Resting by the Tumtum Tree

I wish I'd thought of that. I wish I had a Tumtum tree to rest by. But Lewis Carroll thought of it first, and the world is not a resting place right now.

It's not verses that intrigue me. It's the versus motif that seems to be sweeping the globe. There always has to be an "other", or so it seems. It's not just the Democrats vs. the Republicans. The Finns are angry that they had to work so hard to overcome their hardships after WW I while the Greeks, they think, want to be bailed out. Police in the US seem to be versus us, their neighbors: over 1000 police killings have taken place this year alone. Blacks and hispanics are arrested overwhelmingly. (One black blogger wrote recently: "I know that I was afraid and the officer was not.") Senior drivers are singled out for humiliation by the Department of Motor Vehicles (I know. It happened to me.) The white male supremacists don't want to acknowledge that they no longer rule the world: that reality alone impels them to verbal invective and physical violence. Men who have controlled power systems for centuries are terrified that women might want a small part of that spoils system. The 1% doesn't even want to acknowledge that the other 99% has rights also.

"The man that drives the engine. Why, the smoke alone is worth a thousand pounds a puff!"

I think it's all the puffery that is smoking me out.

Genocide plagues are breaking out worldwide. (If you doubt that, read Nicholas Kristof's report on our Site of the Month page). Religions no longer want to ask questions: they demand that every other belief system bow down to their one and only answer.

"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said,

"Is what we chiefly need:

Pepper and vinegar besides

Are very good indeed-

Now if you're ready Oysters dear,

We can begin to feed."

"But not on us!" the Oysters cried,

Turning a little blue,

"After such kindness, that would be

A dismal thing to do!"

Dismal indeed. The tragedy unfolding in Greece alone has attained Shakespearean proportions. Don't tell Dr. Freud, but the rigid demands made on Athens seem like male bullying because a female has over-spent and didn't balance her checkbook. Yet by 1932 it was recognized that Germany could never meet its obligations, and Germany herself declared in 1934 that she would never repay her debts. How does she rationalize harsh recriminations for those who cheated on their taxes, with the murder of millions of human beings?

"`I don't know what you mean by your way,' said the Queen: `all the ways about here belong to me.'"

We are alike, you know, even if we don't want to admit it. We are one species, albeit one that seems to want to tear itself apart. We are all the children of immigrants: why can we not understand the extraordinary numbers of displaced persons worldwide that yearn for stability? ET touched all of our hearts when he wanted to phone home. Can we not admit that longing for home is not zip code dependent, is universal rather than exotic?

Do we really have to be Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dumber? Journalist Will Bunch in the Huffington Post put it this way: injustice "isn't a few bad laws, but a lot of bad hearts".

Maybe we have forgotten the language of cooperation, although any thinking human must realize that the survival of the planet, indeed of ourselves as a species, depends on it.

"Have some wine," the March Hare said in an encouraging tone.

Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea. "I don't see any wine," she remarked."

"There isn't any," said the March Hare.

Some people have no wine. Some people have no toilets. Some people have no freedom from bullets or from bombings. Some people have no faith in tomorrow: a friend in Athens writes that she is stocking up on lentils and quinoa. Some people have no dignity left.

Some people have no hearts. One politician stated about the Greek tragedy recently (I bastardize his polemic): "The politics matter. The people don't".

"I can't stand this any longer!" Alice cries, at the finale of her adventures".

The finale of our misadventures, here, there, and elsewhere, may well be a final ending to the human experiment. Any supreme being, if there is one, might well hit the undo button on the species that has brought about this sorry state of affairs.

On the other hand, we could also decide, "if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you. Is that a bargain?"

So I say to you: is that a bargain?

c. Corinne Whitaker 2015

(Unless otherwise stated, quotes in green are from "Through the Looking- glass" by Lewis Carroll.)

See an Alien Creature's response to the hatred-filled shenanigans on earth.

Here is the Greece that I have loved and hope to see preserved:greece