Vikshepa Blog

Mental Distractions

24 Mar 2022

2022-03-24 нет войне

I am home alone for a long weekend while D is away on a mindfulness retreat. Plenty of work to do though - both for the office and around the house - some gardening if the weather permits. Just woke up at around 5 AM and am sitting here listening to Cafe de Anatolia music [1], a little loud.

When I look at the headlines from Ukraine and Russia with an eye, a mind, and a back-of-my-mind understanding that there is disinformation everywhere, it still computes to the fact that a big military giant is bearing down on a smaller neighbour with an army that has recently been committing despicable and hardly noticed atrocities across Syria. I'm pretty certain that the Russian leader is facing a growing wave of discontent at home, and that this will eventually explode, in ways that we will probably be clueless about. I don't think the guy is a madman, but just badly out of touch. And yet, with his help, Assad, similarly aloof, has managed to keep his chokehold on a nation. That's the way it is with dictators and strongmen. Their rule eventually wizzens and dies, but not always according to a predictable time-frame.

Likely Zelenskiy is similarly facing opposition and discontent, although it hasn't been reported, in the name of presenting a united front. His position is equally tenuous. Meanwhile Ukraine is being destroyed, and all for what? To score points against NATO? Wars serve no purpose other than allowing angry people to let off steam. The motivations and the outcomes are clouded in fog. The narrative can be made up, the facts doctored. History becomes a jumble of divisive narratives, as with the tkuma and the nakba. A people will always remember what it wants to remember. Meanwhile, humans die for stupid unnecessary reasons.

"Killing people is so easy," I said to D after the stabbing attack that killed 4 in Beer Sheba the other day. Our bodies are fragile. Sometimes a disease gets us, or a storm, or a radicalized Islamic militant. It makes little difference. On a recent car journey, the truck just ahead swerved out suddenly into my lane, which meant that I swerved into the next lane, with no time to look. It could easily have been the end for me, my wife and for other unfortunates. We are fragile and can die for no reason at all, kill others senselessly. In the arithmetic of causes and effects nothing adds up but the final balance is always a zero.

If we want to look for the reasons behind the reasons, we need to look to the metaphysical. The other day, into the office walked a gardener. A big scary guy in dark attire; a beard in the style that only religious Muslims wear, a large skull cap. He was looking for work, but ended up giving me a sermon. He asked if I "believed" and I said sure - I believe that the god of the Muslims and all the other gods are one and the same. He was very happy with this answer, asked if I knew the kalima, and I repeated after him La Illaha Il Allah. He departed after giving me a hug.

It is the same god that sends militants on a stabbing spree, the same that rescues us from a car wreck, and both the killers and the rescued praise him. Both are right to do so. We are just agents in an agency at the top of which stands an aloof and unknown owner - an oligarch - sailing somewhere in his super-yacht. Perhaps even he is unsure whether the next port will allow him to dock, will turn him away, or will seize his boat in the name of trumped-up sanctions.

Links

  1. Cafe de Anatolia

https://soundcloud.com/cafedeanatolia/cafe-de-anatolia-oriental-touch-3

Russian mercenaries in Ukraine linked to far-right extremists https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/20/russian-mercenaries-in-ukraine-linked-to-far-right-extremists

The complete list of alternatives to all Google products | TechSpot https://www.techspot.com/news/80729-complete-list-alternatives-all-google-products.html

A list of Free Software network services and web applications which can be hosted on your own servers https://github.com/awesome-selfhosted/

Tags: ukraine israel-palestine
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