A dreary day in the central range of the Colombian Andes, still beautiful though; clouds layered below and above. Much more dreary everywhere else, in a moral sense, an ethical sense, a sense of survival apparently gone astray. A day in which to think about mourning; if things go the way they seem headed, there may be little chance to do so after-the-fact.
The news is even worse than usual. Consider this morning’s article in The Duran by Vladimir Rodzianko (“Russia responds to Trump: ‘US missiles fired at Syria will be shot down, origin of launch will be targeted’”). Mushrooms, giant mushrooms come to mind, but not the fungal kind. The catcalls and insults and skullduggery and deception that paved the way towards the autumn catastrophe in 1914 echo constantly now, manipulation and counter-manipulation and threats and powder kegs and fuses cast this way and that, drunken jugglers toying with Russian roulette and hidden terrorists disguised as freedom fighters pulling strings on all too willing marionettes. Behind the scenes, Israeli leaders smirk.
The mainstream media amplifying all of the foregoing, who knows why, like the armaments industry, cheering on all sides in the hopes of a truly spectacular and more importantly, profitable season, like Union spectators at early Civil War battles bringing along loungers from which to catch the war. “Another mint julep if you will”.
Coup plotters, without moral compasses or values or ideals of any kind, calumny the left by claiming to represent it, confusing lightweight progressives and conservatives alike, revenge for the dowager’s defeat regardless of the cost, … to us of course; blinded, they don’t realize they too may pay, but, hey, that’ll be another day.
Almost a century ago the War to End All Wars ended, albeit not quite as successfully as promised. This year, if another big one starts, it may well complete the first one’s task with no one left to fight another. Perhaps, from the perspective of the universe, that might be for the best; the fetid odor of apocalypse transitioning from inchoate to actual and the echoes of all our past mistakes converging on the almost here and almost now, all too quickly.
Whimpers and bangs on a cloudy day in April, 2018.
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2018; all rights reserved. Please feel free to share with appropriate attribution.
Guillermo Calvo Mahé (a sometime poet) is a writer, political commentator and academic currently residing in the Republic of Colombia although he has primarily lived in the United States of America (of which he is a citizen). Until recently he chaired the political science, government and international relations programs at the Universidad Autónoma de Manizales. He has academic degrees in political science (the Citadel), law (St. John’s University), international legal studies (New York University) and translation studies (the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies). He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org and much of his writing is available through his blog at http://www.guillermocalvo.com.
Is that title an allusion to Eliot?
Interesting and thoughtful question.