Home / Culture and Society / Travel / How Many Paradises Can The World Afford To Lose?

How Many Paradises Can The World Afford To Lose?

Please Share...Print this pageTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook0Share on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0Share on Tumblr0Share on StumbleUpon0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

Fox news on line quotes the AP in an article, Roadside Bomb Kills 18 Sri Lanka Troops. In Colombo, reported on 11 August that,

A roadside bomb exploded near a military truck Monday night in northeastern Sri Lanka, killing 18 soldiers, security officials said as a senior rebel leader declared the country’s cease-fire “null and void.”

Tamil Tiger rebels and government soldiers also traded artillery shells and gunfire as the air force struck insurgent positions, killing at least 46 fighters, the army said.


Sri Lanka! Yet another paradise is under fire. All I know of Sri Lanka from before the current civil violence is that Arthur C. Clarke lived there (and pictures of his home and grounds were like paradise) and the women were reputedly the most beautiful in the world. Beirut suffers because it harbored yet more vicious terrorists and one report at the beginning of the Isreali defense efforts noted that sunbathers had to pack up and leave the Haifa area. Who could be vicious enough to try to kill sunbathers?

Photo from CIA area studies.

Sarajevo is no longer the other Paris of the Mediterranean. The Balkans reverted to their turn-of-the-century games of “ethnic cleansing” and war. Anti-semitism is popular again (or still) in Europe — and even in Malibu. Who knows, perhaps the Stanz and Chechnya had beautiful places before they decided killing was more fun than swimming and sun-bathing.

How dare the world target some of its most beautiful locations for violent games. Beirut was the Paris of the Middle East until the 1970s when civil war destroyed its cosmopolitan attractiveness.

Postcard of Beirut at night in 1974.

Here in Mexico we moved to the shore of Laguna Bacalar for its’ beauty, charm and tranquility 9 years ago. Now the beauty remains. Violence, crowding and anti-Americanism threaten its’ future ( although the government has moved in more police and security to counter the problems).

Photo ©Beringer-Dratch. (the Cenote Azul)

Columbia was, according to Columbians I have met, one of the beauty spots of the world. And now?

The Hudson Valley of New York kept us in a tranquil never land of rural times for over twenty years. There were ex-urbanites and old hippies. Then, suddenly, there were Porsches, Ferraris, Land Rovers and Big Spenders buying land near farms for their charm and complaining that farms made noise and smells. “Gentrification”, war, terrorism, violence. Today Yahoo News even reported that bed bugs are back and enjoying themselves. Bed bugs, smallpox, war, evil and less and less fine beaches and beautiful, free cities. Our world is endangered by zealots without a sense of beauty nor peace. And small insects. Somehow, they seem related — throwbacks to more primitive times.

Sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite. Beware zealots. They have no eye for beauty and no souls with which to appreciate it. Hold onto greenspace and peace because the 21st century does not seem to care much about such things.

Powered by

About hfdratch

  • This, and your last BC article, would be great to read on Desicritics

  • Bliffle

    They are consumers: when they see something attractive they must buy it, possess it, and then move on. To the next consumable.

  • Howard,
    I do follow your sentiments, being a lover of nature and all of its splendor. I never could understand mans inability to value the few pristine locations which people with an appreciative heart have deemed their paradise.

    Their ability to appreciate the pure beauty of an ancient forest wound with rivers, waterfalls, and endangered wildlife to such a degree that they would plow it, pave and develop it, add a touch of Wal-Mart, and share it, for all to enjoy, at a cost of a million-five a parcel. These certainly are fine people.
    You must agree though that as soon as man discovers such a piece of the earth they immediately transform it to fit their need and desires, so you might say that upon discovery its demise is imminent.
    It is all absolutely disgusting, in my opinion.

    As I read your article, while in agreement with every point I have to say that there was, it seemed, a bit of condescendence to the regard of human life. I don’t believe it was intentional on your part as I find myself almost in total agreement in certain contexts.

    Unfortunately, I find too many instances, as I’m writing this comment, in which I do believe that the beauty of a tiger perched in a tree in a pristeen rain forest would rise above the value of some particular faction of human life.
    But still, this paragraph is disturbing;

    “How dare the world target some of its most beautiful locations for violent games. Beirut was the Paris of the Middle East until the 1970s when civil war destroyed its cosmopolitan attractiveness.”

    Something in there it seems to raise the beauty of nature above the value of human life in general.
    I’m sure that was not your intent as I do understand the ‘criminal’ destruction of the beauty of our planet for dollar sake.
    Also it should be taken into consideration that much of the life lost is not worth saving. I could not find it in my heart to save the life of a terrorist, responsible for the murder of children or innocents in lieu of a tree.

    It is an excellant article on a subject which demands mention and I suppose would be difficult to convey without the pall of human loss cast across.
    It is truly sad that in such a beautiful world inhabited by such an intelligent species that either of these losses warrant discussion at all.

  • Peter J: Thank you for the kind comments (those in total agreement with me). The one paragraph to which you object,

    How dare the world target some of its most beautiful locations for violent games. Beirut was the Paris of the Middle East until the 1970s when civil war destroyed its cosmopolitan attractiveness.
    was meant with a degree of sarcasm. Politics exist, development is sometimes worthwhile, even violence and killing are, in this world, sometimes a necessity.

    “How dare the world…” is a cry for logic, freedom, peace and beauty. We will not achieve it but it is a worthy hope. How dare people try to blow aircraft out of the sky? How dare wars interfere with art, truth and Beauty? How dare words and ideas be censored, blogs blocked, freedom be contained?

    Perhaps some further “How dare they(s)?” might diminish some of the violence. How dare they not let us enjoy our planet in peace?

  • Howard,,sorry about the bad interpetation, now I get it.
    I was wondering why you would make such a statement amidst such a relevant article.

    Again, an excellant read!