Tuesday, 6 November 2012

War! What is it good for? Absolutely nuthin'!

That song hits the nail right on the head. I was reminded of that a few weeks ago when I first watched the video below, which includes much of the amateur footage of the last few sordid hours of Mutassim Gaddafi's life after he had been captured by the rebels towards the end of the Libyan War, as well as the aftermath of his execution. I have watched it a couple of times since. The text overlays, which are thankfully not too overly prevalent, make clear that the video was put together by its compiler in an attempt to praise Mutassim and serve as a kind of testimony to him. But all that was completely irrelevant to me and the longer the video went on the more I ignored the words because the powerful juxtaposition of image, music and the offhandedly bestial anger and vengeance of the war-hardened voices and the pitifully oppressing banality of what was happening gave me a completely different impression of what I was seeing which drowned out all ideological, political and other petty earthly considerations.

My impression consisted of a mixed bag of emotions. Intense sadness at the tragic futility of war and the pointless cruelty of it all, helplessness in the knowledge that human beings fight and kill each other and that they always have done and probably always will, and - perhaps most of all - humbled awe at the fact that we are all, even the most powerful among us, nothing but tiny little specks of near-nothingness in the bigger picture who are all destined to die and eventually disappear without trace from the history of the Universe.

This video reminded me that death is The Great Leveler who always wins out in the end, despite all the fleeting and ultimately futile power games that human beings play…

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