Planet Earth 2019: The freak show of the Universe
I have a theory: that Humankind is some kind of inter-galactic joke, a comedy reality show watched by quadrillions of cosmic tele-viewers in need of a laugh
The question is, it is not very funny. Let us take a brief look at Planet Earth ahead of the 2019 silly season, if it has not already started. We have a European country about to choose a serial liar, a bigot and allegedly, also a thief, as its Prime Minister, we have the President of the United States behaving like a nine-year-old threatening to "obliterate" an entire country and we now have something called "plasticrusts", an indication that the sea is so polluted and plastic-saturated that crusts composed of coagulated micro-plastic particles are clinging to rocks around the sea-shores like barnacles and limpets.
We have a growing number of species on the endangered list, and in Botswana recently thousands of vultures on this list were purposefully poisoned, probably by poachers who had murdered an elephant or a rhinoceros (also endangered) and poisoned the birds so that they would not give the poachers' position away by circling overhead. We have millions of people in the Far East who believe that eating rhino horn will make the penis grow as big, so they fuel the trade. We have people burning down forests in Indonesia with the orang-utangs still in the trees, so they crash down to the ground, burned to death.
We have the city of Yulin in China once again proceeding to boil dogs alive, fry them alive and skin them alive while the customers look on, giggling and licking their lips and yes it is taking place in 2019, again, despite the protests. Right now. Because they believe that eating dog meat in high temperatures keeps the body cool. We have the same PR China going back on its word to clean up the atmosphere and reopening coal-burning power plants.
We have millions in the United States of America who cannot place a country on a map,millions who think the Ayatollah Khamenei wears a turban to cover his horns and millions who believe Trump should nuke the country and "send it back to the stone age" when there is serious controversy over who placed the mines in the Strait of Hormuz.
We have a USA which has breached its Paris Climate Change Agreement despite clear results from the scientific community which point towards a catastrophic chain of events within the readers' lifetimes (and mine), massive storms of an unimaginable magnitude ravishing our cities one after the other, the sea levels rising, flooding coastal areas and halving the territory of many countries. We already have the phenomenon of climate migration as people are today being forced to flee their homes because of rising sea levels, and yes it is happening as I write. Soon our grandchildren will ask us if we lived in the time when there were polar bears.
Gender violence is as bad as it has ever been, women still do not enjoy gender equality, workers' rights are being swept back one hundred years as a result of the C-word, "crisis", and timetables have been torn up into shreds, salaries frozen and the notion installed that having any form of work is nowadays some kind of favor.
Education has become a business, so those who have, have and those who have not, Devil take the hindmost; dental care has become a business so people are dying, in 2019, from infections caused by rotting teeth. Countries which call themselves civilised have growing numbers of elderly freezing to death because they cannot pay their energy bills. Water, the basic element of life, is sold and not distributed for free. The Internet, the vehicle for free communication, for education, for development, is sold and not distributed for free.
Bad farming practices have seen antibiotics and hormones slip into the human food chain and the result is today, predictably, the appearance of deadly multi-resistant bacteria with no cure, and strange new diseases appearing at holiday resorts. We see reservoirs of viruses in forests being freed because of deforestation; the average human consumes up to one credit card size of plastic per week because of maritime pollution.
The media, as a rule, serves as a means of control through the manipulation of fear "if you wanna control a guy, all you have to do is make him afraid" and so sheer lies are peddled as the truth and the uneducated populus swallows them hook, line and sinker, unable to discern the facts for themselves by using common sense. Moral of the story: the media makes up stories to cover for the criminal activity of the BARFFS, the $inister $ix $isters, namely the Banking, Arms, energy Resources, Finance, Food and drugS lobbies which dictate policy, dictate the foreign policy of NATO member states, invent wars to sell weapons systems to murder people.
We were given this wonderful home, a perfect bioshpere, to live in together, to develop as a family, celebrating difference, learning together, sharing together, cohabiting with our brothers and sisters, the animals and plants. And what have we done? Poisoned the entire planet from the bottom of the seas to space, continue to exterminate up to 100,000 species per year before they are even discovered, and one by one chalk up another wonderful animal's name on the extinction list.
Meanwhile sexually explicit images of children - even babies - are sold over the Internet, elderly people are beaten, abused and robbed, women and children are trafficked as sex slaves, thousands of children are living in filthy, deplorable conditions on the frontiers of more developed nations, trying to flee bad governance and violence. Wars are rife. Raped women in some countries are liable to be stoned to death because they "asked for it", in others, brides can be set fire to if their dowry is not enough, or female students can be gang-raped and murdered for daring to read a book.
And no it is not only "shithole" countries as some say. The entire planet is one giant festering latrine inhabited by the demonic species called Humankind, the author of the horrors I have mentioned above, and many more.
It is getting to the point where you want to wake up in the morning and say "I have had enough" and put an end to this nightmare. The only argument against this and in favor of trying to carry on is the fact that if enough of us share knowledge and work for development, for peace, for equality among genders, for an end to marginalization and discrimination of any kind, working towards mending and healing and brining people together, rather than threatening to destroy whole countries and murder tens of millions of people in an example of shit-headed arrogance, maybe, just maybe, we can collectively bring this planet round.
Now run off on your Summer holidays and forget about every word I wrote. Can you hear the cacophony up in space as the entire Universe points its spindly fingers at us and laughs its collective celestial head off?
Photo: Por Official Star Wars Blog - 2007 Disney Weekends #3: Dance Off, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3161163
Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey works in the area of teaching, consultancy, coaching, translation, revision of texts, copy-writing and journalism. Director and Chief Editor of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru since 2002, and now Co-Editor of the English version, he contributes regularly to several other publications in Portuguese and English. He has worked in the printed and online media, in daily, weekly, monthly and yearly magazines and newspapers. A firm believer in multilateralism as a political approach and multiculturalism as a means to bring people and peoples together, he is Official Media Partner of UN Women, fighting for gender equality and Media Partner with Humane Society International, promoting animal rights. His hobbies include sports, in which he takes a keen interest, traveling, networking to protect the rights of LGBTQI communities and victims of gender violence, and cataloging disappearing languages, cultures and traditions around the world. A keen cook, he enjoys trying out different cuisines and regards cooking and sharing as a means to understand cultures and bring people together.