A Thousand Deaths, Not One Life.

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Dear coward,


I love this scene from the movie Alien 3…

“Dillon: [the inmates are still reluctant to take on the alien before the rescue teams arrives] Right, Okay, just sit here on your asses. Fine.

Morse: How about if I sit here on my ass?

Dillon: No problem. Oh, I forgot. You're the guy that's made a deal with God to live forever, huh?

[to the others]

Dillon: And all the rest of you pussies, can sit it out too.

[about Ripley]

Dillon: Me and her'll do all the fighting.”


It always comes down to the brave minority. Always. When the Jews were too scared to do anything about the Philistines, there was Samson. He died alone, surrounded by enemies instead of his friends. Word is he broke faith with God and was captured because he trusted one of the enemy with the secret of his power, but who knows what really happened or if it even did? There was an army with guys carrying top of the range weapons (for those days) and Goliath made them soil their loincloths. David comes with his slingshot, stepping in front of the army, ready to take on a monster who terrifies everybody else. Historians are unsure if this guy existed either, but the story’s a good one, that’s for sure. What about Yeshua bar Yosef? An even better story… The man had some good ideas and did his best to change the world. He needed force multipliers, so he got 12 guys and at least one woman to follow him and spread the message. As I’m fond of saying, “he was fine while he walked everywhere, it was when he climbed on a donkey that he got in trouble”- and then wound up nailed to a cross. Were his friends there? No. They ran like hell, promise of Heaven notwithstanding. Who was there? By all accounts His mother, Mary Magdalene and possibly James the Just. Who got the power and who was written out of the history books? Those who ran took over the show, while those who stood their ground disappeared from the record. As for James the Just, what happened to him? He was stoned to death for supporting the Christians.



There was king Leonidas, 300 Spartans and perhaps another 2000 allies, fighting a rear guard action while Themistocles took on the Persian fleet, both men vastly outnumbered- and we know what happened at Thermopylae... A whole country was overrun by the Ottoman Empire and the nobility cooperated with the invader, corrupting the nation. Vlad Basarab III (aka Vlad the Impaler or Dracula) turned on the Turks who had put him in power, killed some of the nobles and set the rest to manual labor, then took on his former sponsors after he sorted out the mess the country’s internal order was in. He didn’t end well, was torn apart by four horses or camels. Michael the Brave had a similar fate, only he was beheaded by traitorous nobles around him and these days is probably the only Romanian king with two graves. Yeah, his body is in one grave, and his head, found later, in another next to it- I kid you not, saw the graves with my own eyes. Fast forward a few centuries, and the situation is unchanged. A few men, sometimes just one, took on suicidal odds so that others may live. Examples are aplenty. There’s Audie Murphy’s heroism in World War 2, Jerry “Mad Dog” Shriver in the Vietnam War, judge Giovanni Falcone against the Mafia, Dakota Meyer in Afghanistan, so many that it’ll take years to tell their stories. They were there. They stood their ground. They fought, led and bled, many died. We call them heroes because that’s what they are, but in life there are others, who are called “normal” because they wait for someone else to die doing what’s right…



A few weeks ago, I was having a drink to relax after spending hours on writing an episode in the Omega Exodus series. Discussing my scenario with you, I was told “I’ve got kids, I don’t wanna think about that”, to which I responded “It’s because of your kids that you need to think about this”. And then I heard “If only there was a man willing to sacrifice himself to take Zuma (Jacob Zuma, South African president) out”. A number of things flashed through my mind as soon as I heard it, first being that getting rid of Jacob Zuma is meaningless and second, you had no idea what it takes to pull off a political assassination. That was charitable, because I also thought “You fat fuck! Why must someone sacrifice himself so that you can sit pretty on your fuckin’ ass? How about you do your fair share if you want something done? God damn, man!”



