Monday, 16 November 2015

it's the only thing that there's just too little of...

We live in troubled times. I don’t have any great insight or wisdom to offer on the events of the last few days, but as I watched the unfurling horror of the strikes and counter-strikes, a couple of quotes sprung to mind.

The first is from the film “Independence Day”, of all places.


President Whitmore:I know there is much to learn from each other if we can make a truce. We can find a way to co-exist. can there be a peace between us?
Captured Alien: Peace? NO PEACE!
President Whitmore: What is it you want us to do?
Captured Alien: Die…die…

Brent Spiner wasn't involved in Paris - either in the attacks or in the decision to launch retaliatory airstrikes - but the message was eerily similar.

As our leaders meet to discuss what to do next, a few rather more hopeful words sprang to mind.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.  There are also dozens of quotes from Nelson Mandela saying much the same sort of thing.  Love not hate.

Are airstrikes the answer? Is war the answer? Well, as we all ponder the answer to that one, I’ll leave you with a couple of quotations from Kurt Vonnegut – a man who saw the human impact of war first-hand, and had a wiser appreciation than most of what it means:

Perhaps, when we remember wars, we should take off our clothes and paint ourselves blue and go on all fours all day long and grunt like pigs. That would surely be more appropriate than noble oratory and shows of flags and well-oiled guns”.

Now that would make the G20 meeting interesting. Putin in particular might really enjoy that kind of thing (although he does rather like a pair of well-oiled guns....)

swit-swoo.

And finally, some sage advice to the people of this silly, little planet.

"Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you've got to be kind."

...God damn it, you’ve got to be kind. We need to hang onto that more now than ever.

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