World in Jeopardy
“The whole world is in a terrible state o’ chassis” so says Sean O Casey in his play ‘Juno and the Paycock’ set in 1922.
We are today no different. The possible disaster of a ‘hot war’ involving a possible Russian invasion of the Ukraine is mind-boggling.
In a little forked diversion here it was maybe eight months or so that I tuned into a documentary on the Assad family dynasty of Syria. The present President is Bashar Assad with his wife Asma. Bashir was a doctor in England and married Asma who was born in London with Syrian parents. When Bashar’s father died he succeeded his father. It was thought by many that ‘the doctor’ would be a much more benevolent ruler than his father in a troubled land. That was not how it turned out. An end camera shot of Bashar was of him driving through one of many destroyed cities of Syria. That Middle Eastern region is seen as the birthplace of civilization and goes back to biblical times.
The image of an educated man seeming relaxed and confident about the destruction all around him and the thousands of people who were killed or imprisoned to satisfy his interpretation of the appropriate rule, was to me incredible. There have been many modern examples of this. Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and so on.
I was reminded of a sketch I had seen decades ago during some crisis which I would like to have now. It was a drawing of the planet earth with all the evidence of it having been through a catastrophic war of destruction. Atop the graphic of a destroyed world globe a couple of military figures were hailing the fact that; ‘We won!”.
Could that be the case with a possible war beginning with an invasion of the Ukraine. Are Putin, Biden and their acolytes really willing to risk a war with all the incredible utensils of war available to them? The title used by soldiers of the First World War to artillery bombardments was, ‘hell’. The capacity of the great powers today has multiplied to ‘unleash hell’ by any factor of X.
Senior people will remember the threats of a possible third world war in the early sixties during the Cuban Crisis. As the U.S. military strained at the bit to use their terrible resources luckily common sense prevailed. If a ‘limited’ war began where would it stop? Could it be stopped? In 1965 Barry McGuire pounded out one of the great chilling anti-war songs part of which I post to here. You really have to hear it of course.
Eve of Destruction
“The Eastern world, it is explodin'
Violence flarin', bullets loadin'
You're old enough to kill but not for votin'
You don't believe in war, but what's that gun you're totin'?
And even the Jordan river has bodies floatin'
But you tell me over and over and over again my friend
Ah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction
Don't you understand what I'm trying to say?
Can't you feel the fear that I'm feeling today?
If the button is pushed, there's no running away
There'll be no one to save with the world in a grave
Take a look around you boy, it's bound to scare you, boy
But you tell me over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction
I seem to remember reading that Douglas McArthur toyed with the idea of using a nuclear bomb against the Chinese at a point during the Korean War.
Think of all the hate there is in Red China
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama
Ah, you may leave here for four days in space
But when you return, it's the same old place
The poundin' of the drums, the pride and disgrace
You can bury your dead but don't leave a trace
Hate your next door neighbor but don't forget to say grace
And you tell me over and over and over and over again my friend
You don't believe we're on the eve of destruction
You don't believe we're on the eve of destruction”.
Tomorrow is Saturday a Sports Fest.
It is hard to come down from Barry McGuire but thankfully tomorrow is another day!
As a sports nerd, which I imagine people who read this from time to time can see, tomorrow, Saturday 12th is a feast day.
Manchester Utd. V Southampton early on I’ll give a miss to as I’ll try and get a walk in then.
In rugby Wales v Scotland at 2.15 which I will probably get snitches of as I’m doing something else.
Then come the GAA club hurling and football finals. My pick there is the contest in hurling between pretty close neighbours Ballygunner of Waterford v Ballyhale Shamrocks from Kilkenny. I fancy the Kilkenny cats to do the business with T.G. Reid the man to watch.
I will have a problem with Kilmacud Crokes of Dublin v Kilcoo of Down. Though Kilcoo are favourites I go for Kilmacud. K.O. 5.
My problem with watching that game is that there is a bone crusher of a rugby game with Ireland v France in Paris. K.O. 4.45. The loss of Johnny Sexton is a big one for Ireland but they seem to have a very good side with a number of very seasoned players to come on from the bench. Impossible to call.
Then on cue comes a top league hurling game with Limerick, the current giants, v Galway with King Henry (Shevlin) in charge of Galway, at 7.
It would have been some day if the U.S. Super Bowl topped it off but that starts on Sunday night at 11.30 p.m. That can be a long night. It takes place in California with the Los Angeles Rams v Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals are nearly the epitome of the ‘zero to hero’ catchphrase as they have shocked American football followers with their rise to fame this season. Of course the quarter-back, 25year old Joe Burrow, has had a major role in that transition.
[It is worth noting that the GOAT has retired at the end of the season just gone. The ‘Greatest of All Time’ has been Tom Brady].
A sporting first which we should all applaud was that of Cavan lady Leone Maguire who had a significant win in a U.S. golf tournament last weekend. She was the hero of the victorious European Solheim Cup team last Autumn. She looks like a lady who will be a regular ‘contender’ in ladies’ golf, in the states, for years to come. An honourable mention goes to another golfer, Seamus Power from Waterford. He blazed around Pebble Beach with the first two rounds of 64 each last week. This had him in a leading positon. He dropped back with two modest rounds on the Saturday and Sunday. However, for a while there it looked as if it could have been a mighty double for the Irish golfers. Still it was pretty impressive.
I’ll adjourn here and maybe get back to the keyboard sooner rather than later.
We are not there yet even if our world seems to suggest that we are home and hosed!