Thinking that ignorance is not bliss, I told you “Political assassination is not like in the movies. To succeed, an assassin needs as few obstruction as possible, preferably none, because fighting or trying to circumvent them will attract attention. It’s like tumblers in a lock- everything has to line up for the guy to get in, and that takes information and power. It means more than one person is necessary to succeed and that makes it a conspiracy. Now, who are you gonna trust with this? The man travels with around 11 vehicles in his entourage. That’s at least 40 bodyguards, many of whom were well trained by the British SAS. He’s also protected by a platoon of Special Forces and the police during public engagements. You want to compromise his bodyguards? It’s been tried, believe me, and hasn’t worked. Those people are loyal to him, well paid, have been with the guy for years and he knows them all. You’ll have to get to the guy in charge to maneuver things in such a way that one man can get through, and the security system has checks and balances. If he tries anything, the guys below him will spot it and disobey orders that compromise security. At the same time, they’ve got guys undercover in the crowd, who are trained to spot trouble. The assassin is going to need to know who they are and where they are, then get around them. This ain’t Hollywood man, it’s just not gonna happen with only one guy.”



A little over a year ago, seven journalists working for and another on contract to the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) were fired after they refused to follow some orders. They quickly became known as the SABC 8 and their story became very big in the national media. This was at a time when Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the then-COO of SABC, was under fire for his “sunshine news” quota, questionable leadership and pro-ANC stance which was merely the latest in a string of events that had turned the SABC into a joke. There were protests, the SABC 8 got plenty of space in the media to speak and write, trying to become latter day heroes. It worked in a way, because most people bought their self-serving bullshit, and seven of them were reinstated after the SABC got its butt kicked at the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), which is where people go to settle labor disputes before heading for the rather expensive battle zone of the Labour Court. Yeah, most people bought those journalists’ self-serving bullshit, but I didn’t.



By their own admission, the journalists had prostituted their professional obligations and ideals for years and contributed to creating the rot at SABC just so they could keep their jobs and in one case, even get steadily promoted. They were sorry for selling themselves only now, when they were out in the cold and needed a paycheck, like a priest apologizing for raping an altar boy thirty years earlier. When that happened and a buddy of mine saw it on the news, he said mockingly “I’m sorry now, but I enjoyed your poephol (asshole) then”… Those people got their jobs back, but what about those who were fired or forced to leave before then? I don’t know, the media didn’t seek out their perspectives, though I reckon they would’ve had a few interesting things to say about the former head of news who was then on a serious public self-flagellation kick. And then about a month ago, one of those journalists was found dead in her apartment, apparently felled by what’s been called Broken Heart Syndrome… Once more the media found a bandwagon to jump on, so it made the news and editorial comments sections. Nice girl, passionate about her work, was under a lot of unrelenting strain, journalists are having a hard time today, blah-blah-blah. Yeah, check the tears rolling down my cheeks…



There’s a big scandal making waves in South African politics right now, called “#GuptaLeaks”. It’s about how a business family (the Guptas of unauthorized landing at Waterkloof AFB fame) seemingly had come in a position to offer cabinet posts due to their influence on president Jacob Zuma. A boatload of the Guptas’ emails were leaked and journalists are having a field day. There’s talk of investigations, removing the president, major corruption and a few people called “the good guys” just because they did their jobs instead of taking bribes. Yup, modern South African heroes are those who do what they’re paid to. My, how low our expectations have sunk… Well, things have gotten so bad and will still get worse because pretty much like Edmund Burke said once, good people did nothing.



Mind you, it’s not the only reason. Since the late ‘70s or early ‘80s, the mantra was to “change the system from within”. Nice idea, but that only works when the system is willing to change- for the better, that is, because it usually finds it a hell of a lot easier to get worse. Like others, the South African government has shown itself unwilling to change for the better and those who try find themselves worn down to the bone or corrupted. I suppose it’s not that different in the United States. Practically every president of the last four or five decades has promised to change the culture and waste of Washington D.C., only to find themselves either immensely frustrated or coopted by the end of their first term, sometimes both since “politics is the art of the possible”... That resistance to change and entrenched dysfunction (or corruption, depending on how charitable you feel), is called “Deep State” these days and those who vainly promise change call their efforts “draining the swamp”. Like “hybrid warfare”, “asymmetric warfare” and a whole lot of other fancy terms, it’s nothing but putting a new dress on a mummy to make people think it’s the latest fashion model strutting down the catwalk. Man, there’s nothing new about this, it’s been with us ever since governments were created.



