Tag Archives: Terrorism

Brussels . . . The Pen and The Sword

pen photo

Isn’t Life perverse? I was going to attack Brussels on Tuesday after several weeks of planning. Not with suicide bombers intent on causing fear and mayhem but with thoughts and perspectives to challenge the present status quo.

Words, directed at changing thinking and questioning the direction Society is now being dragged in. Given the vile nature of what happened I can wait and begin my assault later, out of respect for what the relatives and friends of the dead and survivors must now be dealing with.

As one atrocity follows another do the perpetrators really believe they will grab the power from those against whom they carry out these mindless attacks? Do they honestly believe they will bring us to our knees, or that we will willing submit to their brand of leadership, which rules by abject fear and without human rights?

These attempts at subjugation do not subdue but quite the reverse. The credibility of Terrorism is steadily being eroded, if it had any in the first place, with an anger and a determination to resist that is swelling out of the rubble of the latest atrocity.

There is no doubt that there is much wrong with the world today that can be laid at the feet of Western Neoliberalism. What I find incredible is that there is much these terrorists could learn from the current state of affairs and show them what true domination is all about.

What they will find is that the power they seek is not to be had by armed violence. Whilst this form of Neanderthal aggression may succeed for a while, resentment of the abused rises up and eventually overthrows the suppressors, as our history records on countless occasions.

For the longest periods of control over the masses the pen wins hands down over the sword. If we look at medieval Society it was the power of the written document, Magna Carta, which ended the abusive reign of tyrants and set standards by which, right up to today, Society is keen to maintain.

Also at around this time the pen and the sword worked hand in glove as the Crusaders offered safe passage for pilgrim’s intent upon visiting the Holy Land. Gold could be deposited at one fort in exchange for a promissory note which could then be exchanged at another fort upon arrival in the Holy Land, where the gold was then redeemed.

Over the ensuing centuries the power of this simple ‘banking practice’ grew into a worldwide business, which today holds sway of our global Society and dictates the policy of many governments through its lending terms and practices. What we know is that the bankers have done a better job than an army or any other force, no matter of what size, to subdue and control Society for a historic period of time with the simple and non-aggressive application of debt.

The real threat from terrorism now comes with the new breed of jihadis who are achieving increased funding, more sophisticated propaganda generating better recruitment and the improved use of communications encryption tools and equipment. Here the pen is coming to dominate the underlying foundations of this form of violence, making it more sophisticated in application.

If we add to this the future planning of the so-called Islamic State who, we are told, have more than 31,000 pregnant women being used to create the next generation of terrorists, the picture becomes much more worrying.

Perhaps the power of the pen is now being recognised for what it truly is, the ability to shape thinking and actions. What is often lost sight of is that, as a species, we create our reality by what we think and come to believe in. A simple example is smoking, which dominated our lives when I was young but is now scorned for the life threatening habit it truly is . . . we changed our belief and changed Society.

Terrorist leaders are realising that if they are to make any lasting headway they must already be preparing the next generation of fighters and this can only be achieved initially by the pen. Once young minds are shaped by terrorist beliefs, commitment is gained and the indoctrinated are ready to use the sword. Certainly we know that you can shape a young mind to act out any form of atrocity . . . How many 40-year-old+ bombers have been reported?

What I find frightening here is that modern terror groups are breeding future suicide bombers of such vast numbers. It is here that terrorism could get seriously out of control, as increasing numbers of fanaticised young are sent out into the world to become ‘martyrs’ by hideous waste of young lives. The sword cannot compete with this type of onslaught. What will the Pentagon do . . . bomb or ‘drone’ 31,000 pregnant women?!

We have to fight ‘like for like’ and that will finally show us whether terrorism is something we want to eradicate, or whether it is a tool of western powers to keep us separated and in conflict with each other so that the old order may continue.

I don’t know the answer to that question. If the latter is the case then we may be facing a violent future that will distract us from impending and far more serious Natural disasters, which will overtake us long before those 31,000 babies have been effectively indoctrinated.

