The explosive turn of events in the mid-east this past week serve as a reminder of the forces of materialism run amok; the catalyst this week for the ever-present and growing dysfunctional-divide between radical fundamentalism—in both East and West, is a cheaply made, bargain-basement type video that is stereotypically reminiscent of “The Life of Brian”—a spoof on the life of Christ made by the Monty-Python crew back in the late 70’s; although this recent flick is a truly sicko vehicle made with the intention of actually denigrating an entire segment of this world’s population. Yet, the extreme and violent reaction—not understandable from a general Western vantage-point—and growing ever more widespread and violent than in similar conflicts stemming from western insensitivity in the recent past, is indicative and symptomatic of something larger and cataclysmic in scope: Materialistic jihad’s/crusade’s.
It all stemmed from invading ancient sacred lands for oil monopolization back in the ‘90s and after 9/11 has snowballed into a bitter hatred between two conflicting forces and value systems, yet with one commonality: worship of the Lords of Materialism. The jihad has evolved into i-phone and i-pad coordinated attacks against a West that it loathes, yet it strikes back embracing the very means that it detests; although, as witnessed through very vivid round-the-clock imagery from the Tech-Overlords in the West these new, young jihadists, relish in their newfound tech-privy efficiency—oh how they love to record their savage acts of carnage. Oh, but how the West has taught them well; children from a young age (in the west) becoming proficient in how to totally obliterate their “enemies” via the latest Playstations (Mario does Cairo) and their eastern counterparts learning “first-hand” as well, in real-time and real-life situations with real explosions in the family hearth. My, oh, my…what a two-edged sword indeed!
In the West, its all politics as usual—let’s see who can get the best political fodder out of the situation. All of it, from BOTH sides of the conflict, just keeps feeding the tension and the anxiety and the hatred…and above all, the bitter ignorance of it all! There will be no “winners” in the long run, and oh, yes, we’re in this one over the “long-haul” (crusades and jihads in former centuries lasted hundreds of years), that is, of course, unless we all don’t wake up and smell the coffee before we truly do manage to “delete each other out”!
I have to admit; I’m pissed off—thoroughly disgusted with the ignorance from both aisles of the grand divide of East and West. I don’t watch cable TV anymore—it’s just inundated, channel after channel with catering to the lowest, basest common denominator of people’s instincts—just to make the quick buck and to keep the ignorance going round and round for the vested interests that be in both Capitalistic and Theocratic cultures.; all this occurring as the “Gods of Materialism” claim an entire global populace, as people “everywhere” scramble to get their iphone 5!
That’s a good critique you write however I would say they not on the same level… coveting an iPhone 5, however materialistic and silly it may be, is not the same as burning flags and killing people. The Islamic faith organization still offers 4 million dollars for anyone who kills Rushdie. You can get killed for simply pointing out biographical facts such as that Muhammad had sex with a prepubescent woman, or that he wrote verses praising pagan goddesses, and later took them back saying that Satan inspired him, and he misunderstood Satan’s inspiration for God’s. The difference between a Capitalist and a Theocratic society is that, if you live in the latter, dissent can mean painful death. While in the capitalist society nobody forces you to desire the iPhone5; everyone basically leaves you alone to a certain degree, and you can just lock yourself in the house and ignore all the materialist zombies while doing your own thing, reading, writing, or whatever. It’s not 100% fair to say both sides are the same… Some guy in California produced a B-quality movie in his basement… and these barbarians are attacking German, UK and USA embassies? Capitalism has not much to do with this, but liberalism. In the West, we basically believe anyone should have the freedom to say anything.
Imagine if Rinzai lived in today’s Muslim world! He would try to be wise and say “If you meet the prophet, kill the prophet!” – I don’t think he could pull that one off. They’d disembowel him like a pig! Adolf Hitler once said that he felt Islam is much closer to his Spirit than other (non-Germanic) cultures, such as the French. I can see why.
Watts was onto something with his critique of so-called Western “materialism”. If there was anything that actually approached a yearning for material happiness, “the West” (which includes huge swathes of “the East”) would surely be much more opulent and interesting than it currently is. iPhones be damned. If one wants to “sell out” or, to quote the altogether lovely SLC Punk, “I didn’t sell out; I bought in,” then surely it should take more than a new phone.
Cloned mammoth meat, breast milk on demand, and FTL spaceships: Then we’ll talk.
First time to stumble across your blog, by the way. Thanks.
Thanks for the reply. As a little synchronistic aside regarding your “FTL Spaceships”, just came across your comment after watching “The UFO Incident”; today was the 51st Anniversary of the Betty and Barney Hill UFO abduction story. Its always intrigued me.