Most people will instantly glom to O.S. as meaning Operating System. What then does faith mean in this context? What it doesn’t mean, at least exclusively, is the yes, no or maybe business concerning all those gods and goddesses of sky, grove or grotto. They are only part of the whole. The gist is that everything we know, teach others or ruminate about endlessly, originated in the mind of a human being. No exceptions.
Let’s go to the book.
In this case The Free Dictionary and let’s start and stop with the first definition:
To me that statement conveys the essence of what compels all of human existence. Having been born blank and helpless, as all are, how then do we function in this world without blueprint or roadmap? It is because we are surrounded by others who use the cranky old O.S. from our deep past.
I suggest that the moment in some dark age when the light of consciousness, that staggering bit of brilliant awareness visited the first humans, FAITH immediately became the Operating System. If we attribute to the animal world instinct as the O.S; is not Faith our O.S?
Let’s look at a few examples of what a newborn may be exposed to in the course of a lifetime.
A BABE’S HANDBOOK OF KNOWLEDGE
(Random Articles of Faith. Feel free to help yourself to any that have good prospect.)
I am told: E=mc2
I am told: The world was created in 7 days.
I am told: There are 8 Planets in the Solar System.
I am told: I may be reincarnated as a gnat.
I am told: Neanderthal made tools and used fire.
I am told: A baby was born of a virgin mother.
I am told: It is 92,955,807.3 miles to the sun.
I am told: I have a guardian angel.
I am told: Hydrogen is the lightest element.
I am told: The Red Sea was parted to permit foot traffic.
I am told: The number of rings in a tree tells its age.
I am told: The cow is a sacred animal.
I am told: The world will end this year.
I am told: 144 thousand people will be saved.
I am told: Piffle is spelled with two effs.
I am told: Masturbation causes hair to grow on your palms.
I am told: God loves me.
I am told: New York City is in New York State.
I am told: A man once returned from the dead.
I am told: The cheetah is the fastest running land animal.
I am told: To the Hopi, the Great Spirit is all powerful.
I am told: The New York Times prints “All the News That’s Fit to Print”.
I am told: The majority of Muslims are Sunni.
I am told: An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
I am told: The Buddha became enlightened after 49 days under a fig tree.
I am told: The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain.
In light of an overwhelming deluge of facts, factoids and what-nots, I must conclude :
“THE TRUTH is… anything you agree with and …faith makes it all possible”.
Since trafficking in FAITH is the métier of every savant, prophet and charlatan, the arcane goal is to have the greatest number of people agree on something for the longest possible interval of time. The promise and plea of the religious, the powerful and the pedantic to gain approval or license is, “Trust me on this”.
FAITH is the only Operating System we humans have. It must not be usurped by any despot, divine or dogmatist.
By Robert Magill
After witnessing a long series of colossal national tantrums perhaps “Time Out!” is the best remedy for such willful behavior. We should not be forced to witness the national equivalent of a two year old with ADHD flinging itself on the floor in a toy store and losing all control. Therefore:
Since you created, produced and foisted upon us the bewildering spectacle of a dumb show with words, lots of words, pantomiming a national election and featuring two of the most divisive characters on the planet. It is…TIME OUT! for you.
You created havoc and destruction all over the Middle East and North Africa, watched your friends in Europe be inundated with your refugees and are now weaseling out of accepting even a token number here at home, therefore Sir…TIME OUT! for you.
When you meddle in the civil affairs of Syria where Russia has a naval base and do the same in Ukraine, again with a Russian naval base, thereby putting the entire world in mortal peril, then Sir…TIME OUT! for you.
You fund cockamamie schemes to live on Mars, fund artificial intelligence when actual intelligence is already in short supply all around us and fund research to awaken the dead when Americans go hungry and live in boxes, soooo…TIME OUT! for you.
You blissfully raised our national debt level high enough to bury the future in it; off –shored our best jobs to others and then abandoned our people to compete with the entire world just to survive, repent Sir, then to…TIME OUT!
