Chaos Theory: Most of us have by now heard some variation of chaos theory: A butterfly flapping its wings in California affects the weather on the East Coast. Here’s my favorite example: A man flaps his penis in a Little Rock hotel room and it affects the political climate around the world. (I assume you know which man and his penis I’m referring to.) It’s quite amazing, and a bit disconcerting, that an apparently insignificant event can have such profound, unpredictable, and unintended consequences. The whole world watched wide-eyed with wonder when a low-level female official slapped the face of a young Tunisian fruit vendor and changed the political climate of North Africa and the Middle East. We can expect more of the same.
The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914 started the first World War, the murder of Martin Luther King sparked death and destruction all across America in 1968, and the beating of Rodney King incited the Los Angeles Riots in 1991. In each case, however, such single acts triggered consequences of far greater magnitude because of the buildup of underlying tensions that were released by the arrival of the right catalyst. Today, the temperature is rising, the tensions are building, the anger is growing, the dissatisfaction is intensifying. Any day now, we will be surprised by another such incident that will produce an economic or political earthquake. You can count on it.
We can only hope that soon one of those seemingly inconsequential events will have the opposite effect and result in the advancement of the Coalescence of humanity rather than the fire and brimstone of hatred and retribution.
Meanwhile, here’s your (r)evolutionary music for today: Nina Simone expresses her anger in “Mississippi Goddamn”