You know that little dust up in Ukraine? Where that plane was shot down and our illustrious PM was going to naked Turkish wrestle a bear over it? There’s a bit of a funny story behind that.
The other day I picked up Dickens’ A tale of two cities. It’s been near the top of the pile for a while now and it seemed apt to read in light of the current social milieu. The introduction to this little old second hand Penguin edition, from back when Penguin was a respectable publisher and not another nag in the Murdoch stable, mentioned Dickens’ career and development as a writer. Turns out he’d been known for his criticism of English mismanagement of the Crimean war. You know the one where we got Florence Nightingale, who went on to be a driving force in infrastructure development like sewers and public health? She retired to her bed with PTSD in her thirties and all her well to do neighbours and their friends were the aristocracy and Parliamentarians. John Stuart Mill was among them.
Well, all that was in the 1850’s. The British Empire was still fighting the Turks, making inroads on the coat tails of the Ottoman Empire, which had dominated MENA for about a thousand years.
It was all about oil, resources and controlling some of those Central Asian trade routes that would otherwise be profitable enough for part of the world to exist without the overtures of the white lawmen. Heaven forbid!
A hundred and sixty years later, they’re still at it. Seriously, boys, you can give up any time now. The ref’s called it out of bounds play. The US is still using the global bully tactic that got it through the 2nd World War, after they’d armed both sides to the teeth and made a fucking fortune, naturally. And then Vietnam. We got the point. You think you have a big dick. You can stop now. It’s the 21st century and we are allowed to talk together like grown ups and organise International trade globally from our backyards. We don’t need to behave like troupes of baboons at a fruit tree in order to solve some of these issues. The rest of the species has evolved somewhat in the interim.
We’ve also noticed that a few of you are still trying to take the mythology seriously. So sorry about that. It’s a myth. Like Daniel C. Dennett’s intuition pumps. A story with a meaning that gets your mind thinking on new ways to approach situations, a source of insight or realisation or some such. It’s okay to stop pretending we’re all still living in the pre Bronze age. Nobody else is. We’ll even wait while you catch up with the new playbook.
We’re funny like that, us grown up types. No reason why you can’t have a seat at the table, just stop demanding that it be a board room table with some sort of plastic throne. The planet is round. We’ve noticed that, too. It goes all the way around.