You have devised a compulsory medical insurance scheme co-written with Big Pharma and the insurance companies, then sat quietly when they kicked drug prices sky-high and wrecked the program, so…TIME OUT! for you.
You thrust a generation into penury to inflate the coffers of a greedy educational system that you were able to access for pocket money when it was your turn there. Shame, Sir…Go stand in that corner then to…TIME OUT!
Becoming the record holder among nations for the most citizens incarcerated and being unwilling to accept the cost and responsibility you elected to sell the inmates to private for-profit jailers, you Sir go straight to…TIME OUT!
Several thousand years of manufactured consent combined with near continual social and religious reinforcement have almost removed all memory of our ante-bellum existence. The gender war was insidious and victory was swift and decisive but in the context of the times, not unusual. Conquest and usurpation was considered the norm by the victors who ravaged and pillaged at will. The resultant disenfranchisement of an entire gender continues intact but is not recognized now as a legacy of theft. It is universally regarded as simply the way things are.
A form of collective amnesia prevents any alternate reality from appearing at the horizon. Humankind is seemingly untroubled by the criminal takings that occurred in the past but is troubled by the impossibility of finding harmony in human existence today. The brightest and most favored have no greater insight into the perils of this ongoing gender inequity than the dullest.
Alas, a gender conflict of such shattering aspect has promoted the weaker human partner into near total prominence and relegated the stronger to a lesser position. (Note: no examples appear here of weaknesses and excesses of the now dominant, but weaker gender, as the writer is of that persuasion, so he will defer to the stronger gender who, hopefully, is willing to exemplify… and show mercy)
No species can exist for long when guilty of manipulation of gender equality solely to maintain dominance and disguise weakness. It seems miraculous that humankind has managed to avoid extinction thus far but I’m doubtful we can avoid the inevitable much longer. Things are coming undone and since the stronger are everywhere still beholden to the weaker, the entire planet suffers from the flawed results
Futurists and doomsayers alike strive to pierce the void and offer their special vision. Most don’t come close to being accurate because they assume what dooms us now will save us in the future! That the status quo causing the problems will not taint future prospects as well. That the antidote for societal poisoning is reckoned to be continued dosing.
If it eludes the brightest despite all effort of understanding, then surely I must be mistaken in my conclusions. That my notion, surely it’s merely a notion, that the disenfranchisement of an entire gender is not the reason it’s all gone to pieces. Surely, I’m daft. No harm is said to be found in one gender ruling an entire planet and that perhaps that is not a primal error, is not a travesty of cosmic import, nor is it an unsupportable future aspect, etc etc…….to infinity. Perhaps.
This notion does not even rate inclusion in the human equation beyond, “well, that’s all true, but…” or “There you have it…but” or “ Life on Earth could be brought to an end, but…”or “Things could be different, but…or ”Perhaps we have neglected to include them, but…”
Go ahead, add to list. Then ignore it. Thank you, merely my silly notion, ain’t it now
Note: This script is available for production. email@example.com for details.
…and now, it’s just us
by Robert Magill
This screenplay is not for a cartoon but for extremely realistic animation or stop-motion. State of the art.
Shores of Eastern Mediterranean
Several months prior to Spring
VOICE OVER (Mature female voice): Hello. I know something of my people to tell you.
We were great travelers and tellers’ of stories
Of oceans and seas in our path and
Mountains at our back.
Rivers of sand lay below one path and terrible cold
At the other. I sewed. My hair was the color of rust and
My face of yak milk. I had three babes
Semi-permanent encampment of a group, about 30 women and girls of various ages, babes in arms and boys to about 8 years of age. No men are seen. These people are the Alphas.
The camp abuts a slight bluff which forms the back wall. Poles support thatching and pelts to form a roof.
