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But ...seriously But ...seriously
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-05-01 08:25:12
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After the gang war with a lot of dead, now came the turn of the innocent to suffer in Mexico and this time their suffering comes from the food or better from the pigs. Over sixty people are already dead and an unknown number are infected from the swine flu outbreak that has hit Mexico. News like that sometimes makes you think that always it is the poor that suffer and Mexico is the poor with poverty and unemployment numbers that can reach even Zimbabwe.

Of course Zimbabwe is the story for the book of Guinness. There the people don’t die eating pork; they are dying because they are literally starved. Despite all the effects from the new government the caricature Hitler of Africa, Robert Mugabe is still there and with his are his death squads and his policy. The inflation is still in record numbers and the 80% of the population is far under poverty levels if you could measure poverty. The lucky ones might have a plate and a piece of bread once every two days the unlucky just …die!

Sometimes I have no idea how to react to some of the news I’m reading coming from Zimbabwe, the people are so hopeless that they started killing and eating the wild animals that really are the jewelry of Zimbabwe like the elephants. The same time we are all aware that the elephants in Africa are in danger of disappearance. But then the thought of five and six year-olds in danger of starvation makes you doubt for what should be the priority. So another crime added in the big list for Mugabe, he is not only responsible for genocide against his very own people but genocide against nature and the elephants. 

And I’m sorry for my cynicism but the same time kids starve in Zimbabwe and die because they cannot have a plate of food, any food and a piece of bread is tragic that in the news you read that Michelle Obama is not cooking any more but she takes care of her vegetable garden in the white house. Apparently she is ready to declare with a big smile that she hasn’t missed cooking and this is the part you don’t know if it is to laugh or cry!

But then you might cry with what happens in Sri Lanka where obviously another Darfur is created. In the end our world will be full of small Darfurs with everything that means. The useless and ignorant secretary of the United Nations called the Sri Lankan government to stop fire but the state ignored as most do nowadays when it comes to the laughstock secretary and continue their war with the rebels Tamil Tigers leading thousands of people into seeking for refuge and safety.

Others who look for safety lately are the American reporters since it has become a fashion between the not so friendly to US states to arrest American reporters and drive them to court for spying. Iran was the first to be followed by North Korea. It has been really difficult the last …fifty years to carry an American passport all around the world but it seems that gets worst when you add a reporter’s id!

But we must agree that the American administrations don’t help much, the country that preaches all around that is the democracy’s role model has been proven the master of the most dictatorial methods and as it hit the news lately Ms. Rise, I hope you haven’t forgotten the former Secretary of State and always bitch she was aware and probably had approved a lot of the torturing including waterboarding in Guantanamo and other educational institutions of the neoconservatives …education system!

In Europe the main news is recession and the hit is hard, very hard. In Spain the unemployed have reached the record levels of 17% of the working population while Britain the economy lives the weakest days in the last 30 years. In France Nicolas tries and in Italy Berlusconi started worrying for his personal stocks portfolio. Countries like Portugal, Greece and Ireland just try to survive if that is possible. The same time the bankers and the industrialists and after long time they holiday …incognito! Not good time for publicity!

In Russia just to trigger more conspiracy theories and perhaps a couple of scenarios for Hollywood the president Dmitry Medvedev dismisses the head of the GRU, the almighty military intelligent service or better the spies that coming from the cold. I suppose these are bad times for good old double-o seven! Recession you see in every level!

   
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Emanuel Paparella2009-05-01 10:42:03
Indeed, a cocktail of news served here to make one's head spin and tempt one to go from cynicism to nihilism. Perhaps the Stoics had it right all along; at a certain point one has to seriously ask the Kierkegardian question that goes beyond cynicism and even nihilism, the question of the existential dread: WHAT IS THE POINT OF IT ALL?


Thanos2009-05-01 11:40:56
I really hope that we will never end up in this question because that will mean that we ...don't care!


Emanuel Paparella2009-05-01 13:08:11
To the contrary Thanos, when Kierkegaard asked that dreadful question about existential angst (a concept which Heidegger borrowed from him) it was a sign, as paradoxically as that may sound, that he cared supremely. He taught us that without ever asking that question about the potential meaninglessness of the cosmos and ultimately of one's life, we are condemned to lives of quite desperation, that quite desperation that he saw all around him in many "respectable" bourgeois Christians of his times, and I dare say, of our times. As the Greeks taught us, the logos does matter; it is the ultimate meaning.


AP2009-05-02 03:27:50
I love it when a Italo-American tells a Greek what the Greeks taught to us... really. Aristotle didn't say it, but he could have: "We teach what you want to learn".


Emanuel Paparella2009-05-02 10:10:23
I love it when a Portuguese thinks that philosophy is an ethnic affair having little to do with universal principles. I love it when some Florentines had the honesty to admit that an American (Charles Singleton) taught a thing or two to Italians about Dante.

Surely we don't think of Aristotle's philosophy as "Greek" but as universally valid, aside from the fact that he was Macedonian-Greek and left Athens eventually to return to Macedonia so that it would not "sin twice against philosophy" (yes he actually said that). Ah, the strange and bizarre ironies of history.


AP2009-05-02 18:42:49
Philosophy, an ethnic affair? Not at all! How about arrogance? I don't believe it is either...


Emanuel Paparella2009-05-02 19:03:03
Arrogance!; now that is an intriguing universal concept similar to greed, in the light of Junghian projections...and silly argumenti ad hominem...which point to nothing and resolve nothing.


AP2009-05-03 04:23:10
Don't tell me you studied Junghian projections pointing to nothing and resolving nothing too?!!


Emanuel Paparella2009-05-03 09:40:39
Glad to hear that you too have studied the bizarre phenomenon and surely came to the same conclusion, that there is a distinction to be made between knowing the good and doing the good and that Socrates' dictum "knowledge is virtue" may be less on target than St. Paul's "I know the good but I do evil."


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