The farther we see the smaller we become
By Ian Cobb
It seems that as we continue to delve deeper into our solar system and peer ever-more focused into the deeper reaches of space, the fabric of our planetary society rips and tears and grows threadbare.
Eighty-five years ago scientists were full of themselves over the knowledge of our solar system, having just added another planet to our list – Pluto. While aware we basically knew shite from shinola, humans were pretty self-chuffed. Less than four decades later we left footprints on the Moon and appeared to be headed to greater things, despite the strangulating omnipresence of the Cold War.
Now, those distant stars and galaxies still blink in the night sky as they did back then, but we are able to peer farther into their reaches; while we stalled in the exploratory phase, coffers drained.
We now know there to be countless stars, solar systems and galaxies, with endless possibilities for life-sustaining worlds like Earth, thanks to Hubble and robot spacecraft such as New Horizon zipping outward.
In another 50 years we will likely have answers to some of the biggest questions in human history, such as ‘are we alone in the universe?’ That question is being more commonly put forth.
As a species we continue to push ourselves to be better and wiser but new elements to human relations stunt or delay intellectual progression, despite more available tools and information.
We’re more educated but in many ways dumber than ever before. Stunted; stunned; stuck and enraged at the drop-off in opportunity afforded due to a host of environmental changes, such as the incremental growth in human population and the intensifying clash of beliefs; religion versus reality.
Even though we pledge to honour our war dead and maimed by never forgetting and we teach our children about the horrors of more than two millennia of warfare among humans, we continue to force our beliefs and systems on others and continue to exploit the weak, despite our religious convictions and tenets.
Greedy hypocrites, we humans present a façade upon which we prance and play. Hard-wired to needing to believe, we turn to our ‘leaders’ for guidance and they provide us with a myriad of distractions so they can usurp power to suit their individual needs.
We play games of bullshit and chance as puppets of a system that grew from a blood-soaked post-Second World War Earth.
We have come no further – existentially – than our Neolithic forefathers. That statement can be quickly verified by contemplating what ISIS has done to such precious locations as Palmyra and Mari in Syria and Nineveh, Hatra and Nimrud in Iraq.
It staggers the mind to contemplate what form of deranged asshole it takes to willingly destroy ancient sites, or art, or towns or lives en masse.
Yet our world is chock-a-block with assholes, from America to China to Russia, to England to France to Germany; from India to Pakistan to Saudi Arabia to Egypt down to South Africa; from Israel to Syria to Iraq; from Italy to Spain to Turkey and don’t think we’re not going to mention you North Korea, or you Japan, or you Indonesia; or you Mexico and Venezuela; nor you dozens of other back-assward dictatorships strutting about with corporations up your bums and criminal empires shining your coins.
Nor YOU Canada.
Oh you were once a shining jewel in the crown of ‘all that is right about democracy,’ with your noble peacekeeping following stints as a major world war enemy ass-kicker.
With the image of the strong and friendly Mountie seated atop his horse, gazing across the wide open prairies and onto the silvery face of the Rockies, a cheeky glint of anti-Americanism posturing in his eyes, Canada was viewed by the world as an example of how a great nation could rise, even in the shadow of a petulant, irrational and occasionally dangerous giant neighbour.
Where once we strived to be different, we now have a ruling leader (Stephen Harper) who wants us to be more like our American cousins. And yet at the same time, more and more Americans are desperately wishing their nation could be more like Canada!
Some of the arguments and positions people put forward in regards to global issues are lavish with narrow-minded fear and soaked in ignorance. Immigration/refugee policy is a current example.
Like America, Australia and New Zealand, Canada is a nation built by immigrants, who stole the lands from the original inhabitants. Our nations rose on the backs of those had to flee or wanted to flee their original homelands. Human migration has been a constant since pretty much since the first amazing monkey wiggled its thumb and stood upright.
The last 500 years of human history is no different than what was happening 1,000 or 2,000 or 10,000 years ago. Conquest; expansion; greed; need; gimme gimme gimme, me me me. MINE!
Up until recently, there was an understanding, begrudging at best for many, that Canada was a melting pot of peoples finding a way to show the rest of the world how cooperation and respect could lead to powerful nation building.
Canada was once the Disneyland special of world nations. Our flag was once a safety patch; a symbol of right and fair and quiet strength.
But we have lost our way in this nation. Narrowness and ignorance are being tolerated and allowed to fester. Our collective national IQ has shrunk and an ugly cynicism wafts like a dog fart.
Ottawa, to the average hardworking Canadian, is the place where greasy shitweasels conduct their nefarious deeds on our dimes. We are approaching another election, with Chairman Harper seeking his third straight term, drawing one to hear echoes of ‘gimme gimme gimme; me me me. MINE!’
Harper, like most Prime Ministers since at least Pierre Trudeau, is just another power-crazed puppet up to his eyeballs in debt. He owes he owes so off to work he goes.
There was a time in this country when elitism and smarmy glibness were viewed in the same way a hockey player views seeing a teammate get butt-ended. Coming from stock formerly kept in check and used and abused by kings and queens, we didn’t tolerate effete hoity-toits.
Yet here we are. Duh. Dog fart.
What we need to elevate us back to a path toward becoming a better, wiser and more respectful nation, and world, is to see ourselves from afar again.
Remember seeing the first images of Earth from the Moon; or “the pale blue dot” – the image taken by Voyager 1 in 1990 of the Earth from near Mars?
Seeing things from a distance allows us to more readily accept things up close and stay more in-tune to reality. Yet at this point in human history, the farther we are seeing outward, the smaller we are behaving.
Humans need to change their way of thinking and behaving. We need to see things for how they really are, and stop blindly believing the messages being spoon-fed by those who only stand to profit: corporations and the governments they control; religions and the minds and hearts they control.
It’s time that human rights and world health became the priority for all nations and the right to profit is pushed down a rung or three.
Like Pluto 90 years ago, such a seemingly idealistic notion is just out of reach for humans at this time.
Still, I sense a change is coming.