I Was A Generic Hippy
  ...the guru speaks

by General Hippopotamus     Background item

Our changed world
February 25, 2003 (retained)

There can be no doubt in anyone’s mind that our world has vastly changed since the fateful day of 9/11. Today, we are just beginning to see the real impact of that change in the hardening of attitudes towards those who would pursue paths of action that endanger society at large.

At least, that is what we are told. The reality is that the inherent comforts and security of established nations, including the US and the UK, are principally seen by their rulers as at risk, whereas the problems they are now trying to eliminate are already being endured by millions elsewhere in the world.

Yet taking that hard line is a difficult choice to make when it is against all the inherent teachings of our modern society. We continue to spend massive amounts of money—almost enough to make the entire population of the struggling world vastly rich beyond their dreams overnight—money spent on measures designed to protect ourselves against an “enemy”—and yet that enemy is our own kind. And our expenditure denies food to the tables of the starving, and clothes and warmth to the backs of the cold, and homes to the homeless.

Be that as it may, the terrible impact of 11 September is still breaking like a slowly rolling wave across the world. Prime Minister Blair told the British Parliament on 25 February 2003 that to fail to tackle and deal with elements such as Saddam Hussein would lead the world into becoming a “much more dangerous place”.

Few can rightly argue against that. Those would would protest and argue against war are pulling the right strings but an uncontrolled element in their midst could choose to slice through those strings with a sharp knife and there would be little they could do about it, if they were unprepared to deal with that rogue element.

It is hard to perceive how, after so many terrible wars, we are again back on the brink of an abyss with yet another war looming on the horizon as our world teeters on a fragile plane.

Coming from a background of relatively complacent comfort is a far cry from the reality of despotic greed and indifference to the plight of others. We can remove Saddam Hussein, yet there will be another Saddam Hussein ready, willing and successful in taking his place. Likewise the Usama Bin Ladens of our world.

Until we in reality learn to adjust our world and veer away from our competitive, selfish complacency into a factual common goal, we will never remove the threats presented by dissatisfaction. And as long as we permit that threat to remain through our complacency in our comfortable lifestyles, we will go on looking for someone to blame, when in truth the blame lies with ourselves alone.


In Pursuit of the Great Western Whore of Babylon
I have ended up in a strange, loveless and fearsomely lonely place. From being an adventurer, a traveler, a fit athlete, a dad, a musician and a professional writer, I have become an ambiguity even to myself.

My means would be evaluated as beneath the accepted social poverty line. I own very little, just the clothes I wear, some computer equipment, and the relatively worthless accessories to the bedsit I now occupy. I do not know if I am really understood by the vast majority, although I am a very simple person. Perhaps I have become too simple for others to find comfort with, although I understand interest values.

Once when speaking of the truth of certain matters, some imbecilic moron suggested I stopped feeling sorry for myself.

We live in a world populated by potentially highly intelligent people. It is unfortunate for all of us that many of those people live relatively untroubled and comfortable lives and, blind to much else in life, pursue objectives that in reality are as insignificant to them as they are insignificant to others.

Speaking of international competitiveness from the narrow perspective of financial and business success has zero meaning to those living in poverty. And the reality is that the bulk of people alive today live in poverty, if poverty is being poor, in need, lacking necessities, or the state of meagerness or inadequacy.

The idea of widespread poverty is largely incomprehensible to the general populations of developed nations, unless the observer has directly experienced genuine poverty at its source. Poverty in developed nations is something that most inhabitants can neither understand nor face—in the lyrics of one Mary Chapin Carpenter song “we give a dollar when we pass and hope our eyes don't meet”.

The problems of the world are so huge and seemingly insurmountable that most of us simply try to dismiss them and get on with our own lives as best we can. Who is to say what is right or wrong? One thing for certain is that dismissing the problems does nothing to cure them.

We do not widely nurture intelligence. Instead we turn it into a competitive game. We educate our children in state schools according to our definition of ‘education’ (Teacher leave us kids alone) but conversely begin the process of stifling intelligence from that point on.

What is the answer to all of this? Believe me, I don’t pretend to know. One can hold values that differ to the world at large but again, who is to say what is right or wrong? Perhaps we have widely misled ourselves with our belief in and development of doctrine values that stem from thousands of years ago, and which we steadfastly adhere to despite them having achieved very little of their aims.

Our blind belief in these doctrines becomes ridiculous when we stop questioning the validity of our belief.

We live in a world where we have normalised the preying of women on men. Like vultures, they seek out the fatter men who have the better job, earn the more money, or have the bigger house, the better car. The true quality of the man has become almost immaterial.

We cheapen our human spirit while paying lip service to it. Women masquerade under the guise of something they call liberation but is mostly the twisting of circumstance to suit their greed. This is the meaning to the phrase, the Whore of Babylon.

Such behaviour was considered obscene in some societies but is now generally accepted as the norm in so-called civilised society the world over. This is normality as defined by people willing to wage war, to straitjacket concepts of freedom, to imprison their fellow beings as ‘criminals’ for crimes that are essentially born of frustration. We may have dispensed with burning at the stake, but the evil remains among us.

To women caught up in such confusion, love has become a tool of barter. This is the modern world—one we have fashioned and are traveling towards self-destruction within.

The signs are clearly there to see—the broken homes, the suicides, the preponderance of marriage counseling services, the violence within society, the corruption.

Unhappiness has its roots in dissatisfaction and unhappiness leads to frustration. If not addressed, frustration leads to anger. Yet those who dare challenge the status quo are at risk of reprisal, ostracism, or worse.

All You Need Is Love, sang The Beatles in what might arguably be the greatest pop song ever, yet do we understand the very simple message within the song?

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