Dear Friends

DF 28 - sticks, stones & homo sapiens sapiens

Dear Friends

February 2003

Homo sapiens sapiens is the latest version of a genus which, according to current knowledge, first reared its head in Kenya (or Tanzania). The defining features of the development of mankind (sic) have been an increase in brain size and complexity, an increase in the complexity of culture and social relationships, and the increasing ability to modify the environment (OED).

All this is happening after a fairly slow start, with bone tools and the controlled use of fire, a mere 80,000 years ago.

So, here we are... at an unsustainable growth level, still clubbing each other's heads in, and mass murdering with machetes, airplanes, invisible horrors, sanctions and bombs (the vast majority of which are not very smart at all).

Fuelled by ignorance and hatred, or greed and malevolence, and endorsed by a god of one's own choosing, there's a dark part of human nature that's beyond all understanding. Paradoxically, we know all about it.

For what little it's worth in the panoply of opinion (that's an IMHO), I think the proposed offensive action against Iraq is stupid and amoral... a sledgehammer to crack a nut would appear to be a suitable aphorism. The legality or justice of it all becomes a moot point these days, when judgements in our own societies, against the likes of Percy Schmeisser (DF 20, Monsanto Case) and Tony Martin (below), make me wonder if I'm living in a mirrored existence, where everything I understand to be wrong, is taken to be right.

For a very short while I thought that our governments must have some knowledge of a development in Iraq that is too horrific to be brought into the public domain. However I dismissed this, because the information would have been shared with other great leaders (wouldn't it) and consequently there would be no disagreement on the need for this invasion, excepting from those nations, and we all know who they are, complicit in Saddam Hussein's offence.

For the sake of argument, imagine that every justification in the pro-war dossier is blessed with altruism...from the removal of ex-ally Saddam for disobedience, to the so-far-invisible WMD, with all the barking in between. Assume, if you can, that there is no ulterior motive for war.

Then think of a man called Tony Martin who is locked up in prison for shooting dead an intruder in his house, in the dark, in the middle of the night. Tony Martin was at home...he was not an invader. He was not a threat to the local equivalent of world peace. He was not seeking revenge. He was terrified and alone and under threat and it was not the first time he had been violated in this way.

The most spine-chilling experience would be that moment of awareness, when you are awakened, in the dead of night; by a noise...a stranger is in your house. Would he be there to steal, to rape or to kill? Nobody breaks into your home with good intentions do they? Yet we, in England, are not permitted to release the instinctive demons from within our adrenaline-thumping-pyjamas... we can't lash out murderously, with weapons.

You are not to pick up a weapon, be it a gun or a candlestick. In our society it has become law that you must use no more than 'sufficient force' to restrain a house invader. That's right, no matter how ridiculous that may seem to be in some cases, you can use only 'sufficient force to restrain', at the time of a real and primitive fear, triggered by that most threatening of all scenarios, dark movement in your cave.

We've come a long way from shooting trespassers, and capital punishment is thankfully almost two generations behind us...Vengeance and state-murder being unacceptable to a civilised society, living under the rule of law.

How then, in the name of such civilisation and sanity itself, can our British government reconcile these pacific, domestic tenets with a declaration of war upon a sovereign state smack-bang in the middle of a geo-political volcano?

There is a double standard here, which eats like acid into our oh-so-ethical foreign policy. People in some high places have a lot to learn about globalisation and where it is really heading. No matter how confident they are, there is surely great disappointment ahead, unless they start earning some respect, without a gun in hand.

We lesser mortals, who reside on the lower slopes of Mount Olympus, should continue to bite the ankles of the twattish semi gods, who rule with their heads in the clouds.

NASA has released new photographs which have been interpreted as showing how the Universe looked when it was a baby... at the dawn of its own time. The camera never lies.

This universe is 13.7 billion years old and we're told it will not collapse, but will continue to expand forever. With squillions of other universes either not yet born, long dead or in various stages of development, I find that conclusion difficult to grasp, because spacial infinity, even amongst 11 or 12 dimensions, can only exist whilst the fuel (us) lasts, and our eventual 'big pop' is as certain as our nascent 'big bang'.

It has been discovered that only a small percentage of the Universe is made of atoms…the rest is made of dark matter (DF Number 24... And then it came to me. They're looking in the wrong place. Dark matter doesn't matter. It's the one part of the equation that doesn't fit, and that's because the hypothesis is wrong. The missing gravitational force comes from outside the Universe (all known things). The finite viscous membrane of our containment is expanding, through reduced external pressure.), and mysterious energy forces... it's a bit like rock 'n' roll.

So there I was…washing my windows and talking to my neighbour, who was scrubbing her steps whilst wearing a Pre-Raphaelite gown made of pure gossamer. I was unusually hevelled in blue. All of a rush, our newly painted town bowser trundled by and hosed down the entire street. Naturally enough a few of us got together down the pub, and composed a letter to the council.

The response was quick and firm, along the lines of ' got your windows cleaned didn't you, about what then, are you complaining? Send eighty pounds, each of you... Immediately'

It is interesting to note that we are becoming homogenized hominids, and, regardless of illiteracy or alliteration, thus we have become dedicated to creating, each and every one of us, a personal history of the world as we know it.

Some of us are building a spiritual ark. Quite a lot more are getting drunk with power and craziness, as the physical human race reaches critical mass and enters the final lap in its headlong rush to a sticky end.

The new record is finished. It looks as if it will be released around the end of August. I am very pleased with the results. Our producer, Michael Bradford, is a great bloke, and has gained the respect of us all. I'd like to write more about it but, for the time being, you'll have to remain in suspenders.

Ian Gillan

Copyright © Ian Gillan 2003

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