Wednesday, 14 January 2015

What would Jesus Draw?

I would never have thought that being stranded in the centre of London, late in hours, by a Bus Strike, could be such a potent opportunity for reflection on matters topical.

As I traveled in the bus, I was thinking about ordinary folk in France, Iraq, Gaza, New York, Woolwich, in villages towns and cities around this Earth, when war comes knocking in the door.I meant knocking in. It is like that.

Wherever violence has been inflicted upon innocent civilians by warring parties, all sides irrespective of their ‘legitimacy’ will equally seek to justify that violence. At the beginning, throughout and at the end, and in their relative hagiographies/ History’s, and constantly re-enforced by their mainstream narratives, their myths. Our violence is 'good'. Theirs is 'bad'.

That act of violence from the perspective of the ordinary folk victimised in such atrocious manner. In the immediacy of that horror. Is always bad, very, very bad. and of course it is ignored. If it is mentioned, it is glossed over and an apology is issued. Sometimes compensation - shut your mouth money - is offered. Justice, never.

I considered the bus I was traveling in. What would we all feel if an explosive went off, or the bus was raked with bullets, attacking random innocents? I tried imagining the cascades of feelings, the terror, the fear, the confusion, the loss of hope, the panic, the shock that each and every person would in different ways be going through. And the pain. Utter horror. I shuddered as the bus rode on.

For each person, for every civilian harmed by violence the act is more than terrifying, it is physically horrifying, burning deep, deep into their very souls, their sense of self. To be so tortured and to see others in the same state, is for many, understandably an experience of utter helplessness. Hopelessness.

My thoughts were interrupted. The lights flicker,

The bus stops. We are at Oxford circus. The driver calls out “Last Stop! Last Stop” and flickers the lights. They go off. It’s 2.45am. I had left the event at 2.30am.

I thought “Great the journey is going well.”

“though it is late and I really need to get back home to get some sleep to be up, ready for some work at 10am…”

I walked around the corner to catch my second bus, for a 40 minute ride to where my home is.

I checked the time table and TFL on my phone. The timetable says the bus route is running. Bus in 18 minutes. Cool.

I fell back to my previous explorations of the meanings of that lived experience for those who go through it, and the consequences for their lives, and their relationships, and how it’s just not a part of the mainstream narrative on war and peace.

A huge part of the reality of both the Charlie Hebdo shootings and Falluja, of Nigeria and Boko Haram, of Chile in 1979, WWI and WWII and ….  and so on… the official history is littered with ‘great victories’, our broken lives are only of sentimental value, as ‘sacrifices’ for this cause, that flag, ‘our’ faith…

That my readers is a lot of trauma…..

Haven’t we had enough. already?

This is the appalling truth : the mainstream narrative reflexively, intentionally dilutes, sentimentalises, and compartmentalises the meaning of the lived experience of those who go through war-like violence inflicted upon them intentionally, arbitrarily simply because the violence was introduced as part of some politically driven  power struggle and that is the permitted narrative. People can side with one or the other – the meaning of the lived experience is taboo.

I noticed that my thinking was eating up the time… There was three of us at the bus stop, a few people walking in the street, frequent buses yet never the one I needed. I checked the time. It was 4pm.

“Oh dear!...”

Looks like this route is a strike route… I began to think on other options. Tube at 5.45am?  Walk to Trafalgar Square, Bus to Heathrow, Bus to home - two, possibly more hours?

I was looking at the street, imagining what it might be like to have a bomb go off or a shooting, seeing the debris, the damaged bodies, bits of bodies, people moving in shock. I shuddered. Horrible feeling.


How could anyone, anyone at all think on that and FEEL it’s meanings and not shudder, not wish to withdraw , not wish to prevent it, and how could anyone inflict THAT on innocent people?

The mainstream narrative, what some call ‘straight psycho-social reality’, ensures that what is understood by an ‘informed’ public, rather than the reality, populates and dominates all public discourse. Government routinely signals that it is un-moved by either protest or reasoned dissent. The violence continues on all sides.

The official Charlie Hebdo narrative ignores the meaning of the lived experience of one set of abused people, those who just happen to be born in  and live under the rule or ‘governance’ of their official enemies, and ignores the meaning of the lived experience those who just happen to be born in and live under the rule of oppressive regimes who are their allies. Gaza and Saudi Arabia.

This is 100% unacceptable. It is professional amoral brutal hypocrisy at every degree.

Under Rome, Reconciliation was process to 're consilo' - to bring back into the home, to return to the family of Rome (the abuser).
Vanquished Rebel Leaders would go through a ritual, where they would be publicly forgiven, welcomed back with a ritual embrace, and then ritually strangled. By the leaders suffering this, and new roman aligned leaders appointed from within the rebel community, no further reprisals would be taken against that community and the taxes would of course increase. An Heroic Sacrifice. Victor and Victim. These are the vernacular of Power. The Roman Empire was a business.

Same words, different meaning in the lived experience.

The hypocrisy of the language of power. Of ignoring the meaning of the lived experience of those upon whom such extremes of violence are inflicted. Of manipulating the lives of the dead, maimed, wound as part of a mainstream narrative,which is sectarian - "our power is good, theirs is obviously bad." when all power exercised in this way is equally amoral.

Our dead, maimed and wounded are ‘victims’, ‘sacrificed’, ‘heroes’, they are identified, given a back story. Their dead, maimed and wounded are ‘collateral damage’; they remain largely without identity. If their identity is used, it most often by Charities, seeking funding to apply expensive though most often useful sticking plasters to a sea of life threatening injuries and situations, caused largely by power psychology.

The only thing that’s true in the narrative is that there are dead, maimed and wounded everywhere. What that actually means, in each and every case, is besides the point.

The cruelty of this dominate narrative is horrific. Truly inhumane. Not healthy, at all.

The thread of violence is what weaves the Emperors clothes. You have to pretend that thread is something other than what it is, and that it shines, and exudes power and glory. That is the mainstream narrative.

By mainstream I include the news media, and I include as part of it all that core psychology of Power as a psycho-social narrative that has lived meaning.

The Naked Bully.

Not the naked ape.

The Bully. Learned behaviour.

And all the bully can think of is how to manipulate the lives of those who died, who were maimed, wounded and traumatised or who witnessed what took place in a small office in Paris, in ways that will enhance his or her power.

On all sides, they all do it.

The bully culture. 

There’s a man at the bus stopping acting strangely. He’s heaving these massive sighs, moving erratically, subdued shouts, dancing like a boxer.

“What time is it, and where is that bus?”

I gave up, and walked to the tube station. It was 5.15. The station doors open at 5.30, and at least I will be warm. 

The newspaper headlines are sickening. They miss the point. I read them only to understand how they are doing what they are doing, how people might be influenced by that and what is the best response to rebut all that?

I got home eventually for 7.55am. Yeah. Not a 40 minute ride. One line delayed as over night work over ran. Another held back for ages due to a ‘signal failure’.

Signal failure. That’s what the prevailing Official narrative on war, terror and reality is.

A massive signal failure.

An easy one to fix.

If one tells the truth without fear or favour. What would Jesus draw?

Kindest regards


Do what you love, it's Your Gift to Universe

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