For those blissfully ignorant of Latin, the sentence above literally means. “Man is the wolf of man”… or mankind… or whatever. The years when I learned (and cared about) Latin have long gone, so its significance has blurred somewhat.
But the intrinsic value of the sentence is quite strong in my home country; man preys on his weaker peers… and it’s stronger than ever down here in Venezuela.
We are living under the yoke of a dictatorship operating under the guise of democracy. The yearly murder rate is 100 murders in 100,000 inhabitants. There’s a shortage of 25 % of foodstuff (1 out of 4 edible products are missing from any supermarket shelves, and the government only knows to issue edicts forbidding this or that to solve the problem. There’s no toilet paper. And everyone you’ll meet down here is more than ready to jump on your back and take some ill advantage over you.
Want a more personal example? On the morning of Dec 22nd, there was a knock at my front door. Since it’s a pretty unusual event (no people in the jungle is a strong giveaway of the why) I went to answer it.
Standing on my front porch was a very odd looking couple. They said ‘Hi’ and then they explained their presence there. They owned a plot nearby (which really meant about two miles away) and the guy to whom I sell all the scavenged aluminum I glean from the local highways had recommended me to them, to clean and perform maintenance to their land.
I wanted to get rid of them as soon as possible: first, these two people were giving me a very baaaaad vibe… and second, I was busy rewriting the last three chapters of Fermata Girl Vs The Medallion of Doom, the next book in my Karaoke Duo Series, so I named a price 400 VFE, which in local currency is about 70 bucks… or $12, depending of who in the wide spectrum of the Black Market you ask.
They nodded in agreement, and wanted me to have a look at the land. I told them that I’d go there tomorrow to see it and decide. Have you ever been to a dog pound? Have you ever visited the section where they place the unwanted mongrels, those that are more than ready to make a visit to the pound’s gas chamber? Well, these two had that look; they stared at me with those weepy, soulful eyes, the same you’d find on a puppy that’s about to be put to sleep. So I agreed to go with them and have a look at the plot.
Anything to get rid of them. I locked down my house and went with them.
Wanna know how all this continues? Stay tuned…