Can the “Deep State” be brought to the light of day? Can the swamp be drained? Yes, but not from within. Change is clearly impossible from the inside because those who are willing to try are vastly outnumbered and outranked by those who merely go with the flow and in some cases, even direct the rivers of filth running through our bodies politic. Dear coward, if you wanna see delta (the Greek letter used by mathematicians to denote change, not the Special Forces unit), you’re gonna have to do it from the outside. That means getting off your huge gluteus maximus and going out there, finding like-minded people, organizing, bringing pressure on the system where it’s going to hurt and taking risks. Yeah, you’re going to have to risk something, like becoming a hero, maybe wind up unsung and dead at the end. Then again, the bigger the crowd, the lesser the risk, so you just might make it. I’ve no idea what’ll happen if you try, but I do know what’ll happen if you don’t, and my hope is you’ll choose the former. Sadly, there are three problems- the cruel joke that is what happens when hope runs into human nature, you and this country, because The Heavy said it right in his song Shortchange Hero:

“This ain't no place for no hero.

This ain't no place for no better man.

This ain't no place for no hero

To call ‘home’."


Like it? Don’t like it? Got any ideas or comments? Fire away, fellow Writer Beat-ers, I’ll be waiting.     


William Stockton Added Jul 30, 2017 - 11:31am
Ya Mircea, Good article.  
Although, I wouldn't call most people cowards . . . I would call them passively content.  Another term, useful idiots.  These folks are quite content to just go along with whatever . . . as long a threshold of peace is maintained.  The largeass syndrome.
I'd say there are many heroes today.  These are YouTubers that are risking life & property to get a message out and try to wake people up to serious problems in culture.  These people are getting death threats daily.  Free speech isn't free for them, they are paying a huge price to speak out-loud.  Contrast to corporate journalists who can stand behind a large corporate logo, speak as the corporation allows, and not incur risk.  Another type of useful idiot.
. . . but times are changing indeed!
Mircea Negres Added Jul 30, 2017 - 12:55pm
Tom, the conversation actually happened, and yes, I really did explain a few things about how "one" might take out the South African president, although the conversation was a little longer than that, involved $195.000.000, the crew of a AC-130 Spooky and more besides... It's NEVER been the time to be quiet, whether it was in the Stone Age or the Rolling Sixties, because the time to speak is always NOW!!! Yeah, there was a cowardly bar owner who did say that to me, and I really did say that in return about 3 weeks ago. Thing is, I do think most people are cowards because I saw what real courage looks like when 1 soldier said "Command, we have a problem", 73 soldiers said "What? Not me, babe!", a staff sergeant passed judgement, a rifleman went down in a spray of blood and a whole lotta motherfuckers prospered while his career went down in undercover flames. No shrewdness, just delayed cynical wisdom after I wrote the Omega Exodus series...
William, there are two things I would disagree with you on, and they are the "passively content" and "useful idiots", although both terms are valid by themselves outside the situation I discussed and things I saw. This is because I did see this happen in real life and such people exist- enough to go beyond your labels. As such, there are no apologies, excuses or forgiveness, not for something like that. Not when it's repeated so many times... There's even less than that when you gotta look at scars and remember the history, no matter how far back (16 years, 3 months, 11 days) it goes.
MJ, whether a revolver or pistol, a gun is inanimate. As such, be scared of yourself, not of IT ("it", not Information Technology), because it relies on your input for an explosive and penetrating result. I do understand, though. You gotta say what you gotta say, that's the way it is. Now try to imagine what it's like for the "Iron Mike" brave man in the picture, David Christian and others (along with Charlie 25 of Number 1 section, Platoon 3, Bravo Company, Army Gymnasium Heidelberg, Gauteng, South Africa- that man, like other men and women before him, stared forward to the danger, came up with a solution, spoke up then jumped- then looked behind to say "Follow Me!", but NOBODY did...
Mircea Negres Added Jul 30, 2017 - 1:21pm
Jimi Hendrix once sang "Will the wind ever remember the names it has blown in the past? and with its crutch, its old age and its wisdom, it whispers 'No, this will be the last...'" "Water's wet, the sky is blue, the wind blows and that's it for you" is what I say. The wind doesn't remember the names it has blown in the past. There go its crutch, its old age and its wisdom, it won't whisper, and NO, you won't be the last...
Stone-Eater Added Jul 30, 2017 - 2:02pm
Great one. And actually - I don't have a solution as long as we let ourselves be sheep. No matter which continent or nation is concerned.
Mircea Negres Added Jul 30, 2017 - 2:20pm
Thank you for the compliment, it means a lot. Don't feel bad, there's only one solution left, and that is to fight whatever continent you're on or nation you're in, because as far as evil (or wrong) and weakness are concerned, Edmund Burke was right.
Stone-Eater Added Jul 30, 2017 - 3:00pm
The enemy has changed. It's no longer ideology or race, because we're basically all the same. We have to realize that. As long as we don't, we can't fight those tentacles and their criminal host which is meantime not in ONE place, but ranges from Basel, Switzerland, to London, UK, New York, to Tel Aviv, Pretoria to Dakar and Delhi to Tokio......and probably even Moscow.....
We simply don't know.
George N Romey Added Jul 30, 2017 - 3:29pm
One of my favorite movies of all time was "Kellys Heroes" which came out around 1970.  It was about a bunch of average soldiers in WW2 that finally figured out what war was about and went and got theirs.  
William Stockton Added Jul 30, 2017 - 7:41pm
Mircea, Ok. I read more about the situation there in SA.
I have some friends, now living in Canada, who emigrated from SA saying, "ain't no place for a hero. ain't no place for a better man". Or very close to those words.
Now I get it.
If I were living there, I would be very worried about SA becoming a dictatorship. My opinion. SA (post apartheid) never wanted democracy, they only wanted the white people removed from all sectors of political influence. And that ain't no democracy man. That is something completely different. Here they call it politically correctness. And under PC, people can do whatever they want and excuse it by accusing detractors as racists. Happening there in SA too. I saw the videos of one of the Parlament eruptions. I saw the speaker of the assembly Mbete call the opposition racists (they were also the same race as Mbete).

