Random Thoughts

Bread and Circuses For the Native Barbarians

Circuses for the Rich

It is understandable that the relatives of the unfortunate victims may have a yearning for the cold dish of vengeance, in their mental palate, whose taste has been dulled by the fumes of long burning fury and distinctly altered by the gravid state of their grief. It is quite another thing for the media to make their ratings hungry, shoddy coverage of a sickening spectacle masquerade as sober newsworthy discussion of the death penalty, under the pretext of soul searching moral debate. 

Mr. McVeigh was at best a sick man, who in some ill-conceived moments of misguided paranoia performed a dastardly act of cruel terrorism against innocent people, just trying to do a civilian job to earn a living for themselves and their families. He did not have the courage to fight the armed forces of the government that he chastised and did not have the courage to fight or attack those he thought responsible for his imagined atrocities. He did not even have the courtesy to give anonymous notice of his intentions without even specifying a target. He abused
the common trust and civility, which is the fabric of this and all civilized nations by using it as a cloak of indecency, cruelty and betrayal. He committed mass murder of innocent men, women and children and if the United States opts to use the death penalty as a deterrent, there is no fundamental flaw in it so long as it is used fairly. 

Are we going to suffer angst, when the bombers of our embassies are given the same treatment? Would any of us hesitate in amputating our right arm, if it developed a malignant tumor? No killer individual's right to live can outweigh the same right of other innocent members of society. It is mandatory that all be treated equally and justly under the law. Is it just that the state should spend forty thousand dollars a year for many years when that amount would be better spent on more needy children?

There are no easy answers and I respect other points of view debated in sober reflection but not a ratings grabbing show promoting sick psyche, like much of television.

In death as in life, he once again revealed the sickness of his mind at best or total lack of any redeeming qualities at worst. He had the shamelessness of quoting Henley's Invictus, a supremely beautiful poem of unrepentant faith in a cause with an Ajax like defiance of Jupiter and in the very next breath seeking absolution by prayer through the good offices of the priest, who was present. Thus he mocked the people and whatever Gods there be. His ridiculous lawyers who were probably government paid, hired hands for the purpose of due process and fairness of justice, mouthed platitudes as though they were pronouncing on the burning of Joan of Arc or the crucifixion. The audience-obsessed media including the public broadcast polluting service with its persona of pseudo-sophisticated intellectual pretense, pontificated and then paraded its gaggle of tired hacks making their usual cackle. Not one of them saw any inconsistency, as they were all busy hogging their five minutes in the limelight. All that was needed was a brief public announcement of his execution, in deference to common decency and kindness to the family of the convicted killer. His mother, father, sisters, brothers must have grieved even as they condemned his actions. They are just as victimized by him as the relatives of the hundred and sixty-eight. Their relatives got to see the execution of justice and it was totally inappropriate and improper to pander to the prurient interest of the others for pecuniary profit. 

All I can say to the media has been said before to a senator almost fifty years ago, "Sir, have you no sense of decency?"

Serbian System of Political Justice

Bread for the poor

It is true that the Serbians suffered much under Turkish and Austrian rule and like any defeated nation, cherish and commemorate their defeats. There is some limit to national weathervane behavior. They succumbed to the partisan hate-mongering demagoguery of a rabid rabble rousing leader who bankrupted and destroyed the federated Yugoslavia and silently if not encouragingly, connived at genocide in Bosnia and Kosovo and atrocities and war in Croatia And Slovenia. They put up with massive NATO bombing and threw Milosevic out only after clandestine monetary funding of new elections by the United States. They silently applauded the NATO delegations and when the meeting for billion plus dollar aid was being held, bypassed due process to hurriedly and secretly extradite their beloved leader for obvious considerations of money.

What lessons can we learn?

  1. Crowds and their emotions are very susceptible to manipulation, but are notoriously fickle.

  2. Not just Christ but even Anti-Christ can be sold for silver, thirty pieces for Christ and three hundred million pieces for Anti-Christ

  3. Inflation is relentless.

  4. Bubhukshitam Kim Na Karoti Paapam? 
    What sin will a hungry person not commit?

  5. The rich and powerful are different and ordinary rules of behavior do not apply to them at most times.

  6. Sic Transit Gloria Mundi. Thus do the glorious also leave the world.

Finally in closing I leave you all with some beautiful statements-

Manush Kabhi Balwaan Nahin, Subse Samaya Balwaan
Kaabe Arjun Lootiyo, Wahi Dhanush, Wahi Baan

The old order changeth yielding place to the new, And God fulfills himself in many ways, Lest one good custom corrupt the world. ' Tennyson

Ecclesiastes ' I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

So if you are like me an evolutionist and atheist, you do not look for justice or mercy in life and certainly not after death. 

As Zafar said, "Jis Din Shahr Me Qatl Hue, Id Manaai Logonen!"


More by :  Gaurang Bhatt, MD

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