Okay. Israel isn’t gonna stop bombing civilians in Gaza any time soon — unless it is pressured to do so by a morally-outraged world. But as Rep Dennis Kucinich just stated on the floor of Congress, “The attack on the United Nations headquarters in Gaza is further proof that a post-legal era in world affairs has taken shape; where law and moral principles are irrelevant, where might makes right, where retribution and vengeance, even against innocent children, fails to shake us from moral lethargy or political paralysis.”
If law and moral principles are now irrelevant — and they seem to be in this era of waterboarding, terrorist attacks and unchecked government lies — then WHAT will stop the world from continuing its current fall into violence, warfare and chaos?
“Collective punishment, disproportionate use of force, using U.S. planes, helicopters and munitions to attack a wounded, starved and thirsty civilian population of mostly children trapped in a box called Gaza has become acceptable,” stated Rep Kucinich, “perhaps because we have already accepted the deaths of over one million innocent civilians in Iraq in a war based on lies.”
So. What WILL keep all this sickening violence — that is now being perpetrated by “civilized” Western nations, African failed states and Christian, Jewish and Muslim fundamentalists who have run amok — from turning the entire world into just one big Darfur, Gaza or Rwanda?
I haven’t a clue.
But if no one in the high circles of power in Washington, the United Nations, Tel Aviv, the EU, Russia, China, etc. can locate their moral compasses long enough to put their weapons away and solve the world’s problems non-violently, then I got an idea of who can. Women!
Ladies, look at it this way. At the rate things are going now, all the eligible men in the world are all gonna get killed off fairly soon and you are gonna be stuck with no one even left to date — let alone marry. Already the ratio of American women to American men is tilted disproportionately toward there being more women — even despite the fact that male illegal aliens are pouring across our borders from all over the planet, including China where there is a total surplus of men.
And if it is like that in America, imagine what it must be like in places like Iraq, Kabul or Gaza where thousands and thousands of men have been slaughtered by warfare. “The best place to find men of marriageable age these days,” said one Afghan woman recently, “is to look in the cemetery.”
As women get older and their chances of having babies get slimmer, many of these women tend to become, er, rather desperate. Well. Just how desperate ARE you, ladies? Are you desperate enough to stop wars?
Some great perversity of nature decided to give me a tune completely out of keeping with the general symphony; possibly from the moment of conception. I learned to read and speak almost simultaneously. The blurred and muffled world I heard through my first five years of random nerve loss deafness suddenly came alive with the clarity of how those words sounded on paper. I had been liberated for communications. I decided there was nothing more wonderful than writing. It was easier to write than carefully modulate my speech for correct pronunciation, and it was easier to read than patiently follow the movements of people’s lips to learn what they were saying. It was during that dawning time period, while I slowly made the connection that there weren’t that many other people who heard the way I did, halfway between sound and music, half in deafness, that I began to understand that the tune I was following wasn’t quite the same as that of my classmates. I was just a little different.
General education taught me not only was I just a little isolated from my classmates, my home was just a little isolated from the outside world. I was born in Alaska, making me part of one of the smallest, quietest minorities on earth. I decided I could live with this. What I couldn’t live with was discovering a few years later, in the opening up of the pipeline, which coincided with my first year of junior college, that there were entire communities of people; more than I could possibly imagine; living impossibly one on top of another in vast cities. It wasn’t even the magnitude of this vision that inspired me so much as the visitors who came from these populous regions and seemed to possess a knowledge so great and secretive I could never learn it in any book. I became at once, very conscious of how rural I was and how little I knew beyond the scope of my environment. I decided it was time to travel.
The rest is history; or at least, the content of my stories. I traveled... often to college campuses, dropping in and out of school until one fine day by chance I’d fashioned a bachelor of arts degree in psychology. I’ve worked a couple of newspapers, had a few poems and stories tossed around in various small presses, never receiving a great deal of money, which I’m assured is the norm for a writer. I spent ten years in Mexico, watching the peso crash. There is some obscure reason why I did this, tightening up my belt and facing hunger, but I believe at the time I said it was for love.
Here I am, back home, in my beloved Alaska. I’ve learned somewhat of a worldly viewpoint; at least I like to flatter myself that way. I’ve also learned my rural roots aren’t so bad after all. I work in a small, country store. Every day I greet the same group of local customers, but make no mistake. My store isn’t a scene out of Andy Griffith. The people who enter the establishment, which also includes showers, laundry and movie rentals, are miners, oil workers, truck drivers, construction engineers, dog sled racers and carpenters. Sometimes, on the liquor side, the conversations became adult only in vocabulary. It’s a good thing, on the opposite side of the store is a candy aisle filled with the most astonishing collection, it will keep a kid occupied with just wishing for hours. If you tell your kids they can have just one, you have an instant baby sitter; better than television; as they agonize over their choice while you catch up on the gossip with your neighbor.
We also receive a lot of tourists, a lot of foreign visitors. They are usually amazed at this first sign of Alaskan rural life style beyond the insulating hub of the Anchorage bowl. Many of them like to hang around and chat. They gawk at our thieves wanted posters. They laugh at our jokes and camaraderie with our customers. I’ve learned another lesson while working there. You don’t have to go out and find the world. If you wait long enough, it comes to you.