As to the pedigree of this post I cannot be certain, but it sums up my feeling on the Syrian crisis and the worldwide response to it quite nicely. So I can be on record, we belong in Syria like fish belong on Segways, zipping across the surface of the Martian landscape. For those immune to sarcasm, that means absolutely not.
We have two wars on record we have not paid for, millions of lives lost, tens of millions of lives affected, billions of dollars spent, decades of disruption in the region, both theirs and ours and to what aim? What have we gained as a country from this debacle except a police state, totalitarian rule, an omni-surveillance society and the most disgusting agency in the security field groping the hell out of six year olds every time they want to fly and see Grandma. Screw wars in foreign countries…
Now back to our show, brought to you supposedly by the wise and funny actor-comedian, John Cleese. If he didn’t write it, he should have. If he did, hats off to you sir, it is brilliant.
From JOHN CLEESE
The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Syria and have therefore raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross.” The English have not been “A Bit Cross” since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to “A Bloody Nuisance.” The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.
The Scots have raised their threat level from “Pissed Off” to “Let’s get the Bastards.” They don’t have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.
The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from “Run” to “Hide.” The only two higher levels in France are “Collaborate” and “Surrender.” The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France ‘s white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country’s military capability.
Italy has increased the alert level from “Shout Loudly and Excitedly” to “Elaborate Military Posturing.” Two more levels remain: “Ineffective Combat Operations” and “Change Sides.”
The Germans have increased their alert state from “Disdainful Arrogance” to “Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs.” They also have two higher levels: “Invade a Neighbour” and “Lose.”
Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels ..
The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.
Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from “No worries” to “She’ll be right, Mate.” Two more escalation levels remain: “Crikey! I think we’ll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!” and “The barbie is cancelled.” So far no situation has ever warranted use of the last final escalation level.
John Cleese ,
British writer, actor and tall person
And as a final thought – Greece is collapsing, the Iranians are getting aggressive, and Rome is in disarray. Welcome back to 430 BC.
Okay, that’s not fair. TV isn’t making everyone stupid but it IS making some of us, stupider by the second.
My writings on this site address some of these issues. Indeed the very name, A Matter of Scale talks about the fact our problems are no longer solvable by a single person, they have grown too large to address unless we are all involved. It is literally a matter of scale.
I probe into the questions of why we can do certain things like creating food on a massive scale, transforming it into any number of other forms and distributing it to people for what is an amazing economy of scale, while at the same time, we throw away food by the ton at our supermarkets and megastores while people all over the planet are suffering from starvation.
We don’t seem to see the contradiction.
We don’t seem to feel the suffering.
We have become disconnected from our humanity, our sense of feeling, our sense of responsibility.
Our sense of belonging to something greater than ourselves has eroded to just our family, the people we share a blood relationship to, or maybe our religious group who base our affinity on the invisible relationship we have to a divine being who may or may not exist. We devote our time, our energy, our efforts to THAT relationship while allowing our more reachable, touchable, necessary and mundane relationships to people outside of our blood to languish, to fail, to wither away, in some cases right before our very eyes; opportunities for love, laughter, and a life worth leading languishing on the vine.
I wanted to write something as touching as A. Person did, showing I understood his wrath at things like Game of Thrones, where people invest so much of their emotional capital into something that doesn’t exist. Where people are so upset about a thing that happened, not at all, anywhere, while real atrocities which would make the Red Wedding little more than an afternoon of fun for the whole family.
I am with him when people say to him that he is crazed for NOT participating in Game of Thrones, only the most pivotal television to have ever happened ever. Because like him, I say, it is not real.
Are you seeking treachery on the scale of Game of Thrones?
How about the financial institutions that gambled with the mortgages of millions of people and lost it all.
Then needing to be bailed out by the government, who is in actuality the voice and the money of the people.
Then to find out later, the banks would not only fail to be accountable to anyone regarding what happened, they would have a profit that made their previous earnings insignificant by comparison.
But the ultimate treachery was made manifest when banks, having been rescued by the government, the agency of the people, turned around and told the people who rescued them “‘Fuck Off’ you won’t be getting any help with your mortgage.”
Instead you will be put out of your home onto the street, and I, the banker, will still make money while you and your family rot, displaced and dispossessed, on the street, dodging the police for living in your car, struggling to keep your job and hold your family together and those same bankers will never know a day of drudgery or suffering ever again in their lives.
These same bankers will derail the economic policies of the nation by making sure what little regulation that might protect people from their predations in the future will NEVER happen.
This did not happen to a single family. This happened to MILLIONS of families. Amplify the anguish and suffering of the Red Wedding, score it like the Nielsen ratings and you would have had a show that would have had epic numbers. No show could compare with the anguish of the Red Financial Crisis of 2008. More people watched helplessly, more lives were affected negatively and more economic value was destroyed than any other financial event in the history of the world, including the Great Depression.
The Red Wedding was a mercy killing by comparison.
I wanted to let you know that as terrible as the Economic crisis of 2008 and its effects continue, there are still a multitude of things taking place out there we are still in denial about and television and its masters ensure we stay divided, broken, unfocused, and unable to marshal the will to make a difference.
Instead of a Clean Energy Age we are doubling down on the Remnant Fossil Fuel program, where we poison our environment draining the last of the fossil fuels from every last crevice in the ground to make as much money as possible while killing as many people now and in the future as possible.
We lose one Rhino and five lions a day. We also lose one Elephant an hour due to poaching. 15000 species which go into extinction every year while we increase the temperature of the Earth, poison and overfish the seas, and generally make a mad dash to convert the Commons into wealth for an elite few individuals.
I acknowledge my share of responsibility because while I am not wealthy, I do benefit tangentially from that wealth being generated by living in the US, a nation of vast and unequal wealth, though I enjoy none of it specifically.
Instead, I am going to let you watch this video which says what I would like to say to everyone. Instead of watching the fake Game of Thrones or Scandal or Law and Order SVU, you instead turn off your entertainment and watch more responsible news. See the events unfolding in your life, sure to affect you, your children and their children. Be the hero of your own story and fight for those unborn billions who WILL inherit a broken planet, displaced millions, and an economic system which will promote the very idea, if you aren’t already rich, you don’t matter. That if your ancestors did not find a way to exploit someone less capable, less rich, less intelligent, less educated, more ethical than they were, then they deserve the spot on the ladder Darwin made for them.
Know such thinking is a lie. Your value cannot and should not be determined by someone who is willing to burn you like a hunk of coal for their personal wealth.
You must value you and your potential contribution to the world. Your value isn’t solely determined by your physical beauty, your physical acumen in sports, or your intellectual capacity. It is determined by your humanity and your willingness to put yourself out for someone who has nothing to offer you but their thanks.
And in a perfect world, their thanks would be all that you would need to get on your way to the next person who needed your assistance.
Life is mean, brutish and short is the message of Game of Thrones. Our world replicates that quite nicely.
But the idea that it could be more is always there in all of our minds. That fairness is a possibility, helping your fellow man does NOT take food out of your mouth, being aware of where your food comes from does not make you less of a cool person. That saving animals, trees and our environment in general does not make you a tree-hugging liberal.
It makes you a decent person to think about what we do now affecting the future.
Stop listening to the lies. Trust the voice deep inside you buried under all of the failed aphorisms of television, of Darwin, of a dog-eat-dog world and know WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
But we have to stop listening to the lies being propagated to keep us poor, divided and uninformed. Kill your TV. Take your mind back. Change the world, one smile, one hand, one heart at a time. Game of Thrones can’t even compare to the feeling you get when you do.