Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Monday, April 10, 2006

Insomnia, Life and Domination

I have struggled with insomnia for years now, which hasn’t been aided by shift work in the least. So, after a restless night, I elected to book off sick from work today. We work 7 on, 3 off, 7 on , 4 off which is also a very long haul, flipping from days to evenings with the odd midnight thrown in. Sadly, prisons don’t keep banker’s hours. Between my chronic insomnia and raising a toddler who has never slept in passed 06:30, I am chronically exhausted and wonder how people in military roles could function in combat (though, most certainly the adrenalin factor is at play to a large degree).

In any event, I began a couple year stint working in the Hole this week. It was not uneventful, having an inmate slashing up ten minutes into my second shift causing us to don biohazard suits and walk ankle deep in blood. Yesterday, another inmate who was really bugging out was throwing his shit out into the corridor in front of his cell. This usually freaks lay folk out, but, I assure you, such activities are not uncommon in maximum security penitentiaries. Needless to say one wants to divert their thoughts when not at work. My point, which I’m finally getting to in reference to the previous paragraph, is simply an observation in regards to my amazement that folks come home from the blood, chaos, filth and exhaustion of war and ever sleep peacefully again.

The Human Race is truly bent toward masochistic tendencies it would appear, while all other life forms seem geared to survive. That isn’t to say that wars of sorts to not happen in the wild as various critters combat one another for the prime feeding areas. One must really wonder where we are headed as a species though as we find misbalance between war and conquest for profit against environmental and sustenance issues. We justify war (shooting and bombing) as in the present Afghanistan mission because we don’t want terrorists being trained to kill innocent people, while we keep those of convicted of sodomizing and murdering children in prisons, ensuring that their ever right is observed. We argue that to execute a convicted murder as inhumane, but can accept casualties in Iraq as collateral damage in a war sold to the public as being a just crusade. Was it Stalin who said something to the effect that “the death of one man is a tragedy, the death of a million is a statistic”?

I see these warring tendencies in myself. I have become totally absorbed in learning to play Chess which, though on one hand is a largely academic pursuit, so too is it a mock-up of war whose strategies and interplay largely translate into other areas of life and success. Certainly there is a competitiveness here and one might see how, when given pieces like George W. Bush has been with the U.S. military arsenal, the desire to conquest on a larger scale might manifest itself. This is nothing new, reaching back epochs to the days of men like Alexander the Great. Football and the UFC are the same as the Gladiators of Rome sanitized, illustrating how this thirst for combat/competition has always been a part of who/what we are. That being said, should we fight what appears to be an ingrained instinct? Is this our form of population control, suffering because we no longer seek death but rather submission or simply more points?

…I should sleep….


  • At 3:33 p.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    So you were off sick and I was off Family Related? The joint was un-manned, but carried on without. Your angst over the death of others is shared by many readers of the "news", paper or plastic, t.v. or radio, as described by an old Dylan song concerning an earthquake in Mexico. He describes the deaths of a few individuals as reported, changes channels and goes to the fridge for another beer, describing all we do on hearing of "the lessening of Europe" by the death of another "clod". I cannot concentrate on Chess and remember only feeling more alienated by that "escape". When I return to the cellular life in the walls, as a cockroach, I expect boredom to set in and defend me from the pain of exercising freedom and acting responsibly. Even so, I shall count the moving bodies of those we protect from the wrath of those who need protection and think, too ironic! Move this population to Afghanistan and they would try to become Warlords. Move them to Ontario and let them become "bikers" and they devour themselves at a "party gone bad". Conquest and control usually spill over on the innocent, as in Afghanistan or Oliver Public school. Somehwere on the net I am told you can buy a book written by a six-year-old girl and a cd by a Canadian musician that will help provide hugs to abandoned and orphaned children in Africa. Let the children lead us where we ought to go. nodroganon


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