Many years ago I watched the movie Ordinary Fascism in Russia and I was 13 years old. They do not show such documentaries here to the impressionable children. The self- esteem of a teenager can suffer an irreparable damage when confronted with the simple fact that in the Nazi Germany the graduate of the SS school had to kill a kitten by his own bare hands. That graduate waould have been of about 20 or so; what a role model. They all had "Gott Mitt Unst' on their belts which meant " God is with us'. So God was with them when they killed those kittens. That's what they said. Now our President Obama says God is with us when we send drones to kill people every day. Every day! Some bastard presses a button and people die; he then picks his kids at school. Twenty years ago we called that terrorism. Now we call that policy. But we do not show that. They did.
So an impressionable boy of 13 watched a documentary where they showed a mass grave of about 1000 people: men, women, children. Russian medical experts conducted an investigation and came to the conclusion that all those people were killed point- blank, execution- style by one shot from a pistol into the head. ALL of them. I guess it was a training session. A group of SS- graduates was on a field trip. They were offered some fun. Even in the most fast way you need maybe a day to do all that: to bring 1000 people to the place, to force them to dig their graves, to undress them one-by -"one, to bring in the SS, get the ammo ready, then- shoot, then move a corpse aside- bring the second one, then the third-and so on and so on. I guess they made photos, maybe brought in the bulldozer to cover the grave, then they had a good drink and maybe danced with some froilians.. I am sure that was a memorable event. I am sure some of them, those who survived the war would love to share those reminiscences with their impressionable grandchildren. But now instead of that they vote for drones.
I remember the nightmares. I always had a good imagination and it brought me scenes where I was one of those 1000. Or 100000. Or 1000000. Or a million. Or 6 million. Or 50 million. All killed execution- style, point- blank. But in all those nightmares I never was on the side of the killers. I could not imagine how they looked like. The people who died, they had faces, had souls, had meaning. The killers were faceless. After that I saw some of them- old men, fragile, nothing fearsome or anything. Still, they had no faces. They had masks. You could see those masks distorting, moving, trying to adept, to cover, to pretend. You could see zombies. But you could not listen to them, no matter what they said. Because there was nothing to listen to. They did not exist.
But we existed. And we all had to live after that movie, after leaving the dark hall with the screen which gave us a powerful knowledge and demanded powerful answers. I remember us having a discussion, many discussions. How can a person live after seeing that? What could make a person content? How can you change your life now that you know such things did happen, do happen, will happen? None of us could come up with the answer. Eventually we forgot. We were just children after all.
And here comes The Cove. Open the link above if you hadn't seen the movie. It got an Oscar in the Y2009 after all.
Every year, in the killing season which lasts for about 6 months there, in a Secret Cove in Japan they kill dolphins. The migrating groups are herded to the Cove and killed by spears and knifes. 23000 of them every year according to the documentary which was filmed COVERTLY. American filmmakers had to do it in secret because it could be dangerous for them. Those simple Japanese fishermen who had a meal around the campfire and then proceeded to kill dolphins would not hesitate to kill humans too, They had no face. There is no way to have a face and do what they did- turn the emerald Cove into the pool of blood. I saw that pool of blood. It awakened the old nightmares. And even more it awakened when I saw that filmmaker marching into the whaling conference with a screen showing that movie on him and" being escorted our by security. It was as if history stood still and Stephan Lux killed himself again for dolphins like in 1936 he did for the Jews. Only that did not help in 1936 and it does not help now. What helps? Knowledge is power, now you know; what can you do? Go vegetarian?
History of every land is filled with murder, says Russian poet Kornilov. He also says that luck is the only thing which gives us a luxury of non-participation. We did not kill 100000 Japanese in one second in 1945. We thus have a right to be disgusted by the dolphin-killing, But do we? Our recent Vice- President Cheney openly boasted of killing 400 birds in one day- and he is not in an asylum. He is in fact out there. We see people boasting of killing every day. Our beloved movie heroes have a license to kill. I so far had never seen even one scene in the movies when a woman rejects the pass from a secret agent who kills. In the old westerns that happened. Not anymore. We got used to it. Japanese know. They are used to killing dolphins. Nobody cares. Their people surely do not. And that's maybe the answer.
External force can do nothing but harm. It was a step forward when that movie was shown in Japan. But that was not enough. Something must change. Something in the attitude. We must stop having fun. An obese boy with a big gun should stop being our hero and should become our nightmare. We must suffer from the knowledge. It is normal. We are adults. We did not want to know. Now we know. What are going to do about this knowledge?
How many churches in our country prayed against the war? How many pastors spoke for the dead? How many spiritual or cultural leaders spoke openly against the killings of people far away? How many big businessmen said anything? Anything at all? Did we have any cartoons about the way dolphins were treated? The Flipper dolphin killed himself, do you know that?
In the epic story Tiles Ulenshpiegel by Charles De Koster young Tils caught a bird and put it into cage. His father asked him what was he going to do with it and he said he would keep it. Then his father told him to imagine himself being caged, controlled, taken care of. Freedom is a self- evident right and nobody can take it away, whatever are the circumstances. Freedom? How about the life itself?
So now we know and now our serene existence is over. Somewhere in the world they kill people point -" blank. Somewhere they kill dolphins en masse. Somewhere they send the drones and a person on the ground when seeing his relatives killed by a soulless machine develops hate which will never yield, never stop. Hate is an unstoppable energy wave and if we had materialized it into some slush like in Ghostbusters II, that slush would have drowned us all. It would be enough just to hear those dolphins crying. I wonder, what sonar signals to they send to the relatives of theirs? And in the Paradise, how do they communicate with the human victims?
Violence must stop being glorified. It must stop being used as a symbol of manhood. It must stop being shown as something positive. People can be violent. But it is a negative, dark side of ours and it has to be exposed. It has to be exposed constantly. That exposition must be presented as a positive achievement. We must push hard for this.
And we must not avoid tough questions on all sides. Thus the proper addressing to the Japanese should be, "Ok, folks, we are the villains who dropped the A-Bomb. But you are the villains who know about dolphin-killing and do nothing about it. We do not like the A-Bomb. How do you like your dolphin thing? And if you do not like it, maybe we can join our forces in stopping that sh*t before it drowns us all.'
So next time you see your pastor, your guru, your senator or your President, ask him/her, "How about those drones?' Tell your children to ask them. Do not be afraid because as John Donn said "Do not for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.' If you do not want to end in the Cove you better stop being afraid now, embrace the knowledge and ask the questions. You will make enemies that way? Fine, that means you will be alive. And life is no fun.
Come to think of it, violence can help too. All the paths of animal migrations are well-known. And forever those paths must be considered off limits. Ships with guns must protect those paths the way we protect our infrastructure. And those ships with guns should not hesitate to fire at anyone who would violate the infrastructure of the planet. That simple. Turns out guns could be useful. For a while.
Merry Christmas to all of us and Happy New Year. Now we know about The Cove.