Until the next time

 

P.S. Cartoonist from around the world respond to Brussels attack:

http://www.pri.org/stories/2016-03-22/cartoonists-around-world-respond-brussels-attack?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=The%20Scan%20PRI%20list%20-%20Wednesday%20March%2023%20-%20MASTER&utm_content=The%20Scan%20PRI%20list%20-%20Wednesday%20March%2023%20-%20MASTER+CID_35a55534694e051a30c967c929e940bd&utm_source=newsletter&utm_term=Cartoonists%20from%20around%20the%20world%20respond%20to%20the%20Brussels%20attack

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

Terrorism by The Media

Terrorism photo

I remember being trapped in a London mainline station, when the IRA ran their terror campaign of letterbox bombings, and the fear that permeated the people in this massive building from the possibility of a small mailbox blowing up. When I consider the atrocities perpetrated by these cowardly actions, not only have they been horrendous in their impact on the many but achieved with just a handful of people.

The London bombings of 7th July 2005 made us realise we were unsafe in our normal day to day pursuits and this fear has become endemic around the world as similar barbaric acts are repeatedly carried out just as indiscriminately. Here we get to the core of what acts of terrorism are all about. Not only do they create fear but of far more sinister application, to my mind, is the overall feeling of helplessness that is achieved, as the few gain some means of control over the many.

We are helpless because we cannot fight back as the perpetrators function in secret. They don’t wear distinguishing uniforms, they hide amongst us, look like us, act like us and suddenly kill us without warning, creating large scale trauma in the process.

This odious behaviour is now crippling our way of life as its effects permeate all areas of our lives. Travelling becomes both frightening and arduous as the huge escalation in security procedures and methods, the dramatic increase in police powers and invasions of our privacy by surveillance systematically, violate our freedom of movement and interaction with each other.

When this understanding hit me the realisation came that our global media follow a similar pattern in how they operate. They too are directed by a few to manipulate the many with the express purpose of creating an environment of helplessness. The news is constantly dominated by disaster, be it terrorism, climate change, debt or personal tragedy and more.

Natural disasters such as floods and hurricanes can be overwhelming, as the force of nature shows its teeth in all its untameable power and we know we are quite helpless against this fury. Media editors know this too and so all major disasters are placed front and centre, aided by the intensity of round the clock reporting of each new calamity that occurs.

So too are we made to feel helpless by the carefully regulated global supply of money and the emphasis upon our indebtedness to staggering amounts of debt the average human being, including this writer, are incapable of comprehending. Indeed, the nurturing of debt has become so vast now that the experts are claiming it can never be repaid, throwing new pressures upon the already downtrodden shoulders of our helplessness!

Charlie Hebdo . . . Global Stock Markets are collapsing . . . North Korea Uses Bomb Test . . . Arab Shiites caught in Iranian-Saudi Strife . . . Truck bomb kills 65. The media barrage is endless and constant.

My personal hobby horse, regular readers will know, is the treatment of the Greek people last year, as they tried to seek justice for the irresponsible actions of their corrupt politicians and the inhuman manner in which they were battered into submission by the Troika. This inhumanity was fully reported by global media, with little being done to highlight the effects of theses barbaric actions on the population at large, nor the corrupt banking practices that were at the core of this calamity.

Here we see the true extent of the helplessness terrorism by the media can achieve, as it broadcast to the whole world how unelected bureaucrats can ‘invade’ a country and bring its people to their knees, totally unprotected by the democratic process as the power of the country’s elected rulers is simply overridden. Media terrorism does not hold the guilty accountable but rather, its primary job is to support them.

There are those who would argue that the media also report achievements and I would agree but I would also argue that the proportion of ‘good’ news to ‘bad’ news is grossly distorted and always has been. If we take the recent horrendous flooding across the globe, coverage of the misery has been endless. However, one newspaper has taken a different and positive slant with the flooding in Northern England. As far as I am aware, only the Guardian has reported in detail upon the huge army of Muslim and Sikh volunteers who, for days now, have been providing care parcels and hot food to the desperate suffers of this disaster.