Bedding pallets at the rear. Several fieldstone hearths are at the front. Several spears with stone points and shafts with sharpened ends are seen. Pelts and hides abound along with hanging joints of meat and dried fish. Small troves of grapes, fruit etc. are seen. Tortoise shells and gourds hold water. The camp abuts a small river or large stream
As they stir from sleep and prepare for the day we are aware of their exotic nature. Of average height, well formed, they have complexions ranging from light tan to mocha to almost white. Most adults have auburn hair and all have blue or bluish green eyes. The Alpha people walk with a lurching gate. They are obviously not like us in all respects but aside from skull shape, and body mass; they could be cousins. Some don pelts as stoles or capes against the chill but they are somewhat unclothed in the Sinai heat..
They stoke up the fire embers for cooking and warmth. Individuals wander into the bush and we see small boys peeing on the edges to clue us the reason for the bush visits.
When the camp is in full swing and the sun is high several men and older boys appear laden with firewood, pelts and meat. They are acknowledged politely, friendly enough but not excitedly.
They examine the largest of the boys. He embraces his mother and gathers his belongings. Having distributed their burdens and exchanged briefly with the females, they depart.
Stories of a better place had us follow down the great river.
I grew old on the journey but my babes
Grew strong and long forgo the old ways.
Others will tell the story of the people who lived long;
Long enough to see the time of the ice and
The good time and then the ice again
And still we lived.
A smaller camp site at some distance. The males we have seen are returning to this camp with the new boy. This group is entirely of men and older boys. No women or girls are seen. It has a less permanent aspect and although a hunting camp; it is a home base. Spears abound and some of the group are flaking points nearby. The returnees are greeted and offered food. This camp has fire sites at four corners. While we watch a group prepares to leave the gathering. They carry unlighted torches along with weapons, water gourds and food parcels. Younger members are charged with carrying the fire sources.
Following a river they travel mostly single file except for younger children edging near the women or in gaggles with friends. About seventy make up the march; men women, children and babes in arms and a few elderly who struggle to keep up. This group carries all its possessions, weapons and fire sources. They are quite distinct from the Alpha group in appearance. These, the Betas, are smaller and much darker than the Alphas. The appear more agile and less clumsy than the other group. They resemble in many ways the indigenous peoples of Australia and Oceana. What is quite noticeable is the pleasant interactions and sociability between the men and women which is noticeably absent with the Alpha group.
We see the final breaking up of the night camp and departure for the day’s trek. We see several lions stalking the group. Becoming aware of the lions the Betas light torches and herd the women and children behind for safety. The lions are repelled by the fire and slink away, muttering. We see that mastery of fire has given mankind dominion over all other animals and will assure his survival.
Alpha hunters stalking a large antelope make a smoky fire; test the wind with a wet finger, then coat themselves with smoke to cover scent. They signal stalking instructions and set off in pursuit. They fling lances at the beast several of which strike home. The antelope rushes off with the spears imbedded. The new boy starts to pursue the beast but elders caution him to sit and wait. They all squat while the prey is seen nearby, bleeding out. As they are butchering they hear murmuring in the distance and espy the Betas for the first time. Great hubub and concern. They have not yet been seen by the other group.
Betas on trek.
Alpha pow-wow ends with accord and they appear to confront the other group.
Historical epic event! Each group stunned at the appearance of the other. Several women break the long impasse to offer food to the others. The Alpha hunters are shy at first but the slightly coquettish demeanor of the women breaks the ice. Beta men are nonplussed.
V.O. . It happened first in the land near the sand.
A few at first. Then more. Still more all the time.
We were bewildered.
The new ones were like us but not of us.
We were fair, they were dark. We liked them.
They liked us.
Both groups arrive at the Alpha women’s dwelling place carrying parts of the antelope. The groups gape and gawk at each other. The sight of the beautiful, light complexioned, relatively unclothed Alpha women in the flickering firelight, stun the Beta men. Some mild flirtations are attempted. The Alpha men are entranced by the erotic seeming and quite forward Beta gals who approach them casually.
