Go Darke

Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first, and is waiting for it

Ethics, History


It was one of the most iconic photos taken during the second world war…

A Chinese baby crying in a bombed out railway station in Shanghai that had just been attacked by Japanese fighter-bombers on August 28, 1937.

It was also, probably, staged.

Does it matter?

This pictures always opens up debate in my mind. While both sides of that cavernous interior agree that the bombing of non-combatants is a heinous, war crime… being duped into an emotional response gets my hackles up every time.

Is it one of those, ‘do the ends justify the means’ situations we as a society sometimes like to bandy about. Should the world have be outraged in the 1930’s as to what was happening in China? In my opinion absolutely! Should a staged picture be used to channel our emotions towards outrage? Suddenly I’m less sure.

If I roleplay the situation in my mind, it goes something like this.

Look, no one in the west gives a @#$% about whats happening here, lets put this injured baby on the edge of the platform, you can you publish it in your western newspapers and maybe we can make something happen…

Given this option, what would I have done? I probably would have taken the photo. I would have told the lie.

Interesting, child injuries and deaths don’t spur us to action anymore.

Omran Daqneesh

Alan Kurdi

I have no idea why some geographic locales on planet earth garner more empathy than other places. Syria… Rwanda… Myanmar… these are not places we rush off to help. Maybe we’ll send some ‘thoughts and prayers’ and sign some form of social media petition or something.

(I obviously include myself in these broad aspersions). I don’t really care about these places. I tell myself I have a limited supply of empathy and that I’d prefer to ‘fix’ something closer to home.

And maybe that’s true. Although maybe I’m just ‘staging’.



  1. Over Soil


    Not sure how to process that, perhaps I’m not enough awake (literally and the inner person). If there at the scene, I’d react and could NOT leave a crying baby or the body of Alan Kurdi laying there like that and would want to comfort Omran Daqneesh. The post has prompted me to look up about the back stories of Omran Daqneesh and Alan Kurdi and ponder before the day starts. Thing is we are all children are we not? All of us need to be against war, for there lays the harm to humanity. Getting one innocent to learn and then kill others, thus harming all. Narcissists nearer the top… Questions before breakfast and ponderings about where Omran is now and how that life is panning out.

    1. Over Soil


      Still reading up about it all and wake (literally) a little, to re~realise that weapons are the root that needs digging up (metaphorically), but I’m not the gardener and my hands are small (also metaphorically speaking). I’ve also got to the point of wanting to think of little Alan Kurdi as was a happy child:

  2. Professor Taboo


    Jo, you bring up the internal human conflict—or hopefully it does to most; acute Narcissists are the exception—that at least reminds us that we are ALL human. In that sense, we are all family/cousins and as the supposedly most intelligent species on this remarkable planet, we absolutely SHOULD have empathy, compassion, and a daily/weekly desire for peace and good will for all humans. And that is where the ‘more balanced’ internal conflict should be fought and sorted out. There’s just one MAJOR problem:

    We are dealing with a species, Homo sapiens, that are just as emotionally unstable as they are intelligently stoic, equitable, and wise. There lies the warped irony of our progress or demise. 😞

    As a species we still very much struggle with our Primate DNA of hoarding, selfishness, greed, power, militant reaction… all of the traits that make us less virtuous. And honestly these are mostly traits within the male gender, sadly.

    But Jo, at least these photographs START the necessary dialogue, right?

    1. Jo


      Personally I am still very much a monkey. With an i-Phone. Although I flush my poop now… as opposed to flinging it at those that vex me. Although… now that I think about it… would we all be kinder to each other if the consequences of double parking were that someone smeared our windscreen with their own filth?

      My basset hound rolled in a human turd in the park once. Having to clean him was, up until that point in my life, the grossest thing imaginable. We are not fans of strange peoples poo.

      I’m getting off topic here.

      I mean I probably broadly agree with you. Dialogue, does sometimes lead to introspection and then sometimes action… that sometimes leads to a long term change in behavior.

