Sunday, October 23, 2011

clamping down

-- In Chicago and Sydney, there have been arrests.  The Occupy Wall Street movement that began Sept. 17 near the New York Stock Exchange and subsequently spread worldwide continues its vigil and its presence. I can imagine the authorities mustering their arguments for why this pesky child needs to be reined in and taught a lesson. I'm not sure that the arrests in Sydney and Chicago are the tip of some coming iceberg -- that the trend will pick up steam -- but I can easily imagine that it might. In 1932, the "Bonus Army" with its legitimate demands was driven from its Washington camp site by federal troops and tanks led by General Douglas MacArthur ... and two of the 43,000 veterans and their families who had gathered were killed. Those in authority are unlikely to exhibit their imagined 'patience' forever: If you cannot answer legitimate questions, the next best thing is to try to eradicate the questions being asked.

-- In Australia, authorities have launched a hunt for a great white shark that killed a U.S. diver recently. How they will know if they have hooked the right one and whether such a success insures a greater safety for swimmers in future beats the hell out of me. I also wonder if the sharks are passing out leaflets urging kith and kin to clear the predators and defilers who have invaded their environment -- an environment that is not purely recreational for them, but is a matter of life itself. Roughly 60 people worldwide a year suffer a fatal shark attack. In the United States, 38 people die annually from lightning strikes. The chances of getting attacked by a shark are put at 1 in 11.5 million. The chance of being killed is less than 1 in 264 million.

-- A friend sent along this article about several new books showing that the world has become, over time, a significantly less violent place. The statistics back up the premise. But of course they do not factor in the potential for danger. Anybody may be more peaceful on the surface -- fewer killings, rapes, wars, etc. -- but the mind remains capable of vast depredations. There may be more peace statistically, but it is a peace premised on and inextricably linked to its bloody mirror image ... and what sort of peace is that? It may be "better than the blow of a stick" (better than the alternative) as a compromise, but that sort of peace continues to rain down blows.

1 comment:

  1. Reading the last lines of your thoughtful post the kyosaku comes to mind, the blow that awakens perhaps to the mirror image.