Desperate times there. I can read it in your tone (after re-reading). That powder keg is about to blow.
This PC cult is a world-wide infection. It gives people the authority to do anything corrupt. And I do mean ANYTHING and silence all opposition. Basically a dictatorship.
Here is how this is going to play out. One day, the world will wake up to this PC cult. But the world will only realize this when an entire nation breaks down because of it and we all learn a tragic lesson. Some nation will be the first to take PC doctrine to the highest level and be the first to demonstrate to the rest of the planet how evil PC actually is. Millions may die.
I just hope SA is not that first nation. It looks like it is headed there quick.
Good luck friend.  Forgive me if I got some details wrong.
Mircea Negres Added Jul 31, 2017 - 3:42am
Stone-Eater, you are right. The enemy has changed. It's now greed, corruption, incompetence, malice, and so on, some of it organized and with tentacles spreading from city to city, continent to continent.
George, Kelly's Heroes is one of my favorites too. I liked Donald Sutherland's portrayal of Sgt. Oddball more than Clint Eastwood's character. Along with Captain Elisabeth Campbell in The General's Daughter, when she tells John Travolta's character "We fuck with the enemy's mind", it made me interested in psychological warfare.
William, you were right in both of your replies. It's just that due to seeing the cowardice of many people around me, I am less charitable or forgiving towards them than you are. Much of that sternness is because I've seen the consequences before in Romania, and I don't want to end up in a similar situation again. Evil can be stopped, if only good people would get off their butts. Yes, Baleka Mbete and others try to stifle debate in parliament, while whites have been increasingly pushed out of places where they could speak and do something about the country's future. Often, when they speak out, they are called racist and forced to shut up. The writers of the country's constitution and the Constitutional Court (equivalent to the U.S. Supreme Court) have made that possible by saying it's okay to deprive people of equal opportunity in order to "redress past injustices". The resentment boils over sometimes, like with the whites' boycott of Spur, a franchise restaurant, because of how an incident between two parents (a black woman and a white man) was handled. Restaurants in that chain as far as Uitenhage (incident happened in Johannesburg, 1200 kilometers away) reported a 30-40% drop in revenue within a month or two. 
Jeff Jackson Added Jul 31, 2017 - 10:55am
"The easiest way for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." Great article Mircea.
Mircea Negres Added Jul 31, 2017 - 12:31pm
Thank you for the compliment, Jeff. I'm glad you liked it. Things have been spinning around the drain in South Africa and other places for a long time, mostly because of indifference, contentment (which William Stockton rightly mentioned in his first reply) and cowardice. I'm tired of that, but I am tired even more of those who keep expecting others to carry the can to their death.
Leroy Added Jul 31, 2017 - 8:48pm
Nice article, Mircea.
In my youth, I was at a high school basketball game.  I was on the boundary between the fans of the two teams.  There was a guy raising a ruckus.  I decided that if he touched me, I was going to beat the snot out of him.  The guy beside me was a big guy.  The one causing the trouble was tall and thin, not unlike myself at the time.  He did and I did.  I didn't even think about it.  I don't even know how I did it.  I reached around the guy beside me and picked him up and set him in front of me and just started swinging.  When I came to my senses, I let him go.  He hid behind the big guy.  The whole side of that stadium was ready to rumble, and I was ready to rumble.  I looked behind me.  The whole side behind me had cleared out.  So much for friends.  There wasn't a single person behind me.   As I turned around, the guy popped me in the nose.  The game had stopped at that point.  The principal intervened and the fight broke up.  The black portion of the football team came to sit by me.  The other side was warned, "You can pick on us all you want, but you ain't going to mess with our white boy."  They were my heroes.
