Here there be monsters (socratic) wrote,
Here there be monsters

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Recently I have become concerned by the fact that I have not recently been concerned with grand worldwide problems. This comes from watching the film Sex, Lies, And Videotape in which Andie McDowel's (sp?) character begins the film by telling her therapist how worried she is about the problem of the massive amount of garbage that industrialized nations produce. I never used to worry about THAT sort of thing, because I believe that science will find a way to deal with concrete problems like that. Cold fusion, manufactured ozone, whatever. Before the problem becomes truly overwhelming (instead of merely overwhelming which it already is) something will be done.

I did used to worry about Hutus and Tutsis though. You know, the conflict in Africa. While I don't really have much sympathy for people who choose to engage in war and die because of it, I feel terrible for children and innocent people who are murdered just because their compatriots have chosen to fight, or even worse because of prejudice. I say children and innocents instead of women and children because I don't feel that killing a woman is worse than killing an unarmed and non-combatant man. While it's true that a larger percentage of women are noncombatents then are men, it is not inherently worse to shoot someone with a bumpy chest than it is to shoot someone with a dangling protuberance between their legs.

Anyway I used to spend time thinking about the Hutus and Tutsis and feeling terrible for the things they were doing to eachother. Not so much anymore. I mean when I pause to think about it I'm not GLAD or anything, and I do wish that there was a way to stop the horrible things that are going on over there, but I don't brood about it anymore. There's nothing that I can do about it right now. If at some point in the future my intelligence takes me to a position of power (allow me a bit of arrogance right now? Pretty please? With flowery words of apology on top?) then I can worry about things like that. But right now what's the point?

Anyway I'm not sure whether this new attitude, which naturally shifts the focus of my worries on to myself, is good or bad. Was worrying about Hutus and Tutsis and Kosovars and other people who I cannot help just a cover for not worrying about my own fucked up life? Should I take to politics even though I don't think I'd excell there (I have a tough time telling people what they want to hear, and I don't have much in the way of moral bendyness.)

It all comes back to that familiar fucking teenaged question

What is my place in the world?

My dislike of the death of innocents is also one of the reasons that I don't really want to be racist. In any group of people the innocent (I don't say good because good people are always rare) always vastly outnumber the guilty. Take the group that I am uncomfortable with, those of Middle Eastern descent. What fraction of them are commited to causing pain to an enemy (Be it America or Israel or whatever)? 1 in 100? 1 in 1000? 1 in 10,000? The vast majority of them are probably concerned with family and keeping food on the table and other such things. Sure they may have prejudices put in their heads by corrupt and evil leaders, but so do most people. If they aren't going to act on these prejudices then they deserve to be treated with respect. And while strict Muslim law is offensive to me (publicly flogging people for dancing? Having a different standard for Muslims than non-Muslims? If what you are doing isn't hurting anybody you should almost always be allowed to do it, with the exception of things that might cause other people hurt in the future like drugs.)

The people I am going to meet, however, are not going to be members of the Taliban or subject to these crazy rules.

Anyway I'm not sure why I wrote that except that it was a thought I had and I think it qualifies something I said earlier so I just decided to put it out there. Do with it what you will.

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