Just because it would make me feel better: Rant Alert #01

A couple of incidents that caught my attention over the last few days which I’d like to get off my chest:

Paranoia is a particularly nasty characteristic of human behaviour. It normally results in harmful actions being perpetrated against fellow human beings, and atrocities being committed in extreme cases. When governments are the perpetrators of violent reactions to perceived dangers it can get really ugly. The American government reaction to the 9/11 incident is a case in point.

The Israeli raid on the Gaza-bound humanitarian aid vessels which resulted in the loss of several lives, is the most recent incident of government paranoia. This dastardly act must be condemned in the strongest possible terms, and Israel made to make reparations.

Civilized governments are elected to lead, and demonstrate restraint when dealing with emotional matters. They are not elected to take the lead in demonstrating crass and violent behaviour. Off course, this rules out all those who govern un-elected or by force; crass behaviour is to be expected from them as despots can never be true leaders.

____________________

I read with utter amusement today that the ANC is considering disciplinary action against trade union leader, Zwelinzima Vavi (whose union happens to be an ally of the ruling party), for revealing that senior ANC members exploit their political connections to enrich themselves, and are further involved in other acts of corruption.

Eh! excuse me but this revelation is not news to us; it’s no big secret at all, but a well-known fact. You’re just peeved that one of your own is confirming it. It’s not strange though, because the bastards who are involved in corruption, always seem to be in the dark about their own illegal behaviour.

____________________

The North Korean soccer team arrived in the country today for the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup, with apparently very little fanfare. It’s to be expected though, as they are one of the lesser fancied teams in this tournament. They must be expecting to enjoy a little more freedom while over here; only if allowed by the Korean government chaperones that undoubtedly accompanied them.

While South Africa is by far a more  progressive and liberal country than North Korea, it may come as a bit of a shock to them to find out that we have a certain cabal in government, and a so-called leader of a certain youth organization, who are hell-bent on turning South Africa into a repressive shit-hole, just like North Korea.

Grow Up or Die

It had to happen. I just had to go see Bill Maher’s movie, Religulous. And the chilling words from the closing scene “Grow up or die” is still echoing  in my mind. It’s meant to sound dramatic and that it certainly does, but how true is it?

Overall, I have to admit that I quite enjoyed the film. It’s generally very funny, although this could be attributed to skillful editing for the most part. Maher may have intended the film to come across as a personal journey in disbelief, but it does become quite “preachy” in parts. I should know, because I also indulged in a similar form of extreme Atheism in the past. Did the film strike a chord with the audience? Well, the approximately five other people who were at the screening were apparently stunned into silence, because I could clearly hear only myself laughing out loud, throughout the film. No doubt, they were believers to some degree, if not outright religionists. I’m not sure what to make of their silence, but it could probably mean one of two things. Either they were genuinely shocked at what they saw and were silently contemplating the apparent mirror image of their own behaviour, or they were disgusted into silence which only means that their attitude to atheism will only harden.

Just prior to exclaiming that we must “grow up or die,” Maher made another blatantly extremist comment while standing at the infamous Megiddo site in Israel, “Religion must die so man can live.” Sounds rather clever, but I don’t believe this will go down all that well with the religious community either. Maher also exhorts all atheists to publicly take a stand against religiosity in a manner which can only be described as proselytizing. I’ve exposed this type of behaviour as rather unethical, previously on this blog. I’m now of the opinion that religion should be allowed to run its course, with only a mild form of dissonance from Atheists in the form of teaching and encouraging rational thinking. Better that it dies a natural death while mankind slowly grows up.