JJ Montagnier Added Jul 31, 2017 - 10:07pm
Good article Mircea
Pity all the other minorities in South Africa (Native English: British descent; Indian; mixed; Chinese, etc) did not stand up for white Afrikaners when the Afrikaans language was being removed by government from Afrikaans universities. In effect the Afrikaans language may now completely cease to exist as an academic language. They just went along with it and supported the "tyranny of the majority". The (white) English speakers in particular seemed very content that English would become the de-facto lingua franca of the country. 
Talk about cowardice. Divided we stand, divided we fall. 
@ William Stockton
"I would be very worried about SA becoming a dictatorship."
- it has turned into a dictatorship already - government has dismantled all checks and balances - they are in (almost) total control. 
Mircea Negres Added Aug 1, 2017 - 3:27am
Leroy, I'm glad you liked it. As I told a friend of mine recently, "doing something dangerous without fear means you're fearless. Being afraid but doing it all the same means you're courageous- there's a difference". Not doing something as simple as contacting a Member of Parliament when something is wrong, but then expecting one man to die while sorting out all the problems caused by indifference and cowardice is common, all too common, and I am rather tired of it. Oh, there are few things worse than being left with your ass swinging in the breeze by those whom you trust...
J.J., I speak Romanian and English, with a smattering of Afrikaans, though considering that I'd learned most of that in the army, it ain't pretty- jy weet, die ma se een ding, die pa se ander ding... Funny enough, I stood up for Afrikaners when a private Afrikaans-medium university was under threat, but I was in the minority. What most people don't understand is that today it's Afrikaans, tomorrow maybe Xhosa, the day after that Sotho, and so on. It's the old policy of Divide Et Impera and sadly it will keep working as long as people don't see a benefit in being united. I'm glad you liked my article. Welcome to Writer Beat!
JJ Montagnier Added Aug 1, 2017 - 6:18am
"Funny enough, I stood up for Afrikaners when a private Afrikaans-medium university was under threat, but I was in the minority."
Yes, that's the sad thing. You would have thought that minority groups in South Africa would all have stood together when the government started singling one group out by starting to remove their rights - yet that didn't happen. In fact I recall a lot of native (white) English speakers saying the fully understand why the government would want to do that - even when they know it would be against the constitution. 
A while ago I made some comments on articles about democracy by other authors here on WB and I said that: a democracy is only as strong as the people supporting it. 
In fact I do think that people see the benefits of being united (in South Africa), but at the same time there's so much jealousy between groups (sadly) that many of them won't mind seeing the demise of others. 
Mircea Negres Added Aug 1, 2017 - 11:57am
J.J., you're right, and then some. Sadly most people don't like the inconvenience of being part of a democracy, with all that stuff about being involved in the politics, standing in long queues to vote and holding to account those whom they vote for. Nah, that is somebody else's problem, and so is dealing with unconstitutional actions by the government- until they wake up one day to find out the government's taken everything from them. Oh, well. If they won't learn, then they must feel. Damned shame if you ask me, because the cheapest lessons are those learned from other people's mistakes, like the Russians, Chinese, Romanians, Cambodians and so on. 
Katharine Otto Added Aug 1, 2017 - 3:23pm
I agree with you about the cowardice, but I also believe people have been bullied, conned, or bought into submission.  It's a case of "identification with the aggressor," as the Freudians might say.  The abused child who grows up to become an abusive parent. When abuse is all you know, you think it's normal. Those who stand on principle are quickly squelched, discredited, or destroyed, because they make the cowards feel bad about themselves.