Some time later
The Betas begin to make camp nearby. Alpha men approach Beta men and offer to share the use of the Alpha male camp which is refused. The Alphas are amazed the Betas prefer the company of the women.
The Betas are led to the stream and shown the region to be theirs to inhabit. They gather their belongings, say goodbye and cross the water.
Beta hunters cross the river to join Alphas in a hunt. As they prowl through the bush a Beta is struck by a venomous snake and expires. The group carry the body back to the compound and the Alpha people convince the others to have an earth burial with garlands in the grave rather than exposure to the elements; the Beta way of closure.
The Alphas along the bank observe the Beta couples pairing off for romantic episodes that go on for hours. They look perplexedly at each other. The moon above is at first quarter.
The Alpha males appear at the Alpha women’s’ compound seeking romance only to be gently rebuffed.
The moon appears in the 2nd quarter.
A group of Beta girls cross the river and meet up with Alpha men. They pair off and go into the bush.
We see a special relationship brewing between an Alpha man with an ornately carved staff and a shawl of woven reeds and a nubile, young Beta girl whose forward manner both pleases and perplexes him. Instead of rushing off into the bush like the others they develop a sort of shy courtship. The others return from the bush and he reluctantly begins to leave with the other Alphas but looks back longingly towards her as he leaves. She in turn, is seen quite pensive and thoughtful in contrast to her usual perky demeanor.
V.O. We like them and they like us, that’s true but
Our women flow only on the long times while theirs
Flow with each big moon and that makes trouble
Among the new men who don’t know us well.
Two Beta men approach Alpha women who appeared interested at first meeting but are turned away as well. They come to realize over time that the Alpha women are limited to seasonal or rhythmical sex as are many other mammals whereas Beta women are available 24/7. They will learn in time that was why Alpha males live alone. The moon is seen still in third quarter.
The moon is in transit though four waxing and wanings. On the forth full moon Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring is heard.
We see the shawl draped man give a beautiful flower to the Beta girl. The relationship has bloomed and they are quite involved with each other. The music heightens and they slip into the bush together.
A large group of Alpha men approach the Alpha women who respond willingly having come into season together. The moon is full and the coupling intense. After the Alpha men leave, a few Beta men approach the women who, although sated, oblige them as well.
Passage of time is simulated by rapid seasonal changes.
Several Alpha women have newborns. The babies range from blue eyed little Alphas to darker infants with blue or brown eyes. The females are wild about the looks of these; the first new people. Alpha males are largely indifferent to infants.
The Beta girl appears among them. Her Alpha man rushes up and fusses over the infant. All are astounded
Beta women arrive with babies. Light skinned also with blue or brown eyes; more little Humans. Beta men fuss over the little ones.
The passage of time is shown through the prevalence and growth of the Human type offspring to the toddler stage.
Many Alpha males are seen in congress with Beta women. Few Beta males with Alpha females are in evidence. The Beta males seem dejected. They are aware now of the seasonal availability of Alpha women but feel slighted by the circumstances. The different basic natures of the two types is driving a rift between them.
At the gathering of both clans many of the Beta females are obviously pregnant. The Alpha women much less so.
Passage of time
At the Beta camp most of the women have new babies. The Beta male leader examines the infants. Compares the many who have very light skin and blue eyes with his own. He seems distressed and signals other men excitedly. They gather about him.
An Alpha hunting party enters the Beta camp. They expect to have the Betas join them in a hunt. They are rebuffed. The Alphas look puzzled and leave.
The atmosphere between the groups has noticeably changed. The Alpha and Beta women still are close but the Beta men are very standoffish with the all Alphas.
A party of Alpha hunters come upon Beta hunters in the bush. The Alphas are friendly but the Beta men are demonstrably hostile. After a tense interval the Betas stalk away.
The entire clan is in evidence. The men are very agitated but the women seem bewildered.
