My brother has been very angry about his time in college lately, particularly regarding something called the Welsh Baccalaureate. He tells me me that the college he is attending had made him sit through a 32-minute film titled The Day After Peace (which was made in 2008), which chronicles the self-endowed quest of one Jeremy Gilley to create a day of non-violence, which ended with what my brother described as a bastardized version of the song “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by Eurythmics (the actual song isn’t even about peace to begin with; it’s actually about looking for fulfillment).
I’m not saying a day of non-violence is inherently bad, but not only does it feel redundant because most people know not to be too violent on a regular basis. Is that not non-violence? Also, I feel we should question the motives of this Jeremy Gilley. Is he really such a saintly person, or just an attention-seeker like one Jason Russell. It’s like how people try to get everyone united under a banner. Said people are both attention-craving and hungry for influence others. Even if this Jeremy Gilley isn’t just another attention-hungry twit and he really does believe in world peace, he’s a fool, and everyone supporting his campaign is either desperately dragging flower power out of its grave again or just mindlessly going with the crowd like so many people supporting popular ideas and causes.
And let me tell you about my brother’s college before I criticize the cause. After having to watch that short movie and having to do some pointless group activities, the lesson ended with him and his class being assigned homework that involves the following tasks:
- Going to the Thunderclap website and supporting a Peace One Day campaign.
- Writing a short speech on how you want to make peace with someone.
- Doing some research on an anti-war artist, with personal commentary.
I’m sorry am I missing something here? Because that whole assignment has the exact hallmarks of a fucking social/political agenda rather than education. How stupid do you have to be to not see that making something sign up to support something as homework is pure bullshit? It has nothing to do with educating people, and everything to do with indoctrinating people, or playing to sentimentality that people do not question the legitimacy of. The second task is stupid too. It’s a completely moronic task that assumes you feel animosity towards someone let alone have plans to reconcile with said someone. Don’t get me wrong, my brother and I probably do have animosity towards someone, but we don’t care about reconciling with said person (at least in this moment in time), and we certainly would not feel comfortable telling a Welsh Baccalaureate teacher, or any teacher for that matter. The third task, I gotta say, is the only homework task that even qualifies as homework. If the homework assigned by Welsh Baccalaureate was just writing about some anti-war artist, then it would be fine, at the least it would an actual assignment. But no. My brother’s class gets being made to support Peace One Day as fucking homework. I don’t care what people would say, you shouldn’t make anyone support anything if they don’t want to, and you shouldn’t make it homework. This is hardly any different from fascism, or school for that matter. And if I were in his situation, I’d be pissed off too, and I wouldn’t be shy of expressing it either even if it means losing some potential friends.
Now back to the cause itself. Seriously. When was the last time you actively sought out to support something like Peace One Day, that runs only on popular sentiment? I’ll bet it was that you were led on to supporting it and didn’t question anything at all, or you were just going with the crowd most likely not actually believing in anything. In general, things like the whole world peace thing is nothing more than undead baby boomer philosophy. Flower power died in the 1970’s, killed by the dark realities of this world. Hell, I could actually say flower power died in the middle of the 1960’s when peace and love didn’t go according to plan. Back then you see, there was not only government crackdown, but also riots, and even prejudice-fueled killing (especially during that fateful Rolling Stones concert). Flower power is finished. Flower power was always finished, it was and still is shallow and meaningless if you think about it. It almost always seems to die not too far from when it begins, and even if it had genuine meaning and inspiration, in the end it could not survive the interests of the corporations who spread it as meaningless slogan. It only survives because the baby boomers preserve it and the masses mindlessly follow it without any thought at all.
The reality most people may refuse to accept is that war and conflict always find a way to rear their heads in this world. They have always found a way to happen in this world and there’s fuck all that can change it save for the death of the universe (which for all we know would start all over again and then the entire cycle would repeat). The way I see it, peace always gives way to war, and war always gives to peace. Come to think of it, peace and war pretty much happen at the same time. Even if we rule out war specifically, we still have aggression, competition, and hate in all of us. We can control these things, yes, but we will never completely be rid of it. And people will always disagree with each other, which sooner or later would always lead to conflict. The only alternative is some authoritarian utopia where you don’t have free will to disagree or be angry at anything. That’s the only way you can have a world of absolute peace. And let me appeal to your common sense for a moment: would you want to live in a world like that? And I’m not saying we shouldn’t have peace, love, or harmony at all. I think we can have peace, love, or harmony, but we should enjoy the peace we can have in this world instead of following some stupid naive idea that has always been left for dead.
One last thing. The mere fact that corporations like Lynx spread this irritates me, but it’s pretty unsurprising. They’re just appealing to the masses who don’t think.
So this September 21st, don’t follow the crowd. Don’t support another useless sentimental campaign. Enjoy the personal peace you have or already can have. Don’t crave a world where peace is all you will ever know.