The Creators of Our Own Bedevilment by Wayne Saalman


BRING ON THE RAUCOUS ROCK TUNES, the pounding rhythms, the jangling guitars. Bring on the dancing girls and the somersaulting clowns. Bring on the drunken party hounds, the laughing lotus-eaters, the fringe lunatics in all their show-stealing glory. Bring on the funniest, weirdest, most bizarre videos that can be found anywhere on the World Wide Web and splash them across every giant screen in the land.


Why? Because we are human and we humans want the whole mad blast of smoke and mirrors, day in and day out. We want amusement, excitement and distractions galore.


Some would say that Satan happily obliges us on that front, but could it really be the personified archetype of evil that makes us do that? I think not. I think the more likely suspect is humanity’s own bedeviled mind.


Yes, that is a funny, laughable word – bedeviled – but the consequences it brings in its wake, unfortunately, are not funny.


After all, we humans with our bedeviled minds are collectively doing exactly what we have always done and it is not to our benefit. We act in concert to grow our economies on the back of arms sales, then bemoan the actions of those who purchase and use those deadly weapons. We spew pollutants into our skies and oceans, we deluge our lands with mountains of waste. We contaminate the food we eat with pesticides and permit chemical toxins and microplastics to seep into the water we drink.


That’s not all. We also allow divisive politics to dominate our global discourse and religious ideology to drive a wedge between us, which in many instances spawns murderous acts of violence.


Is this news to anyone? Absolutely not.


Does anyone wish to feast their eyes on a further litany of self-destructive human behaviors?


No, we do not. We want amusements, we want distractions, we want funny videos, hilarious movies and the kind of pop songs that keep us dancing on hot coals of a metaphorical nature, not the kind that look suspiciously like the brimstone that comes from climate change or the smoldering cinders that result from blazing wildfires that take down forests, homes and people.


We say, “Change the subject. Make no waves. Keep your news reports of skulduggery, collusion and conspiracy to yourself please. And your cynical, satirical ‘skulbloggery’, too. We just want to have fun.”


Of course, we do. There is only one problem with that, however. What is going on in our world is for real. We are poisoning our own future. We are handing our children a nightmare of epic proportions and claiming that the “Devil” made us do it.


Is there a quick remedy for the trillions in debt we owe? A handy cure for the ignorant acts of greed we have collectively perpetrated to the detriment of our own species? Is there an instant way to rid the environment of the contaminants we have spread across our world, the only home we have?


No, there is not, but there is still hope. Hope that the young are more intelligent than their elders. Hope that the world’s leaders will take action before it is too late. Hope that the bedeviled collective mind of humanity will see the error of its ways and grow illuminated in its thinking.


Soon. Please. For the love of our children, for the welfare of our neighbors and for the sake of all the species of this Earth, many of which are disappearing by the day.


Save the planet?


Yes, indeed.


First, however, we must save us from ourselves.


We can do that, though. We know how.


We wise up. We get smart. We take action.


All of us. Every single day.



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