The Modern World? It’s Personal by Peter Riva
The advent of travel, the Internet, texting, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and a host of other connectivity has created a new reality – it is a different world out there – because “out there” is now really personal. When I was the project manager of the Voyager World Flight in 1985/6, I boasted that planes would, one day, be built to travel as efficiently as the Voyager, bringing people affordable travel, closeness to foreigners and thereby make them friends (or at least not bogeymen and women). The Internet and connectivity has done the same thing.
The problem is, your mindset is still likely to be watching the evening news and thinking “over there” and not “right here.” Everything you see on TV is “right here.” Why? How? Because those refugees you see? They can reach out and easily touch you. They can do so in a friendly way or they can harbor grudges when you do not respond to their initial contact and then they can solicit enemies within. Homegrown terrorism – like al-Shaabab in my book Murder On Safari – are outsiders, angry at being denied their place at the table of Western excess. And that anger leads to violence, extreme, mad-dog violence.
Commit the unforgivable – the true definition of terrorism.
Violence is never the answer but it does often lead to a solution, a discussion, a negotiation, hopefully to peace. Peace accords after war are all about leveling the fairness, stopping the violence. But you have to get there. In my book, I put TV producer Simon Bank into the unenviable position of needing to do something because he was all alone, without support, and his camera crew were in danger. Sure, he could reach out by phone to ask for help, but the reality of “out there” for the CIA folks in Washington meant they calculated risk that it was so far away that the risk to