Friday, July 08, 2005

THE MONKEY'S PAW

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From Gaslight.com
"Monkey's paw?" said Mrs. White curiously.

"Well, it's just a bit of what you might call magic, perhaps," said the sergeant-major off-handedly.

His three listeners leaned forward eagerly. The visitor absentmindedly put his empty glass to his lips and then set it down again. His host filled it for him.

"To look at," said the sergeant-major, fumbling in his pocket, "it's just an ordinary little paw, dried to a mummy."

He took something out of his pocket and proffered it. Mrs. White drew back with a grimace, but her son, taking it, examined it curiously.

"And what is there special about it?" inquired Mr. White, as he took it from his son and, having examined it, placed it upon the table.

"It had a spell put on it by an old fakir," said the sergeant-major, "a very holy man. He wanted to show that fate ruled people's lives, and that those who interfered with it did so to their sorrow. He put a spell on it so that three separate men could each have three wishes from it."

His manner was so impressive that his hearers were conscious that their light laughter jarred somewhat.

"Well, why don't you have three, sir?" said Herbert White cleverly.

The soldier regarded him in the way that middle age is wont to regard presumptuous youth. "I have," he said quietly, and his blotchy face whitened.

"And did you really have the three wishes granted?" asked Mrs. White.

"I did," said the sergeant-major, and his glass tapped against his strong teeth.

"And has anybody else wished?" inquired the old lady.

"The first man had his three wishes, yes," was the reply. "I don't know what the first two were, but the third was for death. That's how I got the paw."
Imperial dreams. Exotic lands. The monkey's paw came from India in this story. The decimation of the Mogul empire which was built on the bloody destruction of Tamberlane who literally build pyramids of human skulls wherever he trod was ongoing when this story was written. The victorious British, using modern technology and weapons, seized all of the petty kingdoms beholden to the former mighty Mogul Empire and then took down and looted the empire itself, running away with valuable jewels and art work as well as the human toil and land and anything else the invaders could steal. Some people back then understood there was a karmic price to pay for this open theft.

The British looted several significant empires before WWI. The only reason they themselves escaped being looted too was to pass the monkey's paw of imperial murder off to someone else, in this case, the Americans. We now grasp this paw firmly. After WWII, the British gave up imperialism for themselves totally and grafted themselves into the American empire so they could play martial music and fee power and glory and wave flags and maintain a ridiculously elaborate and expensive royalty all on the backs of a bigger empire. This meant no change in ideology nor understanding the new realities. We are in the midst of "The Sun Never Sets--The Empire Strikes Back."

Pesky peasants in distant mountains once subdued by the British Empire and then the Russian Empire and now again, the American empire, cause death and destruction and ill will for us as they relentlessly refuse to kow tow to our empire just as before. The monkey's paw, by the way, sort of spirals out of these same mountains, namely, the peasants in the hot lowlands of India bequeathed it to the Moguls who were killing them. The Moguls prefered a cooler clime so they tended to hang out where bin Laden is hiding right now: around Kashmir, imperial hot potato of all eternity.

The dual imperial grab at lands the British Empire lost after WWII is literally blowing up in our faces. The London attacks which are a direct echo of the bombs falling upon the homes of hapless peasants across former British colonies should surprise no one. Just like the even longer and crueller imperial colonizing war waged against the Celts in Ireland and even Scotland, the battles will rage in Whitehall and the London Tower. Just as Edward the First, Longshanks, hacked off the arms of the Norman knight, William Wallace, because he could command the devotion of the Scottish tribes, so bin Laden commands the love of the wild mountaineers and valley peasants both.

Today, the puppet rulers of these seething masses send soothing words to the double eagle empire, assuring them of eternal kow towing and craven cowardly devotion. Just like the British and the Mogul and all empires, the threat of violent retaliation and destruction compells obedience from the toadies who live in imperial shadows.

But the people in the streets, in the villages, in the mountains, in the valleys, they hate our violent, red beaked double headed eagle. They want us gone. Forever. They want to till their lands and mine their lands and fish in their seas and not hand it over to the empire. They don't love us and have no reason to love us.

The IRA bombs stopped in London only because real reforms finally started to happen in Ireland. Many colonizers there want to set back the clock and resume imperial advantages but this will only trigger bomb retaliations. Many Brits imagine they "won" the fight with the Irish because the bombs stopped. They can't or won't acknowledge that the bombs stopped only because the Brits finally started to surrender real power. At long last.

The lure of bloody imperialism is great. You get to grant yourself wishes. Whatever you wish, is yours to command. All you have to do is not look at all the deaths attached to this. Many Brits feel, "We aren't killing anyone (sort of) so why do they hate us?"

Well, Britain is a mere appendage of the Great Satan Empire and thus, a worthy target. How many Muslims died this month due to bombs dropped by American and British planes upon villages all over Asia Minor? Guess what?

We don't know, we don't care, we don't really think they matter or are even human.

I scanned the news looking for some intelligent analysis of the bombing retaliations afflicting us and see not a peep. We foolishly think, like all empires, all we need is tighter controls. Kill more people. Put more walls up, build more prisons, enslave more people and voila! Our wish for total peace while we feast like cannibals upon others will be granted! The Soviet Union is a prime example of this, walls, guards, prisons, everything. They achieved perfect security. And total bankruptcy.

Alas, the last wish always turns out to be the death of the holder of the monkey's paw. All empires die violently after internal rot.
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