Of Flies and Chickens
First, the cast:
United States neoconservatives are the flies, perhaps lordless at the moment, perhaps not. The chickens are metaphorical but real, they represent the consequences of United States military intervention abroad during this third millennium, most notably in Iraq and Libya where the leaders were brutally murdered and the countries dismembered. And the chickens? Well, at the moment, they appear in the image of North Korea and its leaders, and they’ve come home to roost, a bit wiser than their predecessors. They come home armed rather than disarmed. And armed with deliverable nuclear weapons it seems.
In all honesty, who, knowing the facts, knowing history and understanding geopolitics can blame them. I know a lot of people do, but that says a great deal more about them than it does about the North Koreans. The skies echo with trite but all too true phrases: “fool me twice (or twenty times) shame on me” and “wolf, wolf, wolf!!!” Not everyone is ignoring the lessons of history; unfortunately, history’s lessons are valuable only among the sane, and looking at the United States today, on almost any level, sanity is a very scarce commodity. Hubris on the other hand seems ascendant and flourishing.
It’s a Friday the Thirteenth, Freddy Krueger reality play, where good old Freddy feels he’s the victim. Or that he’s the one on whom we should rely for protection; kind of like hiring a serial child molester to babysit your ten year old daughters. Is there a passion play on the bill for this Saturday Night Double Feature? Or will all the screens go blank, problems solved but not the way we’d hoped.
Is there a hero in the wings, perhaps, dressed as Captain America but with a long blond mop on his head, cheered on by a rabidly insane mainstream media, amidst bipartisan support? Not likely as they’re either in a looney bin, or should be. They’ve convinced us that we are not only externally omnipotent but destined to rule the world, a softer, nicer master race; the new Israel, the Chosen. All mirrors have been broken, replaced with beautiful and handsome portraits; and our keepers, they’ve been safely locked in broom closets, their mouths stuffed with old rags so that we’re not infected with their pessimistic warnings.
What a time to be alive! Massive hurricanes buzzing around like Fourth of July pyrotechnics; domestic armed prepubescent (or at least immature) mafias confronting each other over the echoes of old sins while we cavalierly ignore real problems and call each other names, and the world spins faster and faster around us, like a top about to topple.
One wonders who the writer is, plenty of action, no subtlety and no moral to the story, at least no moral we seem capable of grasping, but then, it seems we’re trapped inside the book. On the cover, two words: “Helter Skelter”, and from the safety of their jail cells, linked telepathically, the Manson Family chuckles, … “it was only a matter of time” good old Charley tells them, “only a matter of time”. “Patience is its own reward”.
In Hollywood, the parties continue, Obama and the Clintons, now honorary stars, toasted for their success in making us who we’ve become, Trump cursed for trying to inadvertently make us see it. Awards generously granted, exchanged and traded. Incestuous kisses and applause for us, the beautiful and enlightened and very, very rich, with advice for the peasants: “Just have patience there’s a heaven somewhere and if you’re good you’ll soon be there. Remember karma, there really is a reason for the caste system, and without a Hell, what good is a Heaven?”
In North Korea things are dull, but inchoate winds blow. The people have been made so miserable and poor through international sanctions and perpetual preparations for “Western” invasions, perhaps led by cowboys, that the future doesn’t hold much terror. After all, “how much worse can things get, and what do we really have to lose”? “And as long as they lose too, do we really care”? The bullied finally turning on their tormentor.
In a metaphorical ring a frayed and starving angry rooster faces a giant, polished and fat, very, very fat opponent, taking bows and making small talk with a crowd of clucking hens. On the sidelines, German and Russian and Chinese gamblers make their wagers while, as far away as they can get, Latin Americans and Africans look on wondering whether they will inherit the Earth, or succumb with the rest.
A window on world on the fifth of September, 2017.
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2017; all rights reserved. Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.
Guillermo Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia although he has primarily lived in the United States of America (of which he is a citizen). Until recently he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). He can be contacted at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and much of his writing is available through his blog at www.guillermocalvo.com.