Friday, March 02, 2007

LETTER TO A NONEXISTENT GRANDCHILD.


Dear Xanthia or Craig or whatever, you don’t know me but I would’ve been your loving Grandfather. Some say I would’ve made a good Grandfather because I adore kids. Always have. Their innocence is beautiful, touching, though ephemeral. That means short-lived, my Dear. Where does innocence go, you ask? Blessed if I know but I wish I could go there. With you.

Anyway, hard as it is, I was just wanting to put on the record why it is that we’ll never meet and why you’ll never have your day in the sun or ever get to know me. Just make yourself comfortable and I’ll try to explain it as best as I can. Where to start? You see…humans are strange creatures. We’re a mixture of good and bad. We’re capable of reaching great heights but rarely do. We seem to be more at home with mediocrity and…well to be truthful, far too many of us regularly plumb the depths of darkness.

How much should I tell you? Too much truth is hard to bear even for me. Well, we had a great war, it started in 1939. Some very bad people called Nazis tried to take over the world, dominate it purely for their own advantage. What an irony! Lots of people got killed. Millions. Near the end the Good Guys dropped two atomic bombs. They make a lot of noise and can completely destroy whole cities in a second. Terrible things. Products of evil minds. Anyway, it was supposed to be the war to end all wars. It seems we’ve had quite a few of those...

Where was I? After it was over, forgive me little-one, I don’t want to bore you with too many facts, but people became greedy. Just ordinary folk who were happy to have a small house and a regular job even a little car, well, their children weren’t. They wanted more. A whole lot more. And America, that’s on the other side of our world, after doing so well in the war it began to want a lot more too, saw itself as the top dog, began to build up a huge military capability so that no one could rival it, not even Russia. America began putting military bases all over the world but no one minded because it seemed to have such good motives. Who would’ve thought… What’s Russia you ask? Well, Russia, it’s a cold place with lots of snow and it had a system based more on everyone sharing instead of the rich getting it all but I guess that humans don’t respond well to that kind of arrangement.

Well, greed flourished like weeds in springtime. No matter how much people got they wanted more. And those who provided more were well-pleased because they were making undreamed of profits and lived lavish lifestyles. Unscrupulous business people, never satisfied, began to cut corners, use unsafe, cancer-producing, environmentally-polluting materials. As well they used chemicals on crops and stock to increase their growth and played around with genetic modifications and used pesticides that got into the food chain. All the time they encouraged simple folk to spend more than they could afford. Banks went along with this and issued credit cards which allowed people to spend money they didn’t have.

Soon the air and the water and the soil and the food we ate became poisoned but did they stop? Not on your Nellie! Many of the capitalists closed down their factories and moved to countries where people worked for next to nothing. They took resources from these poor countries and gave them little in return. The result was that while some countries of the world had it all, most of the world starved and lived in poverty.

And, using massive amounts of coal and oil to increase production, the world quickly became more and more polluted with greenhouse gases. That caused global warming to begin and the world began to heat up and the weather became erratic and droughts and floods and hurricanes and all manner of nasty things began to occur. But did even that stop them? No way!

Well, a couple of other things happened too. Through medicine and greater food output the world became overpopulated, that is it had too many people. And America grew bigger and bigger, and, after Russia went broke, it became the world’s superpower. It was such a great opportunity to have a world that was based on freedom and human rights and democracy and peace. But that was not to be. Those who led America wanted to build an empire, wanted to control the world in spite of the fact that every empire that has ever been has failed. Dumb, eh?

No matter, they wanted to control the world militarily, economically and, because of their Judeo-Christian leanings, spiritually. What’s spiritually? Well, remember I told you humans were strange creatures. Many have a deep need inside them to believe in fairytales, to believe that there exist things like Gods and life after death and angels, spooky things. That there is no evidence for such beliefs doesn’t stop them, no way. Across the world, there are many religions and they all claim they are the ones who know, who have all the answers. And they are very rich and they exert a lot of power over gullible people. Gullible means they’ll believe anything, my sweet. And religions have fought against each other for centuries, each seeking to be dominant.

