As world leaders meet once again to talk about the problems besetting the planet, including our environment, economies and political stability, the newspaper columns are full of Putin and the Ukraine border crisis. His manner is contained, unapologetic and stubborn, blaming any difficulty on misrepresentation of the facts or terrorist activity by the West. As private citizens we seek tranquillity and periods of adventure, but beyond the concerns of domestic life do we ask “How will this pan out?”
The “News” is like a train which moves through our world bringing events to our attention as our newscaster’s carriage moves on from one event to the next. Later when our eye is caught by some new occurrence, those events which previously gripped the interest of the media continue often unresolved, but now our view is of some new and apparently more gripping story line.
Syria, home to a human catastrophe of truly horrific proportions, is harder to find among the headlines yet I heard a doctor reduced to tears because the medical facilities there are completely overwhelmed by the human suffering. Meanwhile some celebrity forgot to dress properly, and more than one newspaper is keen to explore her absent mindedness as thoroughly as possible.
Gaza, another tragedy with a dark undercurrent of man’s inhumanity to man is hard to find any mention of because the dramatic shelling is over and that poor displaced population is now free to suffer the situation free of the media’s attention.
I am reminded, when I reflect on these situations how the marketing of escapism seems to demand our increasing attention and man’s inhumanity to man should be discussed, we all agree, but on another day. As Samuel Taylor Coleridge said so eloquently, ” He prayeth best, who loveth best, All things both great and small;” and a man who reflect on a events beyond his own life “” hath been stunned, And is of sense forlorn: A sadder and a wiser man ” is he.
Isn’t curious how these observations made around two hundred years ago remain so topical. A species who can land a spacecraft on some distant comet can vent its destructive desires on itself but with increasing skill and power, often exhibiting a blind greed and hatred as immortal as the gods to whom we profess such tender respect.