Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Im Westen nichts Neues (All quiet on the western front)

And yes, the title is to be read as a double entendre.

I've been back in Vancouver for a whole week now and I'm BORED. I miss seeing something entirely new to me every day ;-)  But I also miss the warmth of both the climate and the people of LA. 

For the other side of the coin: Like in the brilliant 1927 book of the same title as this post by E.M. Remarque,  the little everyday violence doesn't even get noticed anymore against the impossible-to-understand background of large scale massacres being splashed over the news on an almost daily basis.

Just read in a German magazine that fighter jets of the US-led alliance (what does that actually mean?) flew a BIG bombing run in Syria and killed ~50 civilians and a few IS fighters.  Since the Canadian Air Force is part of this, should I feel much safer as a Canadian resident today?
Do I want to feel safer at the cost of 50 civilian lives?  Are those lives worth SO MUCH less that they can be sacrificed for 'our safety'?  This question gets MUCH MUCH thornier if you don't believe that enhanced security of North American citizens is the real substantiation to be used for those bombing runs,  After all, history tells us that wars are rarely fought for humanitarian reasons; Financial gains for large entities (be they kingdoms, corporations, or whatever) are much more likely motivators.
Kobane (yes, that is/was a human being and one bomb)

Then citizens are told to FEAR VIOLENCE (or is that violins?) at the May Day Demonstrations in the middle of Vancouver.  But if you read the article carefully, the VIOLENCE discussed is people lighting a fire in the middle of an intersection.  That ain't violence, that's violins !  The day after (today), radio and TV report that Police acted vigorously against OPEN LIQUOR.  Canada pulverizes civilians in Syria with bombs from jets, whose pilots aren't really risking that much (Aren't we supposed to be on David's side and not on that of Goliath?), and Canadian Police acts against people carrying an open can of beer. Please step forward all the people who voted for this madness in the last election!  

As a side note: Do travellers still sew Canadian Flags on their backpacks (hoping the world will remember the days when Canada was considered a peacekeeping nation) or is that considered to evoke the opposite reaction these days?

Maybe a gifted graphic artist should erase the green jet in the stolen picture on the left and replace it with a bright red Maple Leaf?  

This would create a much delayed up-to-date version of the sticker that many world travellers attach to their backpacks!

No longer reccomended (Thanks Mr.Harper!)

And the saddest violence is the one that will never be reported anywhere. Lions Gate Bridge was closed to traffic for just a short time around 11 am yesterday.  From the bike path I had a good view of the Coastguard hovercraft emerging from below the bridge, most likely with yet another fished-out body on board.  This is happening much too often these days.  The everyday violence in this metropolis of concrete without pity claimed another victim.  As Neil Young sings "How could people get so unkind? ".

April 2014 on another bridge

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