I had to stop watching or reading the news a few years ago. The atrocities that happen on a daily basis, commited by one human against another, just got too much for me. And then to have people come on and argue that one set of those atrocities was actually a good thing and done in our name, which happens all the time, just disgusted me. The acts, the lies. Made me ashamed to be human. Made me think that this naive justification of good versus evil is utterly ridiculous because there is nothing but evil.
What made it all worse is that I truly believe in human potential. I believe we are meant to be so much more than this. But then we do... shit... to each other that goes to prove we, as a race, are so much worse than scum. We are a disease, inflicting a slow painful death on ourselves.
So I had to stop reading the news. Started watching a lot of sitcoms. Funny things. I had to let myself off the hook in a way - I am not responsible for all the world's ills. Allow myself to take that weight off my shoulders. Selfish, I guess. Maybe if we all carried that weight, we wouldn't actually live in a world full of such atrocities. Anyway, things got a bit better. My life is smaller now in ways. Me, my family, work and not a huge amount else.
But, every now and again, I just come across something that puts me right back there. Yesterday, it was a little set of dvd reviews on a website. One mention of a film based on Japan's Unit 731 - in my mind, the worst atrocity of the WW2 period, even though it can't compare in numbers with the deaths of the Russians or Jews - brought back everything I had read about it so many years ago. If you don't know much about it, you can do without it and you're best avoiding it.
And that memory of reading about something that didn't happen to me, that happened generations ago, brought me right back to seeing humanity for the filth it is. For me, with that, the atrocities commited are only part of it. The fact that most involved got off free, given a nice handshake and a smile by the US post-war, bugs the hell out of me.
And most of it comes down to war.
The need for war, the desire to inflict suffering on others, the study of delivering death, the huge industry of that death (I remember reading figures showing that, in the early 90s, if peace broke out across the world, the UK economy would collapse - I don't know if that's true today).
Well, I'm feeling a bit better this morning and am a little more chilled after that one tiny dvd review set me off so all I can offer this morning is a big 'fuck you' to anyone involved in any industry that supports war, no matter how small a role you play.