      I often find it quite slow. And… erratic. Like some things that SHOULD spur us into action don’t…. and some mundane things generate this amazing, global call to arms.

      I guess I’m just interested why some (far away) events trigger us for so long that we change our lives because of it. And others completely don’t.

      1. Professor Taboo


        To your two last sentences, my immediate answer/explanation is technology… and the speed at which technology is reaching. This makes our enormous world smaller so to speak. This naturally has just as many benefits for humanity as it does lack of comprehensive context leading to mistakes and misunderstanding, some that are catastrophic.

        There are likely many answers/solutions, however, what I feel is paramount is the much improved expansion of the human brain’s capacity to process MORE variables of events, background, context, etc, i.e. more advanced algorithm processing that keeps pace—as much as is humanly possible—with our CPU technology. This will indeed require more than 2-3 generations. In that light, our species continues to walk the edge of extinction… or near extinction. 😬 Daunting? HAH!!!! 🤣

      2. Professor Taboo


        Jo, forgot to add a bit of realistic humor to our conversation… 😁

        In an April 2011 blog-post I wrote a satirical, but profound revelation of how remarkably well evolved 13 animal species, mostly insects, are with their Eusociality and Superorganism Behavior for one another. It is arguably the TWO primary reasons they have survived several Extinction Events on Earth since life first began. Here’s the link to that post…

        Headline: All Earthly Ants Abducted by Aliens!

        One of my all-time favorite scientists and scholar is Dr. E.O. Wilson of Harvard University. Look him up. I have one of his award winning DVD programs, Of Ants and Men, an exceptional exploration into a most resilient insect compared to humans. I’ll leave a preview of it in a following comment. He is a prolific entomologist and broad thinker of how Homo sapiens BELONG WITH all of Earth’s species and their is a wealth to be learned from them… if we can just get past our Primate DNA. Lol

      3. Over Soil


        Professor Taboo, I’m finding his idea Half Earth very inspiringly familiar, as this is similar to what was being discussed during my MSc. We talked of keeping green belts around cities and wildlife corridors them, talking of national parks and the different types. I found the French idea most inspiring of rings of less and less and less interaction towards the centre. Anyways, I’m thinking I best take a peep at your blogs.

      4. Over Soil


        p.s. Oops, I typed too fast and forgot to put the word “connecting” between corridors and them.

      5. Professor Taboo


        Thank you Over Soil for your kindness. I hope you find my blog somewhat interesting, enough to have pop-over a few times and share your thoughts and opinions. 🙂 I will visit yours as well. 👍🏼

      6. Over Soil


        My blog post making is a very self indulgent affair, you might glean something one day and think WTF for the rest. I’ve used the excuse that it’s blogging for the intrinsic value (and using the word intrinsic always makes me think “How pretentious” with pretentious being another one of those words).

      7. Jo


        Jesus… you’ve been blogging since… forever! Just how old are you?

        Hehe he.

      8. Jo


        Just out of interest, how many posts have you accumulated since the beginning?

      9. Professor Taboo


        On THIS question I can dis-invoke my U.S. 5th Amendment and invoke my 69th Amendment right: to speak arrogantly and ignorantly as ALL Americans are talented in doing… 😁

        346 posts published, 27 drafts pending, and 42 separate pages published! All still growing… just like my twisted, warped brilliance! 👑

      10. Jo


        Ha ha. I actually laughed out loud. 69th Amendment. ‘Merica… fuck yeah. (Tastes like freedom… or maybe fried chicken)

        That is quite a number of posts! Also 27 drafts? And 42 pages. Holy cow. Thats a lot.

        WELL DONE!

      11. Professor Taboo


        Well… I don’t know about “well,” but not done (obviously) and damn sure not so well! I feel as if I’m blogging inside The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus if you’ve seen the film. 😆

      12. Professor Taboo


        I will invoke my U.S. 5th Amendment right here! hehehe Next question please Sir. 😉

      13. Jo


        I’m going read that as… ‘retiree’.

        *chortles to himself*

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