The story has not been picked up by the other media and so the healing properties of not only overcoming and positively dealing with adversity but also unifying sectors of Society that all too often are set against each other, is strategically played down. (Read the first paragraph and weep . . . it says it all about how media terrorism keeps us in conflict with each other.) http://tinyurl.com/jv864je

Left to our own devices, people of all walks of Life can get on with each other and live amicably together. The powerful recognise this and how their power could be taken from them if we ever unite. That day is coming, with the internet, and that is why they are intensifying their efforts to keep us in constant separation, setting us against each other by race, colour, creed and gender.

My philosophy on Life is: “It is not what happens that is important but how you deal with it” . . . every time! In this manner we learn and empower our lives. This Guardian article demonstrates how effectively ‘what happens’ is pushed at us to weaken us and ‘how we deal with’ is kept quiet, or not globally recognised.

So how do we fight such insurmountable odds and power?

Let the manipulators sow the seeds of their own self-destruction! We have seen it with Religion, where the gross manipulation – that we are all born ‘sinners’ and our only salvation is through the church – has finally run its course. We have evolved beyond the ignorance of 2000 years ago and the church has lost the power it once wielded over us.

The same is true of politics. The growing abuses of democracy are being spotlighted with increasing regularity and so the present political system no longer has credibility. Out of this growing awareness a new regime will be born and we will start all over again.

Of pressing urgency now, I would suggest, is that we focus our attention upon the media and not allow it to continue to exert its influence in the way it has in the past. By intensify our efforts to share with each other how WE see things, we will create greater awareness which will fuel the destruction of the current media machine, in similar fashion to religion and politics. We do not want a repeat of the last general election where a party gained overall power with the votes of just 24% of the electorate!

Awareness breeds understanding and understanding breeds change. That is the universal law of evolution and we need to become aware of it, understand it, encourage it and recognise the changes it brings about when they happen.

What those changes will be I have no idea but I do know that that universal law is at work now and we must be ready for change and unite in seeing it through.

This will be the theme of my writing in 2016. I hope it resonates with you.

Until the next time.

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to the 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

Welcome to The Abyss

September 11th 2001 was the day that will stay with everyone. It will also stay with Jo Moore, a special government advisor, who had to resign after sending an email suggesting it would be a “good day to bury bad news”!

Yesterday a frightening piece of news signalling Armageddon may have arrived, was successfully buried by a carefully directed media frenzy over the HSBC tax evasion ‘scandal’. I put scandal in quotes as I really can’t see what all the fuss is about. HSBC are only doing their odious job by maximising the efficient management of clients’ money.

Whilst our attention was being diverted by this non news, media mogul mates of President Obama quietly announced that he is seeking a ‘war resolution’ against Islamic State, with limited use of US force against militants operating in Syria and Iraq for three years . . . Welcome to the Abyss . . . which this morning’s media paid scant attention to.

It is now blatantly obvious that the Pentagon runs American foreign policy and that they are totally out of control. They have learned nothing from the 60’s, when the futility of the Vietnam war was recognised after 23 years of vicious conflict, in which reports suggest up to 3 million Vietnamese service members and civilians lost their lives?

25 years later, after the dust settled from the collapse of the twin towers in 2001, George W Bush declared a ‘War on Terror’, starting in Afghanistan and followed by Iraq 2 years later. Whilst enormous resources have been applied to these campaigns the end result has been unmitigated disaster.

Instead of the promised subjugation of the enemy and conversion of these Muslim countries to ‘democratic’ capitalism the complete reverse has happened. The effect of putting foreign troops on home territory has antagonised and enraged the civilian population, as unarmed civilians are systematically murdered through the cowardly practice of drone warfare.

You don’t need a degree in psychology to work out how you would feel if an Iraqi army invaded your country on the pretext of coming to help and then slaughtered friends, family and fellow countrymen from the protection of unmanned aircraft you are unable to fight back against.

To heap insult upon injury, when the Pentagon had finished knocking the stuffing out of the country’s infrastructure, it was then subjected to a second ‘invasion’ to help rebuild everything the army had destroyed. Only what was rebuilt was of inferior quality and unfit for purpose, as contractors reaped vast profits from the rebuilding contracts.