Several men begin to gather belongings and others gesture the direction for departure.
One day later, early morning
V.O. When there were more of the new kind than us
Some grown ones moved away toward
The rising light.
At least so the ancient ones tell us.
Stories retold when important gatherings happen.
Not sad tales but still…we wonder
How they fare and should we go to the new light
The Beta clan is seen leaving the abandoned camp and trekking away following the river. The size of the group has greatly increased as evidenced by many small children and babes in arms. The Beta girl is frantic. The senior males insist she leave with the clan.
The Alphas stand on their side of the river watching them leave. Several shake heads in disbelief.
The Beta girl and the infant are seen crossing the stream to the Alpha side. Her man sees her and waits with open arms.
Long passage of time
In the Alpha women’s compound a feast of sorts is in progress. Several
adolescent boy and girl new people are pairing off with each other and with Alpha and Beta youths as well. We see the original Alpha population has been greatly altered by the influx of the new ones and in the future will change even more. Many of the remaining Alphas are elderly; meaning 40ish.
Passage of time
Midday Alpha camp
Several men and boys are in the camp when the vanguard of another Beta troop
comes upon them. The new Betas are very wary until they are welcomed heartedly and
taken to the women’s compound.
After the last big ice went away a tale is told of
Another leaving of our people.
But now the path is toward the pale sun
That lingers long in the pass.
Fewer and fewer are the old type people seen now.
Higher we travel toward the lands
Where the ice once had been covering over
During credits roll the following are seen and a male V.O. explains:
The population of the region has expanded greatly and local resources are strained. A large contingent of Humans set out on a trek and will settle first in Southeast Asia and later in Australia and Oceania.
V.O. We are mostly all the new people now.
Small bands remain of the old.
The large water is near and many leave
To live afar.
Brave ones go out on the big water to follow the sun.
We see not one of the old type people now
Only their empty caves. Alas. They lived here for
Most all of time.
The regions north of the Levant fill up. Populations of Humans spread Eastward thoughout Asia and into the Americas and throughout Europe. The last known Alpha expired somewhere in Spain about 30 thousand years ago after about 200 thousand years of existence. The mixing of the clans has mingled the two groups completely.
…and now, it’s just us.
They were nomads, herdsmen, wranglers of animals. Their homes were the deserts and steppes; lonely places with wide horizons and vague boundaries delimited only by looming mountains. They lay each night, under the stars, projecting themselves upon the vast cosmos. Reflecting back was celestial hubris. For two thousand years these wanderers roamed about with little regard for place or home site. During dry times they left hearth, tent and domesticity to follow the grasses with the flocks. They were sovereign.
All their charges were held to be less than they; children and women included. The resultant desensitization caused by unchallenged rule over their beasts and their fellow humans was then layered with enormous inflation of self until: a power-centered ‘cowboy culture’ entered history.
We have graphic evidence of the impact of these newcomers who descended from the eastern steppes and from the southern deserts on the nascent civilizations they encountered. Called Kurgans, if from the vast eastern regions; Semites if from the southern deserts; the impact of these warlike invaders on the settled others was devastating. Cultures were abandoned, destroyed or starkly modified.
They brought their weapons and their gods. To smite and to smote, to rapine and to enslave, these warlike hoards brandished metal weapons and in the way of the Kurgans, rode their war ponies into the lives of agrarian homesteads.
Their gods were as they were; fierce, relentless, demanding and macho. Nothing was the same after these visitations and the planet itself suffers today from the manifestations of this chaotic influence.
Humankind never recovered from these violent intrusions into our peaceful and hitherto, successful, existence. In a scant seven or eight millenniums, the more benign behaviors that assured successful human existence during the passage of incredible amounts of prior time were stripped from the future and left us as we are: murderous, fanatical, patriarchal and now possibly, doomed.
Only an immediate return to a bucolic, equal partnership between the sexes and a cessation of the fatal imbalance caused by myopic male vision and de facto male rule of the entire planet can save the day. The odds of this occurring are exceedingly low and without it all is, more than likely, lost.
