Mene, Mene, Tekel, u Pharsin
Twenty-five hundred years ago, Daniel knew what these words written by a dismembered hand on the wall of King Belshazzar’s castle meant. The king abruptly found out when he lost his life that very night. Babylon found out when the Persians sacked the city.
Even if this had only been a parable to illustrate what happens when you disregard the conventions of decent living, it would have been a powerful one. Unfortunately for the Babylonians, it was not. It was reality.
The Manitoba jackrabbit has a grazing territory of about a square mile, which it patrols against intruders. As the population increases which, given the prolificacy of rabbits, it does, the job of protecting its territory becomes more and more stressful. The poor rabbit runs his proverbial tail off to keep intruders out, and ultimately has a heart attack and dies. That too is a telling lesson. No less the Manitoba Swamp Shrew runs itself into fatal exhaustion protecting its property.
And what have we learned from these factual examples? Nothing, it seems. There is an obvious flaw in the human inner eye. It’s been clouded over by civilization. Our obsessive-compulsive drive for profits overrides any human consideration. The miners’ strike in South Africa is a prime example. The miners are demanding a fair wage and they know they’re in for trouble so they arm themselves for protection. The mine owners call the cops who mow the miners down with automatic weapons. Then the mine CEO tells the miners they’d better be back to work by Monday or risk being fired. I suppose he figures it’s better to be fired than be fired upon. He obviously hasn’t assessed the mindset of his miners.
Then there’s the Enbridge fiasco in Canada and the U.S. They want to cut a strip through Sioux Territory and continue on to the Gulf of Mexico. The Sioux say ‘Get off our land!’ But it’s perfectly safe say Enbridge who in the mean time have a couple of big pipe ruptures and resultant oil spills. Well then says Enbridge along with the Canadian Government; we’ll take it up to Kitimat. ‘Get off our land!’ say the native tribes in B.C. But it’s perfectly safe insist Enbridge who in the meantime have another pipe rupture. Suddenly China, which has a massive investment in the Alberta Oil Sands, shows up in the north with an icebreaker. Look at that – a Chinese icebreaker. What a coincidence! So you know where the pipeline is going next. I mean, how many Inuit are up there to stop it? Haha! Did you ever see a bunch of white guys get harpooned? Do they really think the Inuit are so stupid as to not notice what’s going on in their homeland?
But they keep trying. They don’t seem to notice the dissention their machinations are causing. Have they not seen what is happening in the Middle East? Have they not noticed the rumblings in their own nations? Have they not noticed that people have lost the fear of authority and are willing to take a bullet for the sake of their beliefs?
Mene, Mene, Tekel, u Pharsin. That is what is written on the walls of the rich and powerful. And it won’t be long before they are popping off like the jackrabbit or the Manitoba swamp shrew. At least that’s how it seems from up here on the top shelf.