Surf, then rant

Post Surf Rant

I enjoyed an excellent session in the waves yesterday afternoon. However, today, I find myself obsessively compelled to ventilate a long-smoldering frustration, ignited by the many conflicts our troubled planet faces. Not to mention the latest conflict between Israel and Hamas, which unfolded just this past weekend.

To me, it is clear to see that this is predominantly about the pursuit of financial gain, political prestige, the fear of defeat, and a readiness to sacrifice all in the name of religious victory.

But what victory can possibly come from this new chapter? Death with the elevated, albeit by most scholars considered misinterpreted, the promise of martyrdom?

In my worldview, as an atheist, I see the hallmarks of deceit and subterfuge whenever and wherever religion has entangled its tentacles.

Much like with modern wars, religion frequently assumes the appearance of a smart, logical scheme, often orchestrated by individuals with dubious motives, unbridled ambitions, and a sole objective— preserving or augmenting power and influence on their followers.

Religion stands as a finely crafted hoax, a kind of insurance for the afterlife where premiums are paid in faith, the most cryptic of currencies, in a series of installments from birth to grave.

Similarly, religion bears a striking resemblance to the military-industrial complex, another interest group that gravitates towards death and ruthlessly exploits the gullible and the vulnerable. Like religion, the military-industrial complex and its army of lobbyists, estrange non-believers, exacerbate conflicts, and allure nations into engaging in outright warfare as well as “special military operation.”

It’s nothing short of despicable.

Whenever there’s an absurd amount of armed conflicts, I find myself thinking about human evolution. Despite our sophistication, in language, education, technology and medicine and an overall refinement of our tools—once blunt, now gleaming—we appear to be caught in a quicksand of primitiveness.

In matters of basic humanitarian values, we are hostages of the past, still resembling our ancient, tribal selves. Our tendencies still lean heavily towards barbarity, anger, jealousy, envy, and a relentless preoccupation with rivalry.

Worse yet, we still seem beholden to self-aggrandizing, menacing men.

And speaking of men, why is it that famed entrepreneurs like Bezos, Musk, Jobs, Zuckerberg, and other evident megalomaniacs are hailed as geniuses of such cosmic proportions?

If indeed they were all that, I cannot help but wonder why their brilliance is channeled towards endeavors that are so ephemeral and trivial. Why do they not prioritize tackling genuine, life-threatening concerns rather than focus so incessantly on inventing solutions for problems that we don’t really have?

Imagine directing these dudes’ intellect towards the cessation of global conflicts, the quelling of the relentless tide of pollution choking our planet, or against famine and diseases.

Yet instead, we find ourselves beguiled by the tantalizing promise of voyages to distant planets and eventually the colonization of our solar system.

One can’t help but ponder why our fascination remains so unabated, despite the fact that these brilliant individuals are doing little more than dig a deeper landfill into which we’re all destined to fall

In what way, I wonder, will electric cars, faster deliveries, and shiny new smartphones address the pressing challenges that confront us?

I have an old childhood friend who hails from Los Angeles but has lived for many decades in beautiful Haifa. Her concern for her country’s future and, above all, the safety of her family are both valid and understandable.

It’s 2023 and we should long ago have transcended these recurring tragedies that create such worries and so much stress.

The media can only handle singular conflict at any given time. Presently, the age-old conflict between Israel and Palestine occupies center stage.

But by this time next week, the media will have redirected our focus elsewhere. This is the modus operandi of sensational journalism, where the sale of advertising (eyeballs) trumps everything. Meanwhile, my drink begs for a refill, and I’m still at a loss when it comes to selecting tonight’s Netflix entertainment.

The world, with its myriad of challenges, will clearly continue to spin while I deliberate.