I must argue that what occurred in Germany in the thirties and forties was basically the most science- minded people on the planet practicing what was still considered to be, in that era, good science. Having been regarded as an academic discipline at many universities, the popular movement leading to the horror shows was supported in the US by Theodore Roosevelt, by scientists like Linus Pauling and by W.E.B. DuBois. In fact, this was not a decidedly right-wing effort, many progressives were onboard with it. Charles Darwin’s cousin, Francis Dalton, founded the movement in the U.K. and coined the phrase “Eugenics”.
[“ It is a social philosophy advocating the improvement of human genetic traits through the promotion of higher rates of sexual reproduction for people with desired traits (positive eugenics), or reduced rates of sexual reproduction and sterilization of people with less-desired or undesired traits (negative eugenics)”.]
The movement was soon picked up enthusiastically in America and in time became legal in 50 states and some 60,000 so-called ‘defectives’ were forcibly sterilized with the intention of thereby improving society. Adolph Hitler included eugenic ideas in Mein Kampf but then, at the time, Winston Churchill and Margaret Sanger were supporters as well. Hitler went on to institute legislation in Germany sponsoring eugenics to sterilize ‘defectives’ copying what had been first pioneered in the United States known as the California method.
Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Progeny became law on July 14, 1933 in the Reich and led to 350,00 forced sterilizations in five years. However in order for the legalization of “mercy killings” more time was needed to coax public opinion. Hitler feared negative reactions by Christian churches. Modern propaganda techniques would eventually provide the impetus to change public opinion.
William Inge, Anglican clergyman who wrote for the Eugenics Education Society in Britain, was an invited speaker at the International Eugenics Conference in 1921 endorsed by the Archbishop of New York. Popular support continued with such notables as H.G.Welles, Havelock Ellis and George Barnard Shaw on board until the excesses and sheer madness of the extermination camps in Europe were uncovered at war’s end. Some of the defendants at the Nurenburg Trials after the war offered as defense that their actions were similar to what had originated in the United States. Most countries turned away from eugenics at this point but the US still continued with its sterilization programs.
It is tempting and very human to rail at the discovery of “pure evil” lurking in other humans. The discovery of the merely banal doesn’t seem to have enough sizzle for us. To project absolute and intransigent loathing on a person or group seems a better fit somehow. So let it be with the Third Reich. Or perhaps we need to consider the solemn advocacy of learned and respected voices in Germany and abroad for prior decades that had preceded the terrible excesses. Perhaps also we should acknowledge there had existed within the populous a genuine desire to improve society and then add the relentless propaganda of radio, press and film they were subjected to for a generation. Top off with the grinding conditions suffered in a time of war. Does banal begin to deserve equal billing with evil here?
If one generation subjected to modern propaganda techniques championing a flawed scientific agenda placed a culture in lockstep towards such horrors as occurred how are we immune to a similar fate after being subjected to three additional generations of much improved propaganda now labeled “manufactured consent”? Consider our own society in light of recent adventures home and abroad:
Forced internment in camps of tens of thousands of American citizens. Fire bombing of Dresden and Tokyo. Hiroshima. Nagasaki. Evil? Nope. We hear no Evil.
Continuing to forcibly sterilize Americans even after the WW ll revelations. Blitz bombing of North Korea. Agent Orange in Viet Nam. Evil? Nope. We see no Evil.
Torture regimes in Guantanamo. At Abu Ghraib. Afghanistan. Iraq. Ethiopia. Syria. Evil? Nope. We speak no Evil.
If the American collective consciousness neither sees, hears nor speaks of our own Evil, do we not then resemble, considering our same abiding interest in science and progress, the vast proportion of German citizens in the 1940s? And if this is so, how then are we immune to the ministrations of a forceful or seductive set of false values that will bring us as a people to equal horrors and actions?