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Silent Night Cry - Holy Nightmare

By John Bamau

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take the house away from them and pack the whole family into the garage. Take away the car, the bicycles, the telephone, television set, the lawn mower, all children's toys - actually everything. Inside the garage you erect a separation wall made from thin, old sacks. Place a bed for the adults and a bunk for the kids in the rear compartment, while you pack the cooking pots and all the rest of the household items into the front part. Hospital, Mail, Police, Fire-brigade or other public services do not exist any more - all is privatised, commercialised and not affordable. The service- and information-society has consumed itself.


Eight ... Stay quiet, even if it is not easy, and ...

Blot out the entire electricity and water installations. Some light is provided during the night by a soothing and stinking petroleum lamp. From now on you will have to wash yourself at the open water place in the neighbourhood, which is used by hundreds of other people too. The water-pipe is burst. The water from the hand-pump a mile away is brown. But from there you will have to collect your water for cooking, since the ditches with muddy rain-water in front of the garage hardly can be used for washing clothes. The toilet is the wasteland along the small path behind your bedroom. The slow stream of foul affluent combining waste-water and stinking sewage shows where formerly the river was - now a festering pit of poison and disease.


Seven ... Concentrate all your feelings on your stomach, and ...

Hold on to the barbecue grill, since from now on you will be able to use only wood, charcoal or dung and other garbage to cook, to heat or to dry the wet clothes. Take all the pets away. Instead add cockroaches, bed bugs and spiders, lice and flees. Exchange the butterflies in the garden for mosquitoes, the songbirds for crows and the hamsters of the children for hungry and infected rats.


Six ... You enter deeper and deeper into the life and feelings of Your family, and ...

Now you take away the roof of the garage and replace it with rusty corrugated iron sheets, full of holes. The domicile turns into a wet and cold cave during rains and while the sun is shining into a den of hell, which either dilutes or burns out your brains. The children of your family have no school problems, since the money to pay for school fees, for the school uniform, or even for school books, pencils or notebooks is simply not there. The boyfriend of your second daughter stays often overnight. He has no family of his own any more, since they were all killed while fleeing their village. Mother's brother is a permanent guest now - he is hiding here since he is haunted by the militia. Occasionally he brings some food at least.


Five ... Breath deeper, also with all the pores of your skin, and ...

Take all their clothing away. Let them have for each adult only two patched pairs of trousers and two worn out shirts or two faded skirts and tattered blouses, and a shabby T-shirt for each child. There are no shoes for any of them. The wardrobe will be traded in for a sack of flour. Being the father, you do not ask, why and from whom your wife sometimes still gets some money. As the mother you don't get worried any more, if your husband is often away in the night.


Four ... Quit to still feel safe and protected, and ...

Take away the walls of the garage. Replace them with flattened oil-drums, a few leftovers of wooden construction planks and some acquired dirty carton boards or plastic sheets. Remove the whole floor and place a broom made from twigs in the room to sweep the bare ground. The soil in the former garden is soaked with black oil and not even grass grows. Stray cats search through the garbage heap in front of the entrance, whose door has been broken by robbers so many times that it even does not close any more. To still have any property comes close to committing suicide.


Three ... Feel with them, Your family, and ...

Multiply the number of children by four. If the woman's age is between her first menstruation and the menopause, she is either pregnant or breast-feeding. The eldest daughter has her first baby, whose father is dead - AIDS. One of her younger sisters is pregnant already. Now there are surviving fourteen souls in that place. The minors sleep from now on the floor in the front compartment. Bed and bunk in the rear part are places rather to rest than to sleep. There is no intimacy any more. The youngest daughter and the two youngest sons have just been circumcised, in order to avoid any hostilities from relatives or neighbours. The paramours of your elder daughters reside to pay only in form of some food, stolen or gathered from the garbage.


Two ... Open up all your senses, and ...

Add all the stink, the hungry weeping of small children, the sighs of the elderly, the groans of grief or lust, the shouts of men, the screams of women and make sure the hullabaloo as well as the advertising from the radio never stops. No laughter, not even a smile can be detected. The itching of the infected mosquito bites is nothing compared to the pain of the sick, who have no chance for any treatment. And now withdraw all their jobs, even the smallest. Outright famine lurks.


One ... Now close your eyes and lean back, repeat all the steps from ten to one with all your imaginative power and ...

Add every trepidation you can think of to aggression, disease and despair and remove even the last bit, which still could be considerable or beautiful. When you reach ONE again and the pure horror grabs you, you have arrived at:


Zero ... Welcome to the future of your children ! Welcome to the bitter reality for millions of people already today - specifically in Asia, in Africa, but also and increasingly in the Americas, in Europe and Oceania. The problems in the critical cities can already not be solved peacefully anymore. And the desertification and impoverishment in the countryside pushes even more people into the slums. And if then repressed nature beats back and the floods come, muddy sludge, stinking garbage and sewage inundate your dwelling, then ... it becomes unimaginable - at least for most of those, who still live in peace, without permanent hunger, without relentless sickness, without fear for the next day.

HELP ! Help ? Help from outside does not repose, and if - only under unbearable preconditions and prerequisites. The economic and political enslavement of people in the outgoing 20th century, under the postulation of a wrongly understood democracy, is much worst than real slavery. The whips of the money collectors cut deeper wounds.

HOPE ! Hope ? Hope isn't existing, neither for any improvement at your location nor by escape, because you even do not have the means for a bus fare. Evenly to run away is no solution, since Freelands, means Free areas with Free clean air, Free drinking water, Free natural food, simply do not exist any more. Also the Free Nature can be enjoyed only by those who pay for those disappearing last paradises. You and your family are in a trap, but its cage is your last hold. Leave it and you balance without any net. To slip or stumble then means sure death. Not even statistics care for your final end.

Help and hope for people in destitution are in reality minuscule, though the mass media and governments or the large Relief Agencies, which mainly are interested in their own prosperity try to ensure us that help is provided. Aid personnel due to own destitution turn often enough into asocial beings themselves, organizations into marionettes of political stringers, of the banks or industries, the churches or the military.

ESCAPE ? One escape route is still open ! Its guidelines read:

* RESPECT: Respect always the right to survive for all form of life, people and nature.

* SELF-REFLECTION: Each individual, every family and all peoples have that power !

* SELF-REGULATION: "Live simple - that others can simply live !"

* REJECTION: Away with a market economy, which functions only, if its growth is secured, and can be achieved today almost only by outright wars, military backed political actions, sanctions or by economic wars and other forms of pure exploitation or fraud.

* CONSIDERATION: Achieve through your selfless help that the life for two people, which do not belong to your folk, does improve really and safeguard that neither by you yourself nor by your people damage is caused to other people or to the natural environment. Then the balancing act of survival is still possible and the ESCAPE route still open to you and your children.

To find your own niche from where YOU do no harm is securing the survival for ALL.

Start with it today - not only at or only on Christmas!

John Bamau