Monday 14 May 2007

Behind the curtains

Our actions are often two-fold. One part is performed in the open, for everyone to see. The other is hidden, not so visible at all. It's as if there is a curtain drawn before them, a veil that shields their intent.

The circumstances around the evaluation of an honours thesis have been presented at length, here and on the Otoom website. On one hand they represent the judgment of examiners who perceived certain flaws in its text. But not until one examines the examiners begins another picture to emerge. References made to remarks that simply do not exist, other remarks that are treated as if they have never been made, facts from real life dismissed outright, and features which are criticised regardless of their inherent value... are those the actions they seem to be, or is there another agenda at work?

Take our attitudes towards drugs. On the surface they are moulded by our desire to remain healthy, to help the addict. But do they? By now over a century worth of policies and their results brings to the fore a trend. Substances are getting stronger, the finances richer, the groups behind them more and more powerful. Entire countries stand or fall on the production of illicit drugs, armies are equipped from their sales and sent into the field against us, and the addicts are more helpless then ever. All this is supposed to make for a healthy society - so we are told.

Religion - a curtain par excellence. Values such as helping others, team work, a sense for love and beauty; all of them noble and all of them found anywhere, yet they are assigned to one's spiritual tribe as if the others never heard of them. And so we go to war. Has not the commonality become obvious by now? Apparently not, or so it seems.

There are those who favour unfettered immigration. They point to human rights, to an equitable society, to tolerance and fairness. But the side effects are violence, the emergence of ghettos, and hate towards the hosts. Those results are known, they play themselves out almost daily, but still the chant for more persists. What are the real values shown here?

In France many responded to the election of Nicolas Sarkozy with an unbridled sense of desolation. We are meant to believe that an inefficient economy and rioting gangs require more of the same. What do the mourners really wish for?

An old joke goes something like this. If you get mugged in a dark lane it's an accident; if it happens in the same lane again, it's bad luck; but if you get mugged there a third time, it's stupidity.

When it comes to the decision makers who attract a considerable status it would be simplistic to talk of stupidity. Nor are sizable movements, created through a process of debate and feedback, a mere matter of coincidence. There is planning at work, design and intent - although they may not be of the overt, conscious kind.

There are curtains that shield our actions. They are made of invisible strands of wishful thinking that show our acceptable side, while at the same time allowing us to pursue our dark instincts of destruction behind the veil. Not only do they keep out the light, they serve to protect a sinister land where age-old monsters survive.

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