The self-sacrificing leader model, or the organized resistance model, have not succeeded in eliminating the abuses you describe.  In both instances, the exploiters manipulate the energy to serve their own agendas.  
I believe in undermining false authority through enlightenment, education, and persistence.  A favorite quote, from a famous teacher of group therapy, Irvin D. Yalom, is "Process commentary undermines arbitrary authority structure."  People like you, by calling attention to the injustices, do help to wake the cowards up.  When you show your courage, it does embolden them.  Your fat friend will probably remember your conversation and modify his attitude accordingly.
Mircea Negres Added Aug 1, 2017 - 11:20pm
Katharine, you make good points, quite valid in my experience. After all, the world is pretty much the same as it was in 33 AD after a certain young man died a terrible death- the difference being fancier technology... Many Romanians died fighting against communism, especially in December 1989, only for the people to take their eyes off the ball and things go on almost like before, just under a different name. It's not that different in South Africa, although here people are about to find out how bad things can get. "Process commentary undermines arbitrary authority structure" is a very good, perceptive quote.
JJ Montagnier Added Aug 2, 2017 - 8:17am
Mircea, yes - good points. It seems though that generations are not
able  to learn from each other - that's why history always repeats itself. We can see that right now in South Africa where the African youth - the millennials - the "born free's" in their early 20's who were born just after apartheid ended - 
have no understanding of the historical context of South Africa and act out like spoilt brats, not unlike their counterparts in the USA and accross Europe and they have their Smartphone revolutions, burning down campus buildings, burning books and art pieces and attacking statues in the name of.... (?). Do they really know? They are not oppressed. Their parents were. Yet, they believe they have the absolute right to have A REVOLUTION - in the name of anything, i.e. - anything will do. And then ,very conveniently comes along a slogan:
"White Monopoly Capital". 
(Brought to you by those nice PR folks in London - on assignemnet from the local"mafia". I mean while the PR firms manage S.A.'s tourism marketing, why not also manage their revolutions? 
JJ Montagnier Added Aug 2, 2017 - 8:26am
Katharine, you make good points about identification with the aggressor when people have been bullied, conned, or bought into submission, but that cannot be said of white English speaking South Africans (arguably the wealthiest minority group in the country) who decide simply failed to stand up for a fellow minority group when that group's rights were being removed - mo, almost cheered it on. (I am referring to the constitutional language rights to study in your own home language if the language is developed to academic level, i.e. Afrikaans.) 
So here we are either talking about cowardice or malice. 
I think the Freudian approach is way to soft. From a Jungian perspective introspection and acknowledging the shadow within is the only solution in dissolving unconscious negative behaviour. 
Billy Roper Added Aug 2, 2017 - 8:27am
Excellent article, and by the way, I and many other readers are greatly enjoying 'The Omega Exodus' series of yours which you referenced!
Mircea Negres Added Aug 5, 2017 - 12:41pm
Guys, I apologize for the late reply, but I've been out of data for a few days.
JJ, I don't think Katharine is very aware of the more subtle dynamics of South African society, of which the conflict between the English and Afrikaners is one. That the English refused to stand up for Afrikaners is pretty much as you called it, cowardice or malice, but let's face it, what's happening today has at least a century of history behind it and most people prefer to go along with the current than to question why the status quo is the way it is.
Billy, I'm glad you liked this article. I thought about publishing the Omega Exodus series here, but it won't work with Writer Beat because as you know it's really long and does not really encourage readers to ask questions and make comments.

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