where you can be killed by some crazy or terrorist while going for coffee. The absurd contrast/juxtaposition between the peaceful Western living room or family room, potentially, at this time of December and events in Sydney today. It hath always been thus–these two sides of man, between two very different kinds of people (we have to include female terrorists and walking bombs now–this is not just a male problem, as evidenced by mothers driving their minivans into the ocean to kill themselves and their kids).
Yes, you have to admit that the craziness (even as reported in isolated cases by obsessed mass media, like the Sydney café hostage case) will proclaim itself, its absurd tunnel-visioned agenda, especially at the most peaceful time of year. And this individual violence is macro-ly played out also on larger ongoing stages which include the likes of Rwanda, Bosnia, the U.S.S.R. under Stalin, various world wars, and in places like Mexico where gangster-henchmen roll heads down tourist streets.
Nowhere is one safe anywhere, anymore. Given how much media attention, this café incident got, something similar is likely to recur–I would predict–during this holiday season in North America somewhere by whatever fifth columnists (groups or individuals). These things certainly become more possible, plausible, and likely if one can be killed going for coffee.
No, the great ongoing fetish among too many humans is for insane anarchical agendas, self-proclaimed delusive power, large-scale chaos and destruction, and the massacre of innocents. (“They hate for hate’s sake.”–W.H. Auden) ‘At home’, you see this madness and violence played out in couples’ relationships or toward children, domestically, too. There are no guaranteed intelligent, benevolent parents just as much as there are no guaranteed nonviolent men and women.
So what can one do, especially at this time of year? One of my teacher-colleagues used to talk of raising the drawbridge when she retreated on Fridays or holidays into darkest suburbia. There, at least, was all the peace, calm, relaxation, personal freedom, pleasure, and harmony that only she would create and enjoy. I think her m.o. always works when the world goes haywire as it has at the Parliament buildings or at a Lindt chocolate shop far away and yet so close.
There is, finally, what one does and can control that no one else can likely take away or mindlessly, selfishly destroy. The importance of personal positioning and personal choice. What one can usually rely on without someone/anyone else’s nutso, vicious agenda. And from such a preferred image, vantage point, and physically real place, one can say to whomever one wants–Cheers! or All the Best!–and get on with enjoying this holiday season at a more meaningful, purposeful, personal and family level.