Well, eventually we arrived at a situation where the world’s Judeo-Christian, military Superpower was trying to gain control of oil which was becoming a scarce commodity in an over-populated, over-industrialised, heavily poisoned, globally-cooking world. And most of the oil was located in countries that were dominated by Muslim beliefs. What a mess, eh? Only adults could create such chaos. Kids wouldn’t be so silly, eh?

Well, then America elected a leader called George Bush. He became the pawn of people called Neocons, people who saw that they, using America, could easily control the world if only they could grab control of the oil by taking over the Muslim countries that had it. With the biggest army, with oodles of nukes, and with control of most of the world’s oil they had it all, could pull all the strings, make the whole world dance to their tune, consume most of the world’s resources...yeah, kind of like the Nazis. How clever you are!

Sweetheart, they made two serious miscalculations. America borrowed too much money to finance its huge militaristic infrastructure and its imperial wars of invasion and occupation; and the planners miscalculated the opposition that Muslim nations would put up following the dropping of nukes on Iran. After all, some Muslim nations had nukes as well. What a collosal blunder.

My lost-forever grandchild, I’m writing this letter to you from deep in a coal mine. There are only two of us here now because we have no tinned food left. Outside, the world is a complete wasteland and nothing lives because of the radioactivity, nothing except rats and cockroaches. Guess I’ll have to eat them soon or, perhaps…I might just call it quits. Don’t ask me what that means! Kids can’t know everything! It's not good for them...

Know that Grandad is in trouble. I am badly burned myself you see and I have large painful growths on my back. I am having trouble seeing in the candlelight and I’m shivering from the cold and the water drip-drips from the roof...it never stops...

In closing, I want to apologise to you for not doing more to stop the march towards oblivion. I tried my best to raise the alarm but no one listened and now it’s all too late. And your life, which should have been filled with promise and hope and innocence, will never be.

I’m sorry, my love, deeply sorry. What more can I say? Sleep now...Grandad's here.

Humans are funny creatures…were…just couldn’t seem to get it right…never learned from our mistakes…

There are no trees or flowers now, no birds…

Only ugliness and regret…


P.S. This article is crossposted on The Peoples Voice.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, just wow. I hope you are being really creative and you don't actually believe your post. I would go into why I doubt anyone could actually believe those things, but you wouldn't post it anyway.

Daniel said...

Never been more serious in my life, anonymous! The facts leave no other interpretation. Cheers.

Mary Walsh said...

Ah Daniel you have a wonderful way with words my friend...I felt like I was sitting in the cave with you. "Anonymous" says "wow, just wow" and I too felt a bit like that....it is so very easy to lose heart in a world so driven by greed and consumerism.

Last week my ex son in law died at the age of 45 years young....I had forgotten that he used to kiss the flowers in his garden (and his dogs) he felt so at one with the earth. With a double lung transplant he so desperately wanted to live in this world knowing there was nothing to better it.

He had provided for the young child he had sponsored in Manilla, almost since birth. ....He too raged against the ugliness of Bush and Howard but he never lost sight of the things of beauty immediately surrounding him....

The other day you gave us a beautiful serene picture of water, a bridge and nature...and remembered a loving fondness for a mother long gone.......sometimes we need to seek balance to stop us from despairing the big picture.

My daughter is carrying my unborn sixth grandson. I would like to believe that his future will be better than the one you paint even if secretly in my heart of hearts, sometimes I can feel quite sad about his future.

Mary Walsh

Daniel said...

If only the world's people could become frightened by what is approaching and rise up and stop it, Mary. It's as if the world is asleep or most people are too preoccupied with materialism and self to notice.

My post was meant to alert not to depress! Cheers.

betmo said...

i find myself amazed at the fact that the people of america- even those of us who are outraged- are so impotent. i find it amusing that we can vent our spleens on the internet but refuse to risk being rounded up and put in incampments- in america- in order to not just save our country but the entire planet. we have become so self absorbed that we just won't see the big picture- because we don't want to. it's inconvenient and it might disturb our lives too much.

Daniel said...

Unless the American people get up and do what needs to be done the world is finished, Betmo.

Amazing that so few can control the destiny of so many! Cheers.

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