They were on the screen once again, these para-military idiots. Every time I see them, I cannot help asking what gets into people to dress up in a camouflage suit and crawl on all fours through the field carrying an M16. The last time I did that was when I was twelve. (We replayed World War II from shoddy comic books, of which my little neighbour had stacks. Our hero was Montgomery in Northern Africa, but lacking a desert nearby, our battle of Al Alamein was staged in the park. The battle of Tarawa was very popular too.)

For some it seems to be a mere hobby. I can understand that. I like to read books, other people like to crawl on all fours wearing camouflage suits. I can be very liberal about that. But others, among them the idiots that were on the screen once again, take it dead serious—literally. They do it to be prepared for World War III, or for the Islamic invasion, or for the End of Times, and most probably for all three. They are being led by a Moustachio with a Beret and Sunglasses, who, having been in Korea and Vietnam, is willing to explain to the camera that they are going to be the survivors, and therefore the founding fathers of the new humanity. Some prospect! It’s a good reason not to want to survive the oncoming Armageddon.

And every time I see these people, I cannot escape thinking ‘what stupid and eery people these are’. They say they have to be armed, for chaos and anarchy are gathering. Then they fill a pick-up truck with fertilizer and fuel, and blow up an entire building. Chaos and anarchy gathering indeed! They say the end is at hand, the Antichrist has risen, and humanity is doomed. Then they lend a helping hand to the Antichrist by spilling some nerve gas. The end is at hand indeed!

Well, some official responses can be strange too. Not very long I heard some government official (from the UK? Israel? Japan? I can’t remember) state that since the most recent attack had not been claimed by a political group, it was now thought it had been the work of a mentally disturbed person. I laughed for a long time, but I should have been crying.


This text was previously published in the By The Way…, volume 55.

© Roelof Ruules