-changers that finally bring peace to the Earth. They want the attitudes, opinions, and beliefs of the whole humptey-dumptey world to be molded into their image and likeness. None of them would ever admit it publicly. Most of them may not even know that their dream of universal happiness is a smarmy wad of super-selfish self-indulgence.
'Waaaaaaaaaaaaaay down deep, every human on the planet knows this particular phase of human history is approaching melt-down. The man-made thunder of September 11th 2001 was the opening round of what's certain to be an escalating display of unimaginable events culminating in...what? What are your most secret thoughts of how these days will end?
One thing is certain. These days will not conclude with any form of man-made "peace" reigning over the whole earth. Men don't know how to make peace. If they did, it would be for sale. Got it? No? Too bad. It's expensive and the buzz only lasts for a minute or two.
Newsmakers and journalists ought to quit kidding themselves about "the future" but they won't. Why? First, because they probably don't know any better; the coma of political sweetness keeps them walking like zombies...on to the next photo-opportunity. Second, for the time being, making news and reporting news is a first-class meal-ticket.
William Butler Yeats is an Irish poet and keen observer of the human condition. He was born in 1865. He won the Nobel Prize in 1923. He died in 1939. The Second Coming is one of his most popular poems. That poem is worth repeating here:
The Second Coming Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds. The darkness drops again; but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Mr. Yeats was (and is) a man of letters and refined understanding. He also made a straightforward observation about the journalists of his day. His observation (of journalism in the 1920's) sounds prescient in 2003. Were Yeats here participating in today's milieu, he might have included the current crop of politicians in the following summary: "I hate journalists. There is nothing in them but tittering jeering emptiness. They have all made what Dante calls the Great Refusal. . . . The shallowest people on the ridge of the earth."
Reading the daily news of the world online is a peculiarity that did not exist as late as 1990. The digitization of human- events reportage has swept over the Earth in less than a generation. With so much more information now at the fingertips of so many more people than ever before, it was fair to hope that maybe, just maybe, things really would get better.
Fair hopes and fond dreams-- in a world of increasingly violent relgio-political confusion. The easy-pickin's were picked off by Wall Street hucksters cashing in on the fair hopes and fond dreams of a buying public who (you chumps!) actually believed that virtual reality could be substituted for the real thing. That big bubble of hot air exploded and not long after four airliners filled with innocent people were hijacked by slaves of Allah and became first in a new generation of WMD's. Maybe information is power but it's not powerful enough to change the way the world has been ever since time began. When push comes to shove, the contestant with the most muscle is the one who takes the day.
Politicians and journalists don't make public statements about the end-game, but 'waaaaaaaaaaaaaay down deep, discerning people know that's what's happening now. This is a world of opposing forces. The one who overcomes the opposition is the one who can muster the greatest force and apply that force with calculated precision. That's the hard fact of the matter. People don't want to face it, but that doesn't change a thing except the people who choose to remain in denial.
This old world and the Souls who inhabit its atmospheres never were meant to be a globe of perpetual noise and endless confusion. For the time being, more people than not would rather believe that the best things in life are not free. That's why if men knew how to make peace, it would already be for sale. There are some tough days ahead. Mr. Yeats saw them coming back in 1922. A wise man once said, "For the lovers of God, there is no religion but God Alone." Those who prefer to live with the belief that God is a non-existent myth or (worse) dedicate themselves to a perverse system of "religion" now find themselves in a world of pain and confusion that no amount of money, luxury, or power can ever protect them from completely.
This page was created on September 9th 2003.