Lots of issues around violence and when to use it have come to the fore for me in the past few days – the Afghan war and the G8 riots being the most media prominent. Yet, its my current favorite TV show Boston Legal which describes it best.
There was a great episode where one of the lawyers got into an altercation with a bruiser at a bar. Said lawyer taunted said bruiser, who punched him. View the video to see one way our of this situation.
As you can see his solution was unique – but it brings up the question for me of when do you fight, when do you flee (and maybe fight another day) and when do you bring in help.
In a more metaphorical way, this scenario is often revisited in one’s career when you are faced with a serious conflict (say getting fired or majorly jerked around) and the aforementioned three choices. Though at first blush, going on the offensive may feel like the right thing, upon sleeping on it the answer often seems to be to walk away. The long-term strategy often becomes bringing in others to help you.
I follow the idiom that revenge is best served cold.* It is more important to determine my immediate interests and needs than it is to go for the throat. But, then again, sometimes it sure would be nice …
* this phrase is alternatively attributed to Klingon Khaless the unforgettable; a quote by Pierre Ambroise Francois Choderios de LaClos (1741-1803) in his book Les Liasons Dangereuses; or as old Mafiosi saying from Sicily.
Dark or black humor has always been fascinating to me – finding something funny in dismal times clearly shows how resilient humanity can be.
My introduction to black humor was Monty Python, and more specifically the movie the Holy Grail. Two of my favorites are Black Knight and Bring out Your Dead.
With the digital age and youtube we now don’t have to wait for geniuses such as Python to write and produce videos and get them to TV, the movies or VHS. Now with little production time and no cost, videos reflect what is happening now, and can have direct and immediate impact.
One example of this real-time dark humor is in regards to the spill in the gulf. A great video was done by John Clarke and Brian Dawe of the 7.30 Report (Australia) which skewers the duplicity of BP.
On a different (musical) note demonstrating the use of humor in dark times, is a music video done by the Best Party from Reykjavik, Iceland to Tina Turners song “Simply the Best”.
The Best Party is like the Rhino Party and other spoof parties who are created as a protest to the traditional parties in the political system – this party was created due to the massive lack of confidence in government after the country went bankrupt. What is ironic is that in this case the Best Party, whose comedian leader campaigned on clean politics, free towels in city swimming pools and a polar bear for the zoo, took over 30 percent of the vote and won six seats on the 15-seat city council. Humor in dark times trumps.
Dark humor is an effective tool, and yet in the end Python gets it right.
When there is an increase in broadband speed in the North America, we can download more episodes of our favorite TV show (mine is 30 rock); when broadband speed increases in Africa, millions more people get online through mobile technologies.
Whole “development” leaps are being taken on the African continent – mind numbing and corrupt bureaucracy is in one click being overcome with government services going online; banking is being revolutionized with mobile “MPESA” banking; “urban wilderness”, the unplanned settlements or slums, or being mapped for the first time. And I can go on – read my article on Bridging the Digital Divide.
Just saw this great article and video done by Declan McCormack on the impact of mobile phones and the internet in east Africa that i thought nails it in regards to what is going on. Enjoy.