If they invited me on one of those radio shows where you choose your top 10 music tracks, I would choose the national anthem 10 times, so that everyone in the country would have to stand up for an hour.
The fact that I would find this incredibly enjoyable is CONCLUSIVE PROOF of Original Sin and the fact that humanity is deeply evil at heart. Or at least I am.
Life can be hard for people with a naughty streak. Like that American guy who got “devil horns” implanted into his forehead because he thought it looked cool. Everything was fine until his recent court case where he had to beg the judge to tell the jury that just because the guy in the dock was Satan Incarnate, it didn’t automatically mean he was not a nice person.
Yet individual pranksters are easy to spot and make allowances for. The danger is when big, slick organizations act wickedly. Recent example: Beijing banker Li Jianhua was found cold at his desk after he worked himself to death pulling an all-nighter. His employers, the Chinese Banking Regulatory Commission, held him up as an example other staff should follow: “We can all learn from Comrade Li Jianhua… who gave an unremitting struggle to perform his best and to sacrifice everything.” Middle managers must have been delighted: “New rules, lads, working yourself to death is now the minimum requirement for promotion.”
What hope is there? Well, I do believe that God surrounds naturally wicked people with excessively nice people, which is why so many sweet-natured readers have sent me lists of “Things I Am Grateful For” and urged me to follow suit. So here goes.
10) I am grateful for not having to write any more of this column but probably not half as grateful as you are for not having to read any more of it.
We are all now required to follow the example of Li Jianhua and work ourselves to death. Amen.
(Nury Vittachi is an Asia-based frequent traveller. Send ideas and comments via www.mrjam.org)