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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/31/13

"17 Camels: Can a Sufi Tale Heal Our Broken World?"

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"That's because you're not thinking about the 18th camel!   First of all, we're not going to bother anyone who is already here!   Second, fact is, people have got to feel secure in their borders.   Everybody wants that.   We're not going to build a Maginot Line across our borders, but we can use the enthusiasms of the gun lobby in a creative way.   And, the trump card is--we're going to have a kind of Marshall plan for Mexico!   I mean, a real Marshall Plan this time--not the phony CIA-distorted plan that sold out the European left for the sake of the propertied classes here and "over there'!   What I'm saying is: we substantially improve living conditions in Mexico so Mexicans don't have to feel they have no option but to cross the northern desert into the US!"

"Okay. " We did take half their country away from them" so--"

"So, we help them re-build!   We're late coming to the party this time" and we should apologize for being late!   But" we're going to help them because by helping them, we're helping ourselves, too!   The 18th camel!   The money that we're saving by cutting our defense forces in half, plus the money we're saving on infrastructure re-building, and Social Security savings--we plow that into Mexico the way we once plowed money into Europe, and voila!-- after so much plowing, we all start to reap!"

"It seems too good to be true!" I tell him.   "Too sensible" too" I don't know. ""

"I don't know, either," Woof sighs.   "It's far-fetched, but what the hell do we have now?   Are we going to ride this Great Collapse into a Great Abyss?   Cause that's where we're headed now, pal.   Into a Trough we'll never get out of.   We need a chiropractic re-alignment of the world's moral backbone or we'll soon be in a very bizarre world of androids and the super-elite and the ravaged, desolate masses--all patroled by drones!"

"We've got to think about population, too," I said.   "If we don't get a handle on that. " If we can't control our numbers. ""

"Again" it's about re-direction, re-configuration.   The 18th camel.   China would be a basket-case today if Deng hadn't initiated the 1-child policy back in "79!   Instead of tax-exemptions for kids, we could start taxing people after they've had their "replacement" kids!   Instead of abortions, we'll encourage sterilization!   If we start taxing people for consumption--especially conspicuous consumption--we'd cut down enormously on this whole consumerist ethos.   If we cut down on our working hours, driving to and fro in traffic, we'd cut down on the pollution that ultimately fills so many hospitals, sickens and kills so many and raises our health care expenses."

"I just don't know if people can do it. " We've been so conditioned" conditioned to consume, conditioned to excess, conditioned to compete and to fail!   You're asking for a whole new way of thinking. ""

"I didn't say any of it would be easy."

"People are going to have a hard time thinking this through."

"And they'll find holes in it.   You know, if you re-read Plato's "Dialogues,' you can find holes in Socrates' logic, too.   The great thing about that barefoot gadfly is not that he taught people what to think, but that he taught us how to think.   I don't mind people finding holes.   Sometimes, that's where the light shines through!"

"You read "The Dialogues'?"

Woof smiles in that knowing way of his.   "It was one of my kind that inspired "The Dialogues,' inspired Socrates."

I whistle again.

"I'd just like to see your species survive," Woof says.   "You've really screwed up this planet, but I still think you've got potential!   And, I need a frisbee partner!"

I throw the frisbee towards a place Woof can't possibly catch it, but he performs his "triple-action-paradigm-shift" move, leaps into the empyrean, and gnashes it with his incisors.

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Gary Corseri has published & posted his work at hundreds of venues worldwide, including Op Ed News, The New York Times, CounterPunch, CommonDreams, DissidentVoice, L.A. (and Hollywood--) Progressive. He has been a professor in the US & Japan, has (more...)
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