Occasionally, writing fast and not editing seems like the way to go.

When we crawled out of the prehistoric sludge we were not yet human. It took billions of years of gradual evolution to make us the people who walk on earth today.

With signs and images and words we connected, grouping into tribes, making friends, making enemies, building alliances to help us survive,

shaping stones into sharp, cutting knives, to protect us from creatures that wanted to eat us, to lay to waste those who weren’t a part of us, to kill the creatures we needed in order to sustain ourselves,

harnessing the magic heatย  of fire, inventing the wheel and tools made of iron, forging weapons, forging a future, forever forging, forging ahead,

raising ever higher, way above both tasty and inedible animals, using them for nutritious food, for furry warmth, and ultimately selecting which we would ignore, which to enslave, and which we would eradicate.

Smearing our skin with vegetable and mineral, for cosmetic effect, to disguise, to allure, making reproduction more viable, raising passion in ritual, bringing terror to the very hearts of our foes.

We worked for survival then we worked for ascension, while each tried to rise far above the rest. We invented clever ways to travel more quickly, over the land and far across the seas.

Some got rich and some got poor. Some starved to death or died in the dirt. The rich got richer, stealing all the land from the poor man’s possession, and to keep away the hunger the poor man laboured, growing the food to fatten up the rich, building dwellings to keep the rich cosy, safe from hungry animals that bayed for their blood, improving, extending, inventing new luxuries which soon became essentials, prettifying, artifying, craftifying, everything, and if the poor were lucky they’d survive for a while, and maybe have children, leaving them their heritage, scraping out a living, clawing at existance and so it went along.

Wars got bigger, more pointless, more organised. Armies learnt to march to fight the foe. Weapons were sharper, faster, blastier, guns and bullets were the way to go. Railroads connected, collected, affected a whole generation and a lot more besides.

New weapons were invented that could cause devastation to whole populations at the flick of a switch. At enormous expense we designed transportation that took several men to the moon and back.

Knowledge of medicine and health care advanced and in the West people lived far longer than the rest of the world where disease and infections inundated nations, and many stood back and let the horror spread. Many millions died, for want of proper hygiene, for want of sustenance, for want of water to irrigate the land.

Now our plumbing was sophisticated, cables were orchestrated, electricity inovated, motors invaded the dusty roads. The roads got bigger, the people travelled further, aiports increased and we explored the world, in search of relaxation, avoidence of taxation, self-realisation and the need to be free.

The age of technology was fast upon us and we adjusted our pace to keep up to speed. We were told it would bring us more relaxation, more hours of leisure, and make our days more organised.

We studied and we worked hard to live in safe surroundings, we fed our families and we filled in forms. We tried our best to fit into the system, we did our best to live decent lives.

And I can’t understand why, with all of this behind us, with all our education and our history, with all of the experience of countless generations, we haven’t yet found a better way to be.

I look around the globe as I sit behind my laptop, and the internet shows me that the world is on its knees. Starvation and sadism, wars and killings, madness and addiction, control and greed. In spite of the love and beauty in the world, sometimes all this evil is all that I see.

ยฉJane Paterson Basil


18 thoughts on “Inhumane

  1. Hey, cheer up, Jane! I just said a prayer for you and your family. Evil exists alright but it’s not winning, just hurting us when things are really bad. Think of all the good you do for people like me! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ x Anton

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! You’re timimg is terrible! I spent yeasterday posting funny poems, and you managed to miss them, and yet as soon as I write a miserable one, there you are, being wonderful and supportive as always. I’m not feeling too bad at the moment – this poem was more a way of venting my frustration at not succeeding in an attempt to artfully plaguerise The Ballad of Reading Gaol, than genuine angst:

      He did not tear his harlot’s throat
      He bludgeoned whining Ned
      And blood and wine were on his hands
      As he fondled her in bed
      Poor Ned’s spuming foaming blood
      He murdered him instead

      She walked among the trivial men
      In a potent, savvy way
      A ticket stub was on her head
      When she went on holiday
      But I never saw a girl who booked
      Such a sinful week away

      See what I mean? ๐Ÿ˜€
      Thank you, Anton, for your prayers – writing silly poetry is my way of escaping from reality xx Jane


      1. Sorry I missed your pearls of wit & wisdom, Jane. As my post today shows we’re both in sloughs of despond at the moment. But Oscar should get you out, that is my favourite depressing poem! The Waves by Virginia Woolfe is my favourite novel. I really shouldn’t do this @ 3.45am when my aches stop me sleeping! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ Anton

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Shame onme! I have never read Virginia Wolfe. By the time I had polished off Camus, Solzenhenitsyn, Kafka and Orwell (good old lefty art student literature) I’d had enough. I didn’t even make it to Sartre!
          Maybe I should have a bash at V.W.
          I sincerely hope your aches are being eased by the sunshine. Jane x

          Liked by 1 person

      1. Re your reading habits, Sartre is the only really depressing writer whose works I have read in the original and wished they had never seen the light of day. He actually enjoyed being miserable and hated everyone else.Oddly, a former president of the Sartrean Society is the brother of a girl who often appears in my posts (disguised).Only Dante could have done our story justice.She and my sister are the reasons my autobiography won’t appear in their lifetimes. But do read The Waves, perfect prose that I dip into over and over again. Take care. x Anton

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Last week I nearly picked up a Sartre book in the Oxfam shop where I work. Now I’m glad I didn’t. I always believed him to be a rather unpleasant man.
          That’s an interesting on the girl who appears in your posts – maybe I’ll take a look and try to guess who she is.
          Stay strong – you’re an inspiration.. Jane x

          Liked by 1 person

  2. That is the great conundrum, isn’t it. It is given to relatively few to affect the world at large (for good OR evil). For the rest of us we can only do our best to affect our little worlds around us. To do that we can’t hide out in church. You know the light in my little lamp on the landing is just a 4-watt bulb. If it’s left on during the day, you can’t even see its glow because it’s swallowed up by all the other lights. But at night in the dark, when all other lights go out, it shines so brightly it lights up the whole stair well. Just one little 4-watt bulb. That’s the way we need to be. The world is dark, yet, but if each of us go out of our way to light a PART of the path it WILL be a better world. Next Christmas, find a candlelight service to go to. I PROMISE it will fill you with hope!!! {{{Jane}}}

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That 4-watt light bulb – what a beautiful, inspiring metaphor! I sometimes took my children to the candle service at Christmas. Over here we call it the Christingle service, and it was lovely – until the year when we were all asked to turn to a stranger and hug them. I regret to say I have an issue with close physical contact with those I’m not close to.
      Thanks for the advice – I’ll give it another go this year.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lots of people have issues with that. Even with just shaking hands. That’s why we just pass the light. No body contact in respect of those people. And after all, it’s the light that’s important. Yeah, do try it again! Seeing how ONE little light in the darkness can grow and light up an entire room never ceases to be magic for me. I think I’m just a kid at heart.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Speaking of magic, people keep telling me the story of how electricity works, and I always listen to them, and pretend to believe what they say, but I’m not as daft as they think. I KNOW that electricity is magic, and I think you know it too! ๐Ÿ˜€

          Liked by 1 person

        1. I don’t think the parents would be impressed by my take on it. They would reach 15 and arguing with the teacher “but it said in that book that it was magic.” ๐Ÿ˜€
          It doesn’t so any harm to believe in magic. ๐Ÿ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

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