Chemical Warfare

Speaking from my privileged First World perspective, our, meaning the United States’, response to the Syrian war has always been a very conflicting and troubling issue for me.

Poor me, right, when there’s somewhere around 500,000 Syrians dead and over 10,000,000 displaced.

Poor me, indeed.

But since all pain is relative, all I can do is acknowledge/empathize with/pray for the atrocities external from me while focusing on finding some way to mitigate or at least reconcile with the conflicts and turmoil internal to me.

So far I’ve been unsuccessful…

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Heroes of Dystopia


decent dissent descent-bw

WITH SO MANY THREATS TO WORLD PEACE AND THE INTERNATIONAL ORDER

The rise of China
The decline of the United States
The vulnerability of Western alliances
The emboldened and hostile rogue nations
The turmoil caused by the Arab Awakening
The horror and ruthlessness of the Mexican Drug Cartels
The collusion between terrorist and transnational crime networks
The lawlessness and weaponization of cyberspace
The advancements in nano, bio, and quantum technologies
The cognitive awakening of robots
The corrupted and inept societal institutions
The oligarchical hegemony
The decimated middle class
The blight of generational poverty
The depleted potable water supplies
The destructive weather patterns
The rampant pandemic viruses
And all the rest of the rot…

IT TOOK ONLY ONE UNFORESEEN EVENT TO OBLITERATE THE ORDER AND INCITE CHAOS AND DISASTER ON A GLOBAL SCALE

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To Be a Superpower or Not To Be a Superpower, That Is Not the Question…

22/52 : Tian an Men
Eric Constantineau – www.ericconstantineau.com / Foter / CC BY-NC

Whether China is or is yet to be, or if it even wants or wants not to be a superpower are not the important questions to me. One way or the other, the answer is or will be yes. An important question for me is, how will China manage its increasingly powerful role in the world while also managing the consumption requirements of its increasingly demanding and aggressive population.

Of course, controlling the flow of information — internet censorship, for example — within and without of the country, will be key to its strategy of ascent to the highest heights of global power. But even censorship and governmental intimidation and societal manipulation will serve little purpose when the country’s water wells run dry from its hyper-industrialization and the ongoing desertification of large swaths of the country. When this happens we can certainly expect an explosive rise in the price of global food commodities. And as we’ve seen in our very recent past, when food prices rise beyond the reach of the least affluent, tempers rise right along with them.

And when tempers rise…

Governments fall.

Resource Wars are inevitable, and I foresee China opening up the first major front in the assault.

Exactly when this will all happen?

Now, that is the question.

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Look it up, folks. It’s all out there.

Scary stuff, for sure.

But scary as it is, it’s all delectable fodder for the imagination of the author intent on creating a world of horrific dystopian proportions and perfection…

 
 

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Bookies on the Books

Haruki MurakamiThe Nobel Prize for Literature will be announced next week and the Wall Street Journal is reporting that the odds makers are making noise for the usual suspects.

Of course we all know it’s all just a guessing-game (as most gambling is) as to who will win, a game depending on the author and scholars who make up the selection panel, and, unfortunately, the international politics at play.

That said, still it’s fun to guess. Here are some of the odds:

Haruki Murakami is the favorite at 5 to 1
Joyce Carol Oates is at 12 to 1
Philip Roth is at 16 to 1
Thomas Pynchon is at 25 to 1
Don DeLillo is at 33 to 1
Richard Ford is also at 33 to 1
Cormac McCarthy, Salman Rushdie, and Bob Dylan are all at 50 to 1

I don’t think I’ve ever read a winner before he or she had been announced (or too many thereafter, either). My reading list is way too full of dead authors that I’m supposed to read so it’s darn near impossible to find time for the living ones I’m also supposed to read.

But I have read many on the list here and I personally like Oates (at least she’s interesting on Twitter — but I’d guess her chances are diminished somewhat since a woman was chosen last year).

However, when considering this list along with the politics du jour, I’d have to go with Murakami, even though (especially since?) they have recently awarded an Asian writer, Mo Yan from China, which was highly politicized.

But the recently aggressive China and somewhat recently humbled (the past couple decades anyway) Japan have been going at it pretty good lately, so this might be a chance for the Nobel Prize pickers to stick it in China’s government’s eye again.

Unfortunately, I have no idea if there are any contending Ukrainian, Iranian, Uighur, or any other writers from politically sensitive countries.

But, I’m looking forward to finding out who the winner will be…and the sure-to-come guilty letdown I’ll get when I realize it’s yet another writer I have never read.