There is little doubt that these blunders fuelled a change in terrorism that had previously been supported by the West to destabilise unwanted power in the region. ISIS is the end product and its rapid and violent growth against the West speaks volumes about current resentment. What the Pentagon seems incapable of understanding is that they are not fighting an army but an ideology that is vehemently opposed to western values.

The greater the force fighting ideology the greater the resistance. Do the generals really believe they can subdue these people and even annihilate them? The reality is that any belief can never be eradicated by force, it will simply spring up somewhere else, as is now happening with alarming rapidity across the globe.

In the UK an ‘off duty’ solder returning to base was attacked and viciously killed in broad daylight in front of traumatised civilians. In France the Charlie Hebdo massacre left a country stunned. Only a few days ago Australian police arrested two men, seizing a homemade ‘ISIS’ flag along with a machete and hunting knife, whose intended gory application takes little imagination.

This is the future that now awaits us with this latest Pentagon initiative, where we will become frightened to walk out in public with our families, uncertain as to whether we will be attacked, or worse, that our children might witness such atrocities.

And what will be the impact upon youngsters growing up in this environment? Antagonism towards ‘foreigners’ will escalate and the curse we have lived with as a species for too long now will be reinforced as we continue to be divided and conquered.

Never was the wisdom of Einstein more relevant than now: “The thinking that creates the problem is quite incapable of solving it”. Obama’s message of yesterday is taking us to the edge of the abyss and the only way back is to find new visionary and committed leaders, as Greece has now done in an attempt to step back from her own abyss.

Only then might we create a narrow bridge over which we can tentatively embark upon new understandings instead of antagonism, to meet those in our growing Global Village who are equally entitled to live on this beautiful Planet. These are challenging times my friends.

 

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to The 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

Terrorism . . . Are We Being Played?

The plethora of reporting on ‘Terrorism’ raises questions in my mind as to precisely what is going on as we argue the fine line between a broad perspective and conspiracy theory. I find myself being pushed into the camp that postulates a cogent plan by our rulers to keep our attention diverted, whilst our countries are ransacked and our freedoms decimated by the clever application of surveillance, debt and restricted money supply.

First we had Al Qaeda, a virtually unknown group who rocketed to infamy and caused Bush’s “Bring it on” declaration of global war after 9/11. This was followed immediately by the (illegal) Iraq war and the hunt for Osama Bin Laden which, given the resources available, seemed to take an inordinate amount of time in finding him.

Why was he immediately executed, rather than humiliated by a show trial and execution, with all the kudos this would offer? Having supposedly disposed of him, we are now told that no official evidence of his demise is available.

In contrast with Saddam Hussein, we were privy to every part of his capture, including his total humiliation by a public mouth search! His show trial covered the globe and finally we went into the death house to witness his execution. All pretty gripping stuff and guaranteed to hold our attention, with such ‘villains’ as Hussein and Bin Laden heading up the cast.

So having got our attention we now have a new and even more sensational story with the advent of ISIS. They are ruthless, well co-ordinated, well versed in social media and how to manipulate by sensation and scare. They are also well-resourced and successful to the point that young men flood to their camps to join in that success against an enemy that seems intent upon keeping its own young men unemployed and suppressed by debt.

The problem with the sensational, when so widely broadcast, is that it has to become more and more dramatic to maintain such a vast audience. This has led from ground attack and butchery of civilians to brutal beheadings. Their leadership have now ramped up the sensational by placing an Iranian pilot in a metal cage and brutally burned him to death. This latest atrocity begs the question: “What next?!”

To add to information overload we were told by journalist Didier Francois, a captive who was subsequently released, that his captors “hammered” hostages with their political, not religious ideology. This revelation now casts huge doubt over the news stories we have been fed about religious zealots. Not only that but it begins to replicate the equally unpleasant ‘Troubles’ in Northern Ireland, where terrorism was also used to gain political power.

Which again begs a question: “Where is Tony Blair in all of this?”, having been in government during the Northern Ireland peace process and witnessed the giving of power to the political wing of the IRA. Now, ‘Special Envoy to the Middle East’, he seems eminently qualified and experienced to apply his skills here, but is nowhere to be found . . . Hmmm!

