Thursday, June 14, 2012

A successful book is not made of what is in it, but what is left out of it. (Mark Twain)

Today we had a talk about this play we went to see with our English class and  a few comments made by my classmates encouraged me to publish this little “essay” I wrote after the play when I was filled with emotions and different thoughts.

It was so powerful that it made me feel absolutely powerless. I left the theatre with no feelings. No emotions. Or was I so overwhelmed with emotions that I felt absolutely nothing? That play started off with complete non-sense. A lot of sex, violence, but it had a meaning from the beginning. There was a direction all along. People of Minsk, people of any “very democratic” country are just defenceless against government. There is nothing to do, no way to show that you are against the regime. What does the outside world do? - should they arrange something like Rwanda, Syria? Other countries come and are awfully willing help and after three months it’s out of their attention again. It doesn’t matter, because nobody cares. In the end nobody cares. It’s called selfishness. If you don’t have anything precious to give back to the other country(such as oil) then you are useless. When you are useless, nobody helps you. Nobody pays attention to what is going on. That’s why young people, as I saw today, have to come together and make a powerful, realistic play about it. A play that makes you think, react and even when it isn’t in your power to do anything, you at least know about it. Knowledge does have the power. Maybe one day it will be needed. Your knowledge may lead to something. You can have your say. Maybe one day you open a newspaper, watch the evening news and then you are the one that can distinguish between the truth and the crap they are presenting you. At least those young people today affected that small audience and they got to express themselves. They really did express themselves. Their emotions were pure and so were their experiences. That was their way of showing us what is going on and it had to be shocking in order to have an impact. It wasn’t that they showed a lot of naked bodies to get viewers or attention, they showed it to make an impact. The play wasn't spinning around women, even when it was very personal, it always had a greater meaning. To me, it represented freedom, a right to speak up and when our right is hushed, we are simply weak. It showed how defenceless people can be against government, even in today’s world. We have nothing.  
All those thoughts came to my mind and have now almost sorted themselves out, as I walked back from Summertown. As we were coming back as a group, there was a completely random stranger joining us and we started exchanging thoughts about it. How details in that play were even more important than what was going on. We see those details every day, but never pay much attention to them. Our thoughts always develop in a certain way and when they are off the rail, we feel insecure. That play didn't make me feel insecure, but the remark about the details was very observant. Suddenly, when represented in a bizarre way, they become significant. The doors of a metro in a subway are closing and you are suddenly trapped. When those subway doors close, do you ever think about the hundreds of people who have died in a terrorist attack? No. Which is a completely normal way of thinking .. who would ever make the connection with closing doors and a terrorist attack? I suppose you would think, if there would be a disturbance in your every day life and your daily routine would suffer because of that. What if you suddenly wouldn’t be able to go to work because of something that happened in your hometown. It may come as a surprise, but in fact your daily routine is the smallest detail that gets shaken by it. It is the whole society. Your well-being. Your security that has suddenly been interrupted. And suddenly you realise how selfish you are. Your well-being and security? What about those hundreds of people, their families and only thing that seems to be disturbed in your life is your daily routine? Once again you realise how selfish little human being you are. What if one day those doors close and a thought comes to your mind. You are alive, but it could have been you who died in a terrorist attack. Wouldn't you want other people to find out who did it? Furthermore, what was the reason they did it? People don't blow up subways without a reason. Something must be wrong, their heads must actually be clear and they feel like they have to approach their one goal. There can’t be any obstacles, no boundaries, no limits.
People prefer to deal with the consequences. Everything spins around the consequences. What about preventing something? What about finding a way out, what about THE REASONS? Why do people come to that extent that they kill hundreds of people? Society deals with wrong aspects. It would be about time to stop laying around and start fixing.
Those doors close and you are alone. There is no meaning to anything. There is no meaning to anything if your life is censored and you have no right to express yourself. If there are terrorists blowing something up, it isn’t only the problem of the terrorists. It is the way everything is built up. Terrorism just points it out and of course it is wrong and extreme, but nowadays this is a huge red warning sign which tells you that there IS something to be fixed. That it has even been too late to fix it..
The guy I was talking to had lived in Minsk for 10 years of his childhood and was now studying financial mathematics in Oxford university. Apart from the fact that he had some opinions about the play, he also had some opinions about Greece. If Greece would step out of  euro-zone, that would solve the problems. He would have nothing against it and it would be a relatively good solution. I might agree to a certain extent, but I find the whole situation sort of ironic, as the whole euro-zone is built on fake relationships. There is something wrong with your economy? Step out of the zone. Pay us everything and deal with your problems yourself. It doesn’t matter that we were supposed to be one happy family. We didn't stop you when you were causing troubles for yourself, but now deal with them yourself. Even though we saw that what is going to happen to you and were able to predict that this will pull us down as well. It is ironic how fragile it all actually is. The system that is built up by humans can be destroyed unbelievably easily. We are made to believe that it is all built on a hard and sustainable surface, but what it only needs for collapsing, is one tile to break down.  They don't fix the tile when it was showing weaknesses in the early stages, they start helping it only when the whole surface is shaking and almost collapsed. When the tile is broken, they give it a permission to let go. To leave them- to just not let them pull it all down with it. They do it when it is too late. That again leads us back to the problem. People don’t start dealing with problems early enough. Is it our nature? Some biological factor that developed before neolithic times ? but I am completely certain that this is not the way it should be. Things can only be fixed to a limited extend when they are completely broken. That is why we should start from preventing them happening. We live in this naive world, where you start fixing when something is completely broken. I agree with the attitude up to a point, but what if there’s no need to fix, as there is nothing broken? What if you prevent it from breaking? You’d save so much time, money, resouces. You see when it is starting to break, but you don’t let it go too far, you fix it right there. Therefore there is no hard work later and no consequences to deal with. Why not at least try it this way? Of course people will fail and things can’t be prevented but how do you know that nothing can’t be prevented if you haven’t tried it ? You fail once. Stand up. You fail twice stand up again. You need to fail to find a way to fix a problem. You can’t give up half way through and think that you rather deal with consequences and build it up the same way. Although you could build it better and stronger and then start your preventing programme once again. It is so much easier to deal with a problem, if it only has vague roots. As it’s getting stronger, it’s also getting harder to fix. It’s more difficult to fix something. Why not try to notice details, the first signs of a problem, so it wouldn't become severe. Why is it so hard for humans -I do not know, but what I do know is that admitting the problem and actually trying to do something is the first step towards a solution. 

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