Tuesday, May 24, 2005

A short intro

Well mom, you did ask me shortly before you died, to every now and again bring you up-to-date on the state-of-affairs of this world. I have held off, for many reasons-not the least of which was my fear that I would branded another victim of Freud's famous theory of the Oedipal Complex.

Well, thirty years after your death I think we have achieved sufficient distance not to be tagged with that opprobrium. At least, I hope so, but when I tell you my little story you might disagree. Anyway, no doubt you are wondering what it is I have made of my life, where I live, what I do etc. You would be surprised - me too in fact- to learn that I am I'm living and working in Singapore, halfway around the world from where you birthed me, eh?

Not only that I am no longer a teacher, but an evangelist in something called online learning. Which means I serve in the army of an emerging consciousness that I have characterised as the "bit god.' Bit refers to the way that computers begin to assemble data for interpretation, or the lowest common term in computers - which we hardly knew anything about back in 1974. What a world it has become, mom.

Between you and me mom, the computer was supposed to emancipate us from the servile nature of work, but by golly, I am growing more and more worried that we have become slaves to something more demanding than all the Gods of the world, combined. I mean, they at least allow us to take time for ourselves, to think about who and what we are, and more importantly why we are. The bit god, on the other hand, just keeps pressing us into meeting its needs. And they are gargantuan. It's a world, mom, where the invisible electron seeks to become visible, nay conscious. But more on that later.

What I wanted to share so urgently was the latest example of how far down the slope of absurdity the world has travelled in other areas. There are many instances, rest assured, I could cite, but for today I want to tell you about a recent story in the North American press that has me fuming. A cold blodded despot named Saddam Hussein, recently deposed in the middle east country called Iraq (known as Persia when you went to school), has been photographed wearing only his boxer shorts, mom!

Can you believe that! It get's worse mom! He has even been forced to wash his own underclothing. This for a man whose only crimes include having gassed millions of his fellow countrymen, sponsored world terrorism, sought to build weapons of mass destruction - I could go on but you get the picture. We - the western world - have stooped so low as to make him do what you made me do so often as a kid. Wash my underwear by hand! Oh, they also photographed him pressing his pants wearing only his clean white boxers! Can you imagine
the abuse mom. I bet it makes you and all the angels dancing in the mote that is God's eye, want to shout with collective outrage!

You know mom, I hate to say this but if I had known then, what I know now, I would have reported you to the authorities, and had you called onto the carpet for human rights abuse. Yep! I mean if that kind of treatment can arose so much indignation now, just imagine how much the town would have ostracized you for subjecting me to such cruel and unusual punishment.

Hmmm, but come to think of it, many of my buddies had to do the same thing. I think we could all file a class action suit. There is no statute of limitations on child abuse like that, now is there!

What's that mom? If I do I will have to presss my own pants and iron my own shirts as well. No mom, that's a fate worse than death. I surrender...I do.

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