It seems to me that Terrorism ticks so many boxes in supporting the covert escalation of global power. It diverts our attention from the gradual financialisation of this world and our subsequent enslavement by debt. It creates the needed enemy that is violently threatening our peace and security. It provides a righteous war able to feed us a diet of sensational barbarism, which spreads fear and justifies a global web of surveillance to further subjugate our every move.

What, I ask myself, would have been the result of no media coverage? Would this latest terrorist group have really brought the world to its knees, by robbing us of our freedom so quickly and efficiently, if we knew nothing about them . . . or are we being played? (As an aside, the Norwegian government responded to the murder of 69 of its people, mainly youngsters, with more democracy, more openness and greater political participation!)

If we are being played and apply this to our forthcoming elections, is it any wonder the same corporately governed political parties are re-elected to continue the enslavement of Society?

Or have the very beginnings of the fight back now begun in places like Greece and Portugal? Judging by the people, the will to change is evident because they have had enough . . . and also have nothing to lose!

With renewed belief in itself, through a greater understanding of what is going on in our growing ‘Global Village’, I believe Society will somehow find the wherewithal to end the traditional tyranny that has plagued it for so long.

Overwhelming? . . . Certainly! Possible? . . . What have we got to lose?

 

Until the next time

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to The 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

Paris: 2 Sinister Hypocrisies

As I watched the 40 world leaders marching with the people last weekend in Paris I was immediately struck by how out of place they all looked. Not one of these people we have given our power away to had any thought about freedom of speech and the press. It was simply a chance to get a lot closer to vast numbers of the people who elect them than they have ever done before in their political lives. It was blatantly a photo op to end all photo ops and not to be missed!

Even as a photo op it has become a joke, as we now hear that Netanyahu had Merkel ‘photo shopped’ out of the official pictures used by the Israeli media to record the event. Global unity and Freedom of the Press . . . You decide. (As an aside is it any wonder there is no resolution to the ongoing conflict in Palestine when there is a mind-set that nurtures decades of ongoing hatred such as this?!)

Cynical . . . Moi?! Try this for size:-

 Sinister Hypocrisy No 1:

In one of the largest demonstrations the world has seen in recent years, how could such countries as Russia, Turkey, Israel and Egypt, to name but a few, even contemplate attending with their track record of Human Rights abuse and the suppression of journalism and free speech. Also, if not impertinent, where did Saudi Arabia get the energy to attend, given how exhausting it must be to administer 1000 lashes to a blogger exercising free speech!

Then there’s ‘our Dave’ linking arms with his mates and wearing his best Remembrance Day ‘face’ for the march and then quickly scuttling back to inform us he would be giving MI5 greater powers of surveillance. Not only that but then he phones his ‘special friend’ Barak Obama to ask if he would give GCHQ greater abilities to invade the internet!

At least the US had the good sense not to attend, given their treatment of WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden, which still reverberates across the globe. I remain confused on precisely what their official line on freedom of speech is however, in the light of their condemning the Sony Corporation for giving in to (alleged) threats from North Korea if they released their film The Interview . . . but maybe that’s just me.

Sinister Hypocrisy No 2:

This one really blows me backwards! How can these people turn up to such a protest when most of them are responsible for the whole ugly state of affairs we are now trying to deal with? Was it not George ‘Dubya’ Bush who declared war on global terrorism, supported by the crass statement to “Bring it on”? Well they certainly have sunshine, further exacerbated by an illegal war that added oceans of fuel to the flames his puerile macho language had already ignited in the Middle East!

The whole situation is made even more sinister as we are told that Al Qaeda, ISIS and all the other groups have been funded and supported by many of the countries represented at this demonstration, supporting a US led policy to control the Middle East and its oil.

If we then add to this TTIP and other trade deals being pursued by the US, in the deepest secrecy, to further subvert our democratic rights, all in collusion with these same attendees at the march, then how could they possibly look any of the people they were marching with in the face?

 

However, a tiny light shines from this, the grossest of political theatre. It was not those we have given our power to that organised this event but the spontaneous reaction of the 99%, driven by shock, horror and anger at yet another mindless atrocity and to which the 1% quickly invited themselves (at the taxpayers’ expense!).

