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Thursday, September 24, 2009

The irony of immortality

I received this via email and so I am passing it on in full. Enjoy.
The Irony of Immortality

By Norma Zager

The recent scene in a West Wing rerun was startling familiar. It dealt with Iran’s pursuit of The Bomb and the United States’ warning to Israel to discontinue settlement activity.

It could have been filmed this morning and yet it was ten years old.

Is this a tribute to Aaron Sorkin and his fellow writers’ ability to foresee the future? Or is it merely a testament to man’s inability to evolve?

Watching the story unfold I was struck by a great irony. Man’s driving force is his desire for immortality. This fuels his constant need to exert power over his environment and his neighbors.

It is beyond ironic the weapon man chooses to aid in this quest is the most capable of bringing about the annihilation of all mankind.

If humans are obsessed with life, why do they battle to compete for the greatest arsenal to shorten it and destroy one another?

I suppose man has become adept at rationalizing his bad behavior.

The United States has always contented itself with the logic the bomb ensures peace. It is, in the minds of America, Israel and others, a deterrent to the use of nuclear proliferation by other countries with far less regard for human life. The bombing of Japan was predicated on the saving, not taking, of human life. I would not judge.

The newest fly in the nuclear ointment is the ability of rogue nations to possess nuclear weapons. Who could not have seen this coming? Stevie Wonder could have spotted this a mile off.

Each new innovation carries the gene for good or evil. It is up to the grown ups to ensure it is used for the right reasons.

These nations and terrorists believe the weapons are not a deterrent to slaughter, but a fast track to Armageddon.

Where are the great dreams for the 21st century?

Man’s future in space technology has been abandoned and now functions as a spy network for those nations able to orbit satellites.

Where are the jet packs, colonies on the moon and promises of a futuristic world portrayed in our youth?

We are closer to the caves than ever, and true technology and research have been discarded in lieu of nuclear capability.

The search for immortality has been one of the true constants throughout man’s stay on earth.

Cavemen drew pictures depicting death, Egyptians developed mummification and religion developed an afterlife to end the finality of our finality.

Death has been the one universal agreement of humankind. The desire to end the end has come full circle and man has achieved a better way to accomplish the job.

We are obsessed with codes, conspiracies, life extension, cryonics and any or all methods to prevent leaving earth. Why then create the ultimate weapon to ensure we do?

We believe North Korea can be contained so we indulge their guilty pleasure and allow them to play with their little bomb. Then, when they act up, we slap them on the wrist and say naughty, naughty, and remind them they are the child and not the parent. Where is it written children cannot do great harm?

We sleep at night despite the fact at any moment Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal may be overtaken by crazies who blow up schools so women cannot be educated.

Why does Iran frighten humanity so? Because Iran will not be stopped until they blow up the world. Every man, woman and child on planet earth, except those in the White House understands this problem clearly.

The Mullahs believe the bomb will bring to them their ultimate goal, Armageddon and eternal life.

There it is again, that desire to live forever. The only difference; Iran is happy to live forever in the next life, not necessarily this one.

They would not miss their iPod, Sponge Bob, new George Clooney movie or the Internet pictures of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s new baby.

Mankind is marching backward in Iran faster than Congress is spending taxpayer money, and the only new technology the world is invested in is nuclear holocaust. Like a shampoo commercial, Iran will get the bomb and they’ll tell three friends and then they’ll get the bomb and on and on until BOOM!

Nostradamus, credited for his visions by those who believe his quatrains contain some coded messages about the future, mentioned the East as the final showdown for civilization. About that I imagine few would argue, or would they?

Was it the Middle East, or perhaps the east coast of America?

He predicted a man would come and present himself as a man of peace, but oh well, April fool! He’s just joshing and will actually be the instigator of World War III. He’s quite a kidder this Anti Christ.

There are so many candidates for that title, the mind boggles under the weight of the prospects.

There is no doubt man has lost his vision for civilization and botched the job. If this were a test, I’d say we failed with flying colors.

When I was a child in elementary school, General Electric made a series of movies for the classroom starring Dr. Frank Baxter that I recall watching in science class. There were warnings about oil shortages in the year 2000, updates on space travel, cities of the future and amazing fun stuff that would make any Flash Gordon fan shiver with excitement. In the fifties it didn’t take much to excite us.

Where did man take a wrong turn?

Did I miss a vote?

I don’t recall anyone asking me if I was opposed to a Beep Beep Rosie cleaning my push-button house. It would feature a moving walkway to my hovercraft capable of flying me to the Galactic Moon Mall. Or was that the Jetsons? Either way, as they say, what the mind of man can conceive, it can achieve.

As long as one country, filled with a mindset from the middle ages is allowed to plot the future of mankind, we are doomed.

While 25,000 children die each day, women are stoned for wearing a pantsuit, countries continue their determination to destroy their neighbors and believe murder is the road to heaven; there can be no future.

When reason is eradicated by the desire to die and spend eternity in heaven, rather than build a greater life on earth, what hope is left?

Man must accept his failure before he can walk a new road toward success.

Aaron Sorkin is not just a great writer, but a soothsayer and dreamer. His President Bartlett possessed a moral compass long ago extinct in politicians.

It seems we are running in the opposite direction to our intentions.

Man raced headlong toward immortality only to discover a faster path toward his own mortality. Perhaps the next inhabitants of earth might do a better job of world building. They certainly could not do any worse.

A very happy and hopeful year to us all! May we find our way back to the path of peace and innovation to serve, not destroy, us all.

In the series “Postcards from Israel,” Ari Bussel and Norma Zager invite readers throughout the world to join them as they present reports from Israel as seen by two sets of eyes: Bussel’s on the ground, Zager’s counter-point from home. Israel and the United States are inter-related - the two countries we hold dearest to our hearts - and so is this “point - counter-point” presentation that has, since 2008, become part of our lives. Feel free to share with others.

© Postcards from Home, September, 2009
If anyone can find a link to the episode in question, please email it to me and I will add it to this post.


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