Diamonds From Sierra Leone
It is amazing how passionately people will pursue rocks and metals. The extent they will go to obtain them and the meaning they will attach to their possession. The only thing, people as a group, are more passionate about is killing each other for arbitrary reasons. Blood Diamond shows us the conflict in Sierra Leone and many unexpected forces at play.
The people in Sierra Leone are suffering. Made victims by opposing sides in a civil war centered on the struggle for power. Leonardo DiCaprio, playing Danny Archer, provides a splendid performance as an antihero. He is not a saint or a sinner but merely someone who acts in his own self-interest. He has learnt the realities of life in his situation.
It is sad that we still have so many problems in the world when we have the means to limit or eradicate so many of those problems. The mindless pursuit of money and power coupled with the inability of those who generally fall victims to such pursuits to think and act in their best interest leaves us with many, many stories like this around the world.
“‘Why do we need agents, the 00 section? Isn’t it all rather quaint?’ Well, I suppose I see a different world than you do and the truth is that what I see frightens me. I’m frightened because our enemies are no longer known to us. They do not exist on a map. They’re not nations, they’re individuals.
And look around you. Who do you fear? Can you see a face, a uniform, a flag? No! Our world is not more transparent now, it’s more opaque! It’s in the shadows. That’s where we must do battle. So before you declare us irrelevant, ask yourselves, how safe do you feel?”
“She paints her face to hide her face. Her eyes are deep water. It is not for Geisha to want. It is not for geisha to feel. Geisha is an artist of the floating world. She dances, she sings. She entertains you, whatever you want. The rest is shadows, the rest is secret.”
“I think you are another of these desert-loving English: Doughty, Stanhope, Gordon of Khartoum.
No Arab loves the desert. We love water and green trees, there is nothing in the desert. No man needs nothing.”
— Prince Faisal
“There will be no rescue, no intervention for us. We can only save ourselves. Many of you know influential people abroad, you must call these people. You must tell them what will happen to us... say goodbye. But when you say goodbye, say it as if you are reaching through the phone and holding their hand. Let them know that if they let go of that hand, you will die. We must shame them into sending help.”
— Paul Rusesabagina
“It is clear that we are just an advanced breed of primates on a minor planet orbiting around a very average star, in the outer suburb of one among a hundred billion galaxies. BUT, ever since the dawn of civilization people have craved for an understanding of the underlying order of the world.
There ought to be something very special about the boundary conditions of the universe. And what can be more special than that there is no boundary? And there should be no boundary to human endeavor. We are all different. However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there is life, there is hope.”
— Stephen Hawking
“No one normal could have done that. Do you know, this morning... I was on a train that went through a city that wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for you. I bought a ticket from a man who would likely be dead if it wasn’t for you. I read up on my work... a whole field of scientific inquiry that only exists because of you. And while you wish you could have been normal... I can promise you I do not. The world is an infinitely better place precisely because you weren’t.”
— Joan Clarke