Turbulence of Liberalism 2016

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Photo By ARL

Here we go again… It’s been a terrible year and that happens to be the mantra almost everywhere, but again I ask myself, could it be a reflection of my own personal experience and tragedies in the year I am trying to project on the world? 

Could it be that for the reason that some really set goals I had failed to achieve on a grand scale and my like is attracting likes of the same beaten miserable and soiled souls? As the African saying goes.. ‘On the day of the death of the monkey, all tree branches become slippery’.

Could it be a domino effect of a worst case scenario gone bad? Definitely, we see a chain reaction, a strange pattern and things are just all not adding up in the state of the affairs of the world. On the one hand again it does add up for some, they are winning. The killer seem to be winning, the conservatives are winning, hypocrite is winning while on the other hand  Liberalism is under threat, a threat that could break us all apart.

Am I finally giving in to fear? Hell yes! I am scared as hell right this moment.

Again, growing up and seeing clearly and learning that some things just dont go our way, I see growing older as passing through the gauntlet of sorrows, happiness, sickness, failures, rejection, defeats and so much more, taking ourselves out of the dungeon of fear for most of the time is left to how we deal with it.  

I am learning to take the punch, sometimes, we get beaten and I must say, its a feeling that sucks, but again, we must rise.

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 Back to the year 2016, a year filled with so much drama and gore… The year, in its first quarter a viral internet meme asks if it is being directed by the freak Hollywood Director, Producer, Screenwriter and actor, Quentin Tarantino? Those who know this man understands the analogy behind that question. For those who do not, in one phrase, he ranks among some of the masters of  violence, blood with some sadistic situations and events portrayed  on TV.

We take certain things personal as human beings of course, ideologies, religions and self determination which ever way or form it comes. The human ego feeds on those things we hold dare.. Humanity has been able to set rules, regulations and penalties over eons some lax and some tight, just for the control of whatever it may be, as it is claimed to be in the maintenance of ‘order’ and ‘civilization’.

I have never given in to that popular moaning of people complaining of how terrible each year has been for them as I have heard many all my life. But I noted and started really feeling 2016 and its cracks from the very beginning of the year as I had to bury my father, that I must say is a life changing experience that I deal with daily.

The year(2016) has been a year out of the movies, dramatic, bloody, filled with one horrible surprises to another. The economy of my country, Nigeria and that of many other oil producing counties around the world has been free falling and flailing in the abyss of some of the worst world wide economic recessions of our time. Job losses and uncertainty is rife. A little confession.. I am shuddered, not so shocked but bewildered and befuddled at the hidden surprises at every turn in the year.

A peculiar kind of uneasy feeling has been on the increase and 2016 has been busy at dishing out its repugnant gruel of natural disasters in Italy, and the Caribbeans, we take front row seats with the social media showing us daily. Governments’ systematic massacre of its own people.

A year Syria continues to barrel bomb its citizens into oblivion. Alepo is the house of death. Mosul in Iraq as of the time of writing this article is having its macabre dance to beats of deadly ordnance, sniper fire, bombings and full blown war, death, destruction and displaced people everywhere.

A year where a bunch of militants started by occupying the a government facility in Portland, Oregon for weeks leading to an armed confrontation with Security Agents, these militants were eventually arrested and are cleared of their charges as of this moment.

A year we continue to witness the acceleration of Police brutality and killings of black citizens for some of the frivolous reasons imaginable and also where a  man/ woman with easy access to guns goes out in a bang, shooting up, killing and maiming innocent people.

A year where the United Kingdom pulled out of the European Union against the projections of pundits and to the shock of the world and today, BREXIT, a word unknown just a few months ago is part of our lexicon.

A year the Philippines got its mad President, Rodrigo Duterte, a man who was swept to the leadership of his country by popular votes, for the reason of his crass behavior and speeches. What really made Duterte a superstar with the people of his country is actually his unconventional style and his history of killing those he and his cohorts label as ‘drug dealers and takers’in the most gruesome ways without trial from his days as the Mayor of the city of Davao. Mr Duterte is living up to the expectations of his people and is busy having a butcher party in the country. Over three thousand so called ‘drug dealers’ have met their end in some of the most grotesque ways imaginable, just in his few months in office as the president of his country. 

A year with terrorist attacks in, Mali, Ivory Coast, Bangladesh, France, Turkey, Belgium, Germany and the least goes on..

A year people, in their quest to reach what they think is ‘better life’, escaping poverty, lack, hunger and war continue to die almost daily in their thousands  crossing the Mediterranean into the ‘unknown Utopia’ called Europe.

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Photo By ARL

For me, the drama and outcome of the US election 2016 has brought it all to a head. A candidate who stands for almost everything many reasonable minds do not see as Presidential is the President of the strongest country in the world today.

A known misogynist, ‘pussy grabber’, vindictive person, racist, climate change denier, draft dodger, pathological liar, a bully, arrogant serial molester is the leader of the ‘Free World’. It was not by a coup de tat. The people elect him to run their country and this is where we are today.

Some say who cares? A satisfying position it is, I must say. But the effect and result of any US election and government policies affects us all, even if we pretend it does not. I will not be going into explaining the impact on the world directly or indirectly here. I will only advise the person should please try to read and carry out some research on basic world economics.

My eighty six year old friend, Pete just chipped in.. ‘Shall we stay negative? ‘The answer from the octogenarian remains positive. Yes, mourn your defeats if you have to, only for the moment it must be though. You must deal with it as your back is on the ground and your target must be to stand back up. 

Am I in fear and heartbroken seeing all the progressive advancements achieved in the last few years about to be eroded right in front of my eyes? Most probably yes for now. But again, we take this punch to the chin and we rise.

Arise Liberals of the the world, time to dust ourselves up, re- organize and continue with the fight. The glass is still half full, half filled with murky waters for now, but that too will settle, we win some we lose some, we continue to fight learning from our downfalls.

2016, are you out already?

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Bolaji Alonge is an Artiste and International Photographer from Lagos, Nigeria who has been traveling the world for most parts of the last decade documenting exotic cultures, participating in experiences , Tourism, Networking, exchange of ideas and information that sometimes books and the internet do not offer. 

-Bolaji Alonge 

 Photos by: ARL  for awefirm.org

Awefirm © 2016 . All Rights Reserved.

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