Post-modernism has apparently dawned on us in the 21st century! We've got today, literally speaking, post-modern presidents and post-modern dictators, post-modern democracy and post-modern tyranny! We have post-modern doctors and post-modern mara-bouts, post-modern scientists and post-modern doom-sayers; post-modern preachers and post-modern Imams, post-modern Christians and post-modern Luciferians, the anti-Christ.

We've got post-modern crimes and criminals and post-modern fraud and fraudsters; post-modern poverty and post-modern opulence. There're post-modern athletes and post-modern entertainers, post-modern thinkers and post-modern writers. There're out there post-modern builders and post-modern wreckers as well, post-modern homosexuals and post-modern heterosexuals. The list is inexhaustible but let's proceed in good measure.

Since education will forever govern ignorance (apology to the late James Madison) we're reminded, again and again, of the Biblical lamentation which alludes to the generational fact that man, in his quest for dominance, 'perish' for lack of knowledge! What emerges, therefore, could be linked to the limitations in the modern man's capacity for reason. Alas, we're witnessing a degeneration in moral values -- aided and abetted, as it were, by the inventions of man to help his kind become a better sophisticated omnivorous animal!

And one hastens to add, for purposes of emphasis, that one of these unique powerful inventions happens to be the Internet! Those who invented the Internet must have had other ideas than the use to which it is being negatively subjected today. Through the Internet good things could happen quite alright -- for example, research, distant relationships and easy community networking. But through it one naïve enough to 'buy' into a fairy tale of millions and billions stolen by the African incontinent dictators, living or dead, could have his life-savings 'drained' by roaming professional scammers.

The advent of the Internet has, indeed, revolutionized our world for good or otherwise. We're now living unapologetically in a new world of digital opportunities and possibilities far beyond the imagination of those who refuse to grow or see reality in its naked form. The Internet remains definitively and internationally one of the greatest manifestations of man's mundane ingenuity. Today, with the Internet the world has become more and more a global village with interconnected 'villagers' found even in the remotest corners of the planet. The Internet is full of possibilities; it has many good positive sides but it equally has the very opposite, the negatives.

The Internet is furthering the cause of a buzzing IT revolution in the world. It's today challenging long-held dogmas, isms and schisms; it has forced an open world in its unorthodoxy -- one in which secrets are revealed and lies curtailed; it has the potentials of imposing a global order of its own, one in which the force of arms are relegated to the background with the force of knowledge prevailing majestically! It is effortlessly defining and re-defining our world, producing some knock-on effects whose reverberation are heard around the world: be they in politics, e-commerce, e-banking, academia, entertainment and what have you.

The Internet could 'imprison' one or make one free; it could provide companionship but it can also destroy, psychologically and physiologically. The Internet, in its utterly uncensored state, shatters taboos hitherto held sacrosanct; it demystifies mysteries and myths! It's the friend of all, rich and poor, and enemy of none; it plays the rule-less game of no-holds barred, stretching our capacity for the impossible, one becoming possible! The Internet challenges our daily existence throwing up the unknown and discovering new unexplored territories. It provides a robust platform for liberation struggles but it remains a haven, all the same, for scoundrels.

The Internet panders to no primordial sentiments, tearing down the walls of differences in creed, colour and tongues. It is the quintessential modern school of life that respects no hierarchy but obeys every demand. The Internet unites peoples across boundaries, challenging the entrenched culture of silence in many a country. It is the nemesis of oppressors but provides comfort and hope for the oppressed! This global dot com phenomenon does not discriminate; discrimination, in all intents and purposes, does not exist in its brave world.

The Internet is steadily pushing forward the frontiers of knowledge and liberty favouring the cross-fertilisation of ideas beyond our immediate environment. It is home for anonymity but welcomes identity and address. The Internet is a money-making machine but it could well constitute a veritable source of bankruptcy (read '419'!). The Internet is history in the making but it's also an encyclopedia. It can't die but keeps record of the dead and the living. It provides an avenue for taming boredom even if it's boring sometimes!

The Internet is a vast employer of labour but it could as well lead to one losing a job when, say, a frustrated boss deems one's too much engagement with the keyboard inappropriate. It could make distant marriages happen, linking people of diverse backgrounds together, but it could also be a source of marital conflict and subsequent divorce.

The Internet saves lives spectacularly (as exemplified by some generous solicited or unsolicited charity donations to some medical and/or academic causes) but it kills crudely as well. A young beautiful undergraduate damsel from 'Wazobialand' -- the only daughter of her family whose breadwinner was a retired General -- was recently lured from her location by her supposed Facebook friends to a big jungle of a commercial city (whose aquatic splendor is legendary) and savagely beaten, drugged, dispossessed, gang-raped and strangled to death in a hotel room!

Today it's not surprising to see teenagers practising truancy and others absconding from school only to go to cyber outlets in town to play poker, play video games, watch pornographic materials and chat with those outside their continent and country. The worst 'product' of the Internet happens to be "blue films" loaded from many sources and downloadable for free; it represents the most of negatives in the net and smacks of moral decadence!

We live, in the present circumstance, dangerously, in a world morally polarised. Daily, we're wittingly or unwittingly engaged in a 'war' between what's noble and ignoble; the forces of good are constantly in conflict with the forces of evil provoking a backlash that the inhabitants of the globe (pigmentation notwithstanding) absorb for whatever it's worth. Now, as mankind navigates the modern jungle (the planet-earth we know better) bequeathed unto us by Providence we're challenged by factors human: man's inhumanity to man, wickedness in high and low places, principalities and powers, poverty, war, injustice and ignorance.

So as civilisation evolves taking in more victims and throwing up more nouveaux richés, we are confronted with two possibilities: remaining 'sane' in a world where insanity can no longer be defined expressly to be manifestly associated with pure madness but one linked to certain behaviour antithetical to the human health -- talk about excessive consumption of alcohol, frolicking with girls, partying, doing drugs and playing pool online. The other possibility that presents itself happens to be laziness in which case a decent way of earning a living becomes an anachronism that must be jettisoned for other cheaper means of making money.

And when such money realised (from cooking up stories and engaging in outright mendacity) , then trouble is ignited. Have you become a millionaire overnight without any demonstrable source of livelihood? Are you sleeping soundly at night, out of reach of the dark forces? Do you 'fight' with your conscience on a daily basis over recriminations? Are you a member of the generation of light engaged in a daily mortal combat with the generation of darkness?

The world is worse off in this lowering of moral rectitude across the globe. Children of these days, happy to be born in an era of monumental human development in all spheres, are being corrupted and confused by capitalism and freedom. Given this social phenomenon 'sins' are being committed with responsibility missing! Friendships are being struck, contacts exchanged, sometimes across the borders, without any hint of scruples. Money is being worshipped and hedonism is in full blast!

The interesting story I'm about to tell -- for it bears introducing -- involved two friends by name Gado and Dago. Gado, 18, alias 'Freek', was a student and Dago, 17, alias 'Garcon', was also a college student. They met in school and became friends but the friendship became more intense because of the interest or passion they both shared in common in the Internet. Let's simply dub them, then, as "le deux broutteur amateur" (the two amateur scammers).

The young boys loved life and liked living it big beyond their means and generation. 'L'argent facile' (easy money) is of course sweet when tasted and to continue enjoying same a degree of "hard work" must be invested in whatever one does in this very regard. But on the other hand, since money is good but remains the root of all evil, misfortune could be associated with the quest to maintain a certain comfort guaranteed by this desire to belong to the new generation that see the so-called 'fast lane' of life as the best there is.

*The concluding part of this discourse shall be published, God willing, within the week.

SOC Okenwa
[email protected]

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