People like to blame deities for tragedy of human lives to avert their fury to the forces unseen. But most problems in the world are manmade and not entirely unresolvable. Such is the case of the children of present-day Ethiopia. They are maimed or killed by weapons of political hegemony, territorial dispute, and ideological subjective for which no gods but humans are responsible.
According to an article from the Reuters, 3,320 children have been either killed or maimed as a result of stepping into buried explosives from the civil war between Prime Minister Ably Ahmed’s government and Tigrayan forces commanded by leaders of the TPLF, the party that controls most of the Tigray region and used to run the federal government. It is this TPLF’s use of land mines that destroys the lives of the children in the region. The number above of children casualties is, in fact, only a fraction of the reality when more children are becoming guiltless victims of furious greed and evil ambition. These children are put into a deadly game of Squid Game against their will, and it is a form of violation against children. In the west, people associate child abuse with sexual exploitation by default, whereas they are more exposed to physical beatings and mental harassment. The present case of Ethiopian children’s casualty applies to physical and psychological violence because the effects are indelibly carved on their bodies and minds, changing the course of their lives. If a fifteen-year-old girl stepped onto a landmine while trying to collect water from a river, would she be liable for losing her leg for life?
When it comes to war ranging from a domestic, familial fight to a full-scale national war, the memories become traumas that become lifelong narratives, depending on a child’s degree of sensitivity. But the children’s minds are like blanket slates where they write what the eyes see, and the ears hear. All children in the world, even in the remotest touch of civilization, are innocent and to be loved with care. However, my head swivels in wonderment when people seem to care more about children based on their countenance, preferably familiar with their kinds or attractiveness. Not only do Ukrainian refugee children deserve our attention, but Ethiopian children call our attention to stop this vile violence against children of any kind. So why not campaign against it with an international movement? Would Greta Thunberg be interested in the cause? I wonder.
The morbidity of cannibalism is often associated with the primitive obscure tribes living on a faraway island or in the deepest heart of the darkest jungle over the other side of our comparatively Atlantis-like world. To put it more blatantly trenchant, it was a practice of uncivilized non-European races reported by European explorers of the age of voyage until the mid-twentieth century. As it is always dark under the lamp, the idea of eating human flash ipso facto overrides the fact of consuming it in one way or another yet purposefully. The evidence is the existence of mummia in recent Europe.
Mummia was human flesh or excretions mostly imported from the Middle East as medicinal palliatives in apothecaries’ shops, a prototype of a modern-day drugstore. It was made of desiccated human corpse matter from mummified bodies and ingested for its supposed healing powers in the same sense that the ancient Egyptians and Romans crushed up mice to put on cavities to cure toothaches. Farther to the east, people believed that the leg of a fresh corpse was to be a panacea to any incurable disease during the Chosen Dynasty in Korea. For mummia in the 16th and 17th Europe, it was recently deceased bodies of executed criminals, a youth of violent death, or unfortunate socially disfranchised. The former two kinds are the flash of passion that rushed thru the veins to the brain, resulting from a sudden frenzy of instantaneously leashed sensations. Such corpses were believed to possess magical feeling power akin to aphrodisiac or love potion, aka pharmaka, enveloped in an Egon spell with the aid of a demon. Mummia of the corpse was famous for abscesses, carbuncles, menstrual problems, and pestilence, all of which are directly or indirectly connected to blood circulation-related illness.
Believe it or not, the presence of mummia was conspicuous in British pharmaceutical catalogs until 1908. I think some people might have bought it without the information about the source. But even if they knew about it, if the poor people could not afford to see the doctors cure their painful illness, the abomination of a corpse would yield to the need. The intuitive preference of judgment by resemblance applies to the folk religion, especially in the form of magic or witchcraft to which ordinary villagers often had recourse in need of an instant response to their wishes without rigidity and arrogance of the church putting dogmas before hearts. So, I like to believe that the use of mummia was on the same continuum. After all, it was different from Druids, Mayans, and Aztecs, who killed humans in the most defiantly brutal ways as sacrifices to their devil gods.
The news that Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and Space X, has recently become the largest shareholder of Twitter Inc. is grist to the mill of the media with hoots and huhs. Musk has ascended to the throne and begun to wield his power to shake the Twitter Empire from inside and out. He expressed a design of converting the Twitter HQ into a homeless shelter while contemplating changing the name Twitter to Titter, egged on by a popular vote of consent he instigated a while ago on the portal. So the question is, has Musk already gone mad in the fury of retaliation against the Twitter Senate? Or is it out of his pure, unscrupulous intention drenched in the wine of humanity?
My perception of Elon Musk may be an illustration of heuristics and biases to form a systematic judgment of error and make a decision based on resemblance shaped by intuitive preference. But such a design of machinery of cognition is also complemented by System 2 of slow thinking requiring analytical reasoning. Were it not for Tesla’s lawsuits brought by racism in the work environment and Musk’s nonchalant attitudes toward them adorned with his flamboyant gestures, I would applaud him to the end of the earth riding on a Tesla flying on a Space X. Perhaps, such acrid regard of him is akin to accusing a socially estranged woman of being a witch without a preponderance of the evidence. But Musk is anything but a pitiful figure deserving our pity with his immense universal wealth, doing businesses on earth and heaven. Although, as the saying goes, “A tree is known by its fruits,” the racially-motivated lawsuits betoken the dispiriting work environment of Tesla tells something about Musk’s personality. I find it very hard to regard Musk’s declaration of converting the Twitter HQ into homeless housing. It seems an adrenaline-driven uppercut blow to the foe as sweet vindication with Tittering.
I read that Jeff Bezos, the executive chairman of Amazon and the owner of a private galactical tourist company, consented to Musk’s profound charitable remark. Nowadays, celebrities have all negative heuristics and biases against social media. Nevertheless, they feed on attention and thrive in it, so any such uttering of disaffection with the media is a sign of entrepreneurial solidarity. Not that I have the same sentiment toward Bezos, who is more intelligent and reticent than his slightly younger rival, but that they are astronomically rich and universally famous. It’s called class consciousness, by which the members of the same class share the same social statuses and cultures to guard themselves against those of another class. Musk’s sensational promise to give housing largess to the homeless and change the world’s famous media platform reminds me of Emperor Nero. Truth or false, he was said to play the cithara singing while Rome was burning and then distributed stipends to the homeless due to the great fire.