by Xavier Kataquapit
Life was simple when I was growing up on the James Bay coast. We lived to the rhythms and routines of what was happening around us and for the people that were part of our world. We had no real connection to the outside world and we didn’t know what was happening to our families and friends who lived in distant communities and cities far away from us. People relied on hearing news from friends who recently arrived in town. We also relied on phone calls but they were considered a luxury as it cost money to make long distant calls. Our world consisted of just what was happening in the community in the here and now and that was all that mattered to us.
When it came to understanding the wider world, if you asked my parents back then, it would have been like questioning what life was like on Mars. All we knew of the outside world was that it did not have much to do with us. We had evening news through television broadcasts on CBC every night but it often only included terrible headline stories of people from all parts of the world fighting, protesting, warring, arguing and disagreeing with one another.
I heard my parents often talking about what they saw on TV back then. They could never understand why people in the outside world would want to fight one another to the point of killing each other. They could not understand why one group of people would want to face another group of people and be so hateful, ugly and terrible with one another as so often shown on the news.
As I grew up and went through the education system I became interested in the history of the world. I read history and looked back in time only to realize that every modern problem had a start in the past. It led to a never-ending storyline of how one war was born from the previous war and a previous one that went back towards the beginning of recorded history. Even beyond these old records, historians suggested that there were more ancient conflicts before the ones we knew of. There was a common thread to every story. A small group who had all the power, control and influence over a people made the decisions to fight another group and most of the time it had to do with raiding others and taking their resources. It was always a small elite who would convince the common people below them what was right, what was wrong, who was good and who was evil. It was always the common people who fought, died and sacrificed everything they had for these beliefs and a small group of people at the top who benefited from every struggle. Often the crutch of religion was used as an excuse to rally against another religion, culture or way of thinking but stealing resources was usually the intent.
Thankfully, we still have artists and people in media that are telling the truth and not just part of a huge propaganda industry owned and controlled by the very wealthy and powerful. Recently I was happy to discover the documentary ‘The Great Hack’ that deals with technology and how it is controlling, monitoring and oppressing us. This documentary is very easy to watch and it touches all of us as we are led down a road that is becoming more and more undemocratic and seems to be drawing us willingly into a new dark age. I was also amazed to discover a five-part series on Netflix called ‘The Family’. I understood that some very right-wing religions have had a lot to do with putting right-wing governments in place but I had no idea things were as bad as what is divulged in this series. For many decades a very right-wing religious group has been lobbying governments all over the world and the headquarters is based right in the middle of Washington D.C.
I am left wondering if we are headed for another dark age and it occurs to me that this will be up to us to stop it. If we try our best to educate ourselves on how the power mill works and we realize that it is not by chance that right-wing governments are being elected all over the world then at least we won’t be fooled. I give thanks to those artists and in particular, those who produced the documentary movie ‘The Great Hack’ and the series titled ‘The Family’. They are both available on Netflix and you owe it to yourself to take advantage of some truth in the midst of a world of propaganda.