Skip to main content

Wall of Silent Screams

There are times when there is so much bad news it creates a wall of silent screams. Headline after headline supports the ambition of centralized power that holds humanity in a prison of dread and fear. This is more than just a feeling, it is the body's sense that everything created is about to crash. A tsunami coming in slow motion and you know there is nothing you can do to stop it.

More than the threat of fascism it's as though life itself is atomizing into drunken parts. My own body losing muscle, my head unable to think, my fundamental ability to survive lost. Something much larger than politics is invading my universe in a way that I cannot walk through. This can't be explained by the economy. It is an organic response. Should it be ignored or should I try to understand it?

To admit to my own vulnerability is not weak, it's a maturation of my ego, a willingness to move beyond my self interested fantasy to see what is happening outside the bubble. I look for the skills in others I do not possess and call on the skills I have to build a community.

There have been other people I admire for the skills and abilities they bring. I look for strength in diversity. I look for those who can do the things I can't do and feel gratitude for all that they give. I go to them for advice and give advice when I am asked for it.

The hub of community where people have learned how to be contributing stakeholders brings me a sense of peace and comfort. However, as much as I respect them I don't always agree with what they say and do, and so we must learn how to communicate without injuring. My community is not my possession but part of the wealth that I enjoy.

Life is easier when the place we live in is not threatened by authoritarian institutions. Part of my humanity is to keep learning how to engage with my neighbours so they are safe - because when they feel safe it makes my world safer to explore.

There is so much more I need to learn about being human, about how to endure discomfort, uncertainty, or pain. How to find relief from anxiety.

Karen Armstrong writes that compassion is the way we find relief from fear of the unknown. A society that honours equality is more confident in searching for ways to solve community problems such as alienation and loneliness. We feel safer to help those who need help. We learn how to be experienced stakeholders. We can develop the insight that our wealth is the quality of our relationship to one another, and that collecting stuff does not satisfy forever.

But now, in the democratic world, we are threatened by a hatred for the other. The blaming is isolating us into fierce camps. Will we be investing in weapons so that communities protect themselves from the outside while living in denial inside?

Hunger, homelessness, domestic violence, road rage, intolerance are not separate issues - they all arise from decades of structural abuse. We cannot trust the police, the courts, the teachers, the policy makers and our doctors when civil society dissolves into a cauldron of competing egos filled with disappointment, dreading what the future may bring.

Resisting trends that we do not agree with is one way to maintain sanity. When Bertrand Russell responded to an invitation from Sir Oswald Mosley to debate  fascist ideas, he did it in a way that clearly defined his values without insulting the values of his friend.

"Thank you for your letter and for your enclosures. I have given some thought to our recent correspondence. It is always difficult to decide on how to respond to people whose ethos is so alien and, in fact, repellent to one’s own. It is not that I take exception to the general points made by you but that every ounce of my energy has been devoted to an active opposition to cruel bigotry, compulsive violence, and the sadistic persecution which has characterised the philosophy and practice of fascism.
I feel obliged to say that the emotional universes we inhabit are so distinct, and in deepest ways opposed, that nothing fruitful or sincere could ever emerge from association between us." Bertrand Russell

We must call on our own humanity to protect what we hold dear, and cannot expect to be protected by abusive power if we disown our civic estates.


  1. Chris Hedges makes my writing redundant with his clarity


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Ultimate Goal of Patriarchy is the End of Life

I want to clarify the line between men in general and patriarchal values propagated and imposed on human society.

In order for patriarchy to succeed, it had to kill more efficiently than the nine months gestation it took for a woman to give birth.  So the craft of war  became more than simply defending territory. It became the ritualized erasure of our human nature for the rule of centralized power. 

And no, it hasn't succeeded in diminishing the human population on this planet but it has succeeded in sustaining an ideology of what it means to be a man. 

Civilizations built on myths of great conquerors. Histories about the exploits of the greatest killers. Inventions of race, religious ideology and ritual that transformed the teachings of thoughtful prophets into crusades. Endless games of winning and losing.
Men who celebrate life through medicine, science, education, art, philosophy and poetry must be dismissed as soft, shamed as effeminate. 

Men who have been raised with love, love …

Anonymous Sources

Where does "Greatness" come from? The imagination? Facts? Confidence? A willing suspension of disbelief in a slogan that makes us happy? A capacity to judge well? An ability to observe and find solutions that benefit most if not all? Taking responsibility for the community? A masters degree from Oxford or Yale?

Let me offer the opinion that greatness comes from extraordinary effort or talent.  Greatness as it may exist in our anonymous ambitions does not win fame except in isolated circumstances.  That is to say, fame is not a realistic goal for an individual.

Greatness is like a dove in the imagination, an angel, a temporary insight, a fleeting epiphany. Something aspired to in the privacy of our minds.

Greatness was an ambition I held when I was a teen and had no proof that I was good at anything or useful to the world at all. After repeated criticism and dismissal from the community around me where I attempted to win something, anything, like a medal, a competition, or a…

Torturing Youth is Okay with us?

“More than two-thirds of Canadians feel Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the wrong choice in awarding a $10.5 million settlement to Omar Khadr, according to a new poll by the Angus Reid Institute.” CBC News
But we don’t see the survey questions in this article. How was the poll actually worded? Reading one article might make us believe we are well informed, but how does a single poll actually tell us how people feel?  
“And while the survey shows that a majority of Liberals and New Democrats are opposed to the government's decision, how the numbers compare to previous polling suggests that views on Khadr have hardened over the last decade — and that he remains a divisive figure.”
How can a single poll tell whether Khadr is a divisive figure or not? What information do respondents have to make such a claim? 
The article then switches to a former US special force soldier who was blinded in one eye during the 2002 firefight in Afghanistan involving Khadr.  Of course he would be critica…