Sunday, August 23, 2015


Funny how Life goes --- found myself on the Greek island of Delos a couple of weeks ago, being guided by an archeological student.  She was very good at describing Life in Delos during the 5th Century which can be described as the Golden age of Greece, with philosophical musings in Athens and the mainland Greece. Here in Delos however, due to the harsh conditions resulting from limited water availability the people were forced to become more creative and she told us that it would appear to be an important trading post being located in the mid-Mediterranean --in fact to signify its importance to trade, she indicated that it was probably the first Jewish synagogue built outside whatever Jewish people called their homeland at that time... I think it may have been around that time various factions started annoying their Roman masters who encouraged eviction.
 She mused that one of the more upmarket homes had depressions in its marble window frame, indicating possible bars in the window and speculated that the house could have belonged to a moneychanger of some sort as various peoples did business (representing a teller window of some sort) and maybe it was the beginnings of a banking system of sorts.

Purely by coincidence, I started reading The Criminal History of Mankind by Colin Wilson; and was startled to see Delos mentioned as indeed an important trading post-- for trafficking human beings! In fact, Mr Wilson goes on to describe Delos as having the largest slave market as the Greek Islands were so barren that piracy was a logical choice of occupation. In fact, I read later that he said that slavery became the foundation of Western civilizations/business/economy! How about THAT?  So before we got to the Sanctuary of Apollo-- apparently he promised prosperity for the dwellers of Delos as they gave sanctuary to his mothers Leto who was one of Zeus' many mistresses and hiding from the wrath of Zeus' irate wife Hera - there was a long stretch,about a mile, that the Guide said was a market place but she omitted to say what was the main thing being traded!  Mmm, now how can you miss out that piece of information?
Interestingly criminality was stated as an 'inevitable consequence of the development of intelligence' - the flip side of creativity...and also the childish tendency to take short-cuts. He later talked about the dangers of no checks and balances and cited Roman emperors who were fairly harmless before becoming Emperor but became depraved characters-- sexually and otherwise when they had absolute power with no checks and balances.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The Lion and the dentist

So thanks to better mass communication, global outrage over White Privilege in the form of an American dentist paying an average US household income to shoot a Lion in Africa.  It must be saying something about the mentality of a person to have a skill and use it for hunting large predators who are not attacking him in any way but merely trying to eke a survival in an increasingly difficult environment of encroaching human side effects.

Several good things for me has emerged from this case... it would appear that the majority of the American people themselves condemn this action and have effectively used their communication skills to far exceed the petition numbers required to get the White House to pay attention-- yaay democracy and the American people! Better communication has also enabled the new 'chattering classes'- the literate with access to the Internet - to also weigh in and lend support to put pressure so that the story just doesn't die down.  I am amused that media damage control brought out other injustices to throw the internet hunters off scent and chide them for making a 'big thing' over a mere lion while there were other injustices to go after (the killing of black American women taken into Police custody over minor infractions in the US and the immigrants waiting to get into the country and abuse the Social Service system in the UK....the rest of the World don't really count!) and the past few days the media have been reassuring anyone who cares to read that no, Cecil's lion cubs would not be killed and in fact be protected by his brother-- sort of merging Disney with real life-- my most likely failure in Anthropology in a recent class isn't helping my cynical outlook on all this!

This incident has also been good for Robert Mugabe, the aging racist dictator of Zimbabwe, that the white-ies are the clear baddies in this case. I was pleased to read that the Land Owner would also be held culpable as he would be held responsible for allowing poaching on his Land-- well ..Well Done to whoever dreamed up that rule, but again I hope it isn't racially-motivated if and only because the Land-Owner is white.
I think the most heinous thing about the whole incident is that White Privilege could not be arsed to actually do the hunting ... which can involve many hours looking for a target (many Guyanese hunters return empty-handed after spending the better part of the night looking for prey) using tracking skills but in fact with the infantile American attitude of instant gratification.. just wanted to shoot the damm thing and get over with it--- so money buys luring a protected animal out of a sanctuary and making it suffer for 40 hours just so you can be able to say that you enjoy the great Outdoors!  Totally throw the book and everything else you got at him - if only to deter the nouveau-riche wannabes from countries transitioning up the scale like the BRICs.