Saturday 28 July 2007

Obituary: Shambo, the loss of respect

Called out of the meadow

His was no ordinary life, nay, a female or milk would have flowed from the udders each morning, no feeding and nurturing for a silver-side steak with French fries as fat as human hair.

He was called to service and he did receive the tribute of religion that attempted to exclude him from the rule of law, the application of commonsense and immediacy of a pervasive danger to others.

For, he was the embodiment of the sanctity of life in every living creature, a life that must not be needlessly destroyed. To that point, it was a less to all; life is too precious to be wasted on the whim of the desires of others.

For the holy cow remains

So, this Friesian bull born in 2001, adopted in the monastic order of a religion that holds them dear and attaining the majesty of the holy cow, most sacred that it must be untouchable was touched by something so minuscule, yet too fearful to contemplate, for touch was a gift of death, bovine tuberculosis.

Had this bull been nameless, he would have died, unsung, unmourned and unknown, but his name was Shambo and they gave him a humanity that pitched a community against due process in the name of religion.

But the cow died and afterwards it indeed was a danger to other flock, it had lesions indicative of the presence of bovine tuberculosis.

Shambo leaves a community bereft of their sacred cow and some who travelled in all the way from New Zealand, all for the life of cow.

Rational religion, irrational adherents

The story of Shambo however does not end with its death because the community now appeals that no other animal be killed even if they are bovine tuberculosis indicative.

The sanctity of life awakens us to another reality, the "vicarious" sacrifice of one diseased animal to save other animals, as other farmers have required and as the health experts have advised; it is a fearful analogy, but whilst religion can be rational, the adherents can be so far from the rationality their religion demands.

This is not respect

This same sanctity of life is defiled time and again as individuals exercise their rights to remain alive without due consideration for others in the community.

People swift to use guns in the streets of London, many have become mobile abattoirs, a knife to hand and it goes deep into the flesh of another man because of respect.

A type of respect that does not belong on our streets but has broken out of the prison regiment where the law has placed people who need to be denied their liberty and their community as a just consequence of deeds which threaten society - crimes, misdeeds and disobedience amongst a multitude of many sins unmentionable.

In prison, the only dignity left in a man is the jungle of the alpha male; you are in a correction facility and hence damn the consequences of being corrected when you are wrong.

Like a pervasive contagion leading to a pandemic, the prison pathogen is wiping out civility in our societies, people would not countenance being corrected, because it makes them lose face for which they must make drastic amends by having in possession a gun which targets that lone protector of civility in our communities and snuffs the person out life a candlelight in a gale.

Doing right getting wronged

This has nothing to do with respect, people earn respect by being productive members of their communities and that completely excludes crime as unwarranted violence, breaking rules, possessing a firearm or harmful weapon.

But yesterday, the family of James Oyebola, 46, granted that the life-support machine keeping his sanctity of whatever life he had left be turned off.

This is another name of Nigerian heritage too many, from Damilola Taylor, 10, in 2000 who was thrust through in a stairwell, Michael Dosunmu, 15, in February 2007, who was shot while he slept in his bedroom, too many of my people are getting caught up in this rotten morass.

A ban on smoking in public areas exists in England, it came into effect on the 1st of July 2007 and people cannot have been oblivious of this fact. Some customers however decided to trespass this law and the gentle giant figure of the one-time WBC international heavyweight champion advised the customers to desist without rancour.

Those customers shot him in the face with a gun and the man died. For all the respect any man could demand of his fellow man, the most important one is to be able stand by what you have done and face the consequences for your actions like a man. They ran away.

James Oyebola was born in Lagos on the 10th of June 1961, he was well received as a boxer and a respected man in the community, he is survived by his girlfriend and two children.

Cowards without souls

These are men who have no respect for themselves or others, but this is becoming the Plimsoll line of respect amongst our youth.

The warped concept of respect that portends that society owes you everything and you have nothing to contribute to society, one that damns the consequences and gives you peer honour as a fugitive and criminal, one that is an untrammelled dementia of the ego that they feel they are bigger than everything around them and answerable to no one.

Within this youth subculture, exists the pain of the death of 17 young people in London since the beginning of the year, 5 of which were through gunshots. Lives needlessly destroyed in the pursuit of intemperate and criminal self aggrandisement masquerading as respect.

If we do not seize our societies and communities from this prison cancer, the raconteur would be possessed of interminable obituaries.

May the souls of all those forcibly made to depart this beautiful earth rest in peace, as for Shambo, the last wish of an adherent when it was taken from the monastery was for it to return a human - even I cannot begin to plumb the depths of the absurdities of religion - if it is believable, it is the beginning of faith, the emasculation of the rational.

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