Traditional Social dynamics are gradually changing, as the internet increasingly empowers us to quickly unite and speak out.  We must not lose sight of this powerful fundamental change, which the 1% fear more than anything else. ‘Terrorism’ provides them with the excuse to clamp down on us, as their hypocrisy about the subject becomes more and more evident.

Finally, I see that Cameron is showing up ahead of Labour in latest polling and I truly cannot see where he gets any credibility from whatsoever. However, to get our political environment into true perspective, I see the comedian Al Murray ‘The Pub Landlord’ is standing against Farage in May.

With all the ‘comics’ already in Westminster he seems to have the right sort of experience and qualifications although, with much respect, I fear we are no further forward in finding real solutions to Debt, Terrorism and the continued erosion of Democracy.

We desperately need new Visionary Leaders . . . and soon!

 

Until the next time

 

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to The 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

Paris: Some Clarification

It seems as though my last piece has upset some and confused others and so I would like to try and put the record straight on the message I was trying to put across.

First and foremost I must state unequivocally that I am not for one moment advocating that we laugh at ANY religion. Far from it, as I argue in my book, religious belief is fundamentally necessary to us as a species and essential to help us cope with the challenges Life throws at us with monotonous regularity!

We are all different and as such need different beliefs to meet our own particular makeup, hence the wide variety of beliefs today. Unfortunately these well-meaning beliefs are subsequently distorted and abused to provide a power base and this has been the case for millennia.

Each belief has argued it is the ONLY TRUE belief and all others are ‘sinners’. If this were remotely true, with each religion giving the same message, then it is obvious that we are ALL sinners and ALL destined for hell! Hence the satire they have generated and which they have ALL endured with good grace. Only the radicals have reacted, sometimes in the grossest fashion because their own shallow power bases are easily threatened.

The major religions today became powerful by persecuting the other beliefs until the most powerful came out on top. The cost in human life and misery of these religious power struggles over thousands of years is a tragedy of monumental proportions and a permanent blot upon our history as a species.

As we have evolved we have come to recognise these abuses and that there may be more than one way of gaining religious succour. The internet is certainly making us more aware of both our sameness and differences and through this we are making great strides in global religious tolerance. A true accolade to our contribution to this evolutionary process.

However the old ways die hard and today we see the traditional abuses of religious belief being perpetrated, yet again, in a blind lust for power. Today however it is not applied by a myriad of religious labels but simply by one . . . Terrorism! These radicals are not working with the full blessing of their religious institutions, indeed they are being castigated by them and the genuine followers of those beliefs.

Here we get to the heart of what I was writing about. I do not seek to laugh and humiliate the religious beliefs that are so important to all of us. Instead I seek to isolate and humiliate terrorism. It is not a religious belief but an abuse of genuine religious belief. The manner in which it is being operated is to intentionally strike ’terror’ into the world at large in order to bring Society to its knees and take power.

As I read comments on Twitter over the last few days I am aware of people subduing their usually forthright voices or dropping out of conversations on the subject. That is fine but we must be aware that this bully boy tactic is beginning to rob us of our hard won freedoms, as fear takes over and we become frightened to speak our minds or walk freely in our streets with our families and friends.

Not only that but the current agenda is seeking to take us back to distorted values that would have women become no more than goods and chattels, as they were only a few hundred years ago. I don’t know about you but I for one could not rest easy with this. Women have a massive amount to offer and have been suppressed from playing their part in Society for too long now.

Crunch time is fast arriving as our security services now openly admit that they are struggling to maintain a safe environment in which to live our lives, as these groups gain some successes and attract more young naïve recruits as future bomb fodder. Hiding within Society these groups are able to carry out their atrocities, making the task no longer one for the security forces but for Society as a whole.

We have to stand up in unison and demonstrate to these groups that we will not be intimidated for much longer. They must be isolated from the religions they declare they represent and leaders and true followers must join with everyone else, as they are now doing, to put a stop to the spreading cancer they are now inflicting upon Society.

