From the illustration style and the quality of the paper and print, I would assume this is a frame from a 1950’s comic (if anyone out there knows more about Goom, please let me know!)
So, here’s the thing: You, dear reader, are Goom. And I am Goom. We are all Goom, every one of us sharing this tiny blue orb which sits amidst an infinity stars.
Goom you ask? I am Goom?
The UK Daily Telegraph ran an article recently which states that “All humans are 99.9 per cent identical and, of that tiny 0.1 per cent difference, 94 per cent of the variation is among individuals from the same populations and only six per cent between individuals from different populations.”
Despite the fact there is only one race – the human race -, we habitually negate each other. We invent constructs – glasses if you like – which so distort our view of each other that we feel justified in shouting “Look how monstrous they are!”
We exclude, hate, maim, shun, bomb, rape, invade, enslave, reject, villify, torture, ignore. But then you can do that to the emissaries of Goom.
I think the cartoon explains it rather nicely:
“Look at them! They’re even more monstrous – more evil – than Goom himself!” we say, othering our fellow man, (and fellow woman), objectivizing him to the point that we can disavow him. With our bizarre comic-book glasses we see our fellow man as monstrous. Evil. Call it xenophobia, racism – call it what you like – it amounts to the same thing. And because Goom and his evil denizens have identical comic-book glasses, he see us in exactly the same way. They say of you, your race, your religion, your people: “Look at them! They’re even more monstrous – more evil – than Goom himself!”.
We stumble through our short lives with these tragicomic cardboard glasses with opaque lenses, screaming, “Look at them!”. It’s a little like standing in front of a fairground crazy-mirror and mocking one’s own reflection.
Ridiculous, isn’t it?
Time to take off our Goom glasses. The pair on my nose feel particularly heavy this morning.