It is here that I am advocating laughter as a powerful tool with which to defend ourselves and discredit the distorted values these groups operate under. By standing up and using the humour of cartoonists, as was so effectively achieved by Steve West in the Guardian last week, I believe we can break its sinister image and growing hold over us . . . but it will take a united global Society to do this.

We are in unprecedented times and this could represent the catalyst with which to re-empower the 99% in manner none of us has previously contemplated, bringing a sense of pride back into Society that has been knocked out of us by the 1% over the last few decades. What have we possibly got to lose?!

May I also suggest that, in the light of what I have written here, you go back and reread my previous post (See ‘recent posts’ on the right here) and the powerful message to terrorists the original cartoon by Steve West gave out. Hopefully you will see these messages in a different and more caring light.

 

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to The 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes

 

Paris: Humour is the most constructive form of criticism J T Coombes

Charlie Hebdo

I remember the Irish comedian Dave Allen in the late 60’s and early 70’s with his hugely successful comedy series The Dave Allen Show. He touched a nerve in people with his deep irreverence for political power but most famously his taunts at the Catholic Church.

No stone was left unturned as he lampooned the ritual and pomp. His frank material earned the show a risqué reputation on such occasions as when he depicted himself as the Pope and his cardinals doing a striptease to music. Other sketches again depicted the (sometimes extreme) realities of day to day church life, with priests beating their parishioners and each other, Dalek sounding priests in confessionals and the Pope with many exaggerated Italian accents, telling Allen in a Chico Marx style to “getta your bum outta Roma”.

Allen was no fool and his inner wisdom and balance meant he was able to laugh at himself as acutely as his mickey taking of others and their organisations. He lost the top of his left forefinger above the middle knuckle after catching it in a machine cog. This provided him with a vast amount of humorous material which found its way into his act.

He joked on one occasion of it being worn away by strong drink, as he regularly dunked it in the whisky glass that was a permanent feature of his act. On another occasion he told a long and convoluted ghost story that concluded with something “evil” attacking him in a dark and haunted house. Allen retaliated by grabbing and biting the attacker, only to find, when the lights came back on that he was biting his own left hand!

What his humour was able to do, as all good humour should, is to make us aware of the need to closely examine beliefs we may well have outgrown and that are no longer fulfilling the purpose they once did. With Allen he was able to demonstrate that we had evolved as a Society and as our religious beliefs were not prepared to evolve with us they were becoming less meaningful.

Throughout this period the Catholic Church never overreacted and I for one, although not a Catholic, respected them for taking it all ‘on the chin’. If only they had taken on board what was happening they may have been able to staunch the steady flow of followers from their churches since.

There is no doubt that the present shallow financial values used to measure our happiness and life are proving useless in offering strength and reassurance as we face the growing pressures of globalisation and financialisation of life on this beautiful planet. We need the spiritual part of us to receive sustenance and the myriad of religious beliefs that abound are evidence to this.

We are all different and are reassured in ways that most suit us. A Jew would not sit comfortably with Sufism, nor a Christian with Shamanism etc. We find what works for us and what we are most comfortable with. It cannot be forced upon us and no one belief is the ‘Only Right Belief’ above all others.

Globalisation is forcing these very beliefs, which have been used over the millennia to keep us apart, to now work together, with a growing recognition that they all have their part to play.

The atrocity that occurred in Paris yesterday demonstrates a blinding immaturity and lust for power that has haunted us for thousands of years. Like Dave Allen, Charlie Hebdo was pointing a humorous finger that should cause questions, not violence, demonstrating yet again how mighty the pen is over the sword!

Those who caused these young men to waste their lives uselessly lack the wisdom to realise that they will never achieve what they crave because they are alienating the people, not motivating them to rise up. Who in their right mind would want to follow and support such callous behaviour? It’s a ‘no brainer’

As the tributes flow from all races, colours, creeds and genders, united in a global repugnance of what has occurred, I sense us leaving the old behind as we venture into our new Global Village. It somehow seems apposite therefore, to sign off with the same words used by Dave Allen at the end of his shows:

“Thank you, goodnight and may your God go with you”

 

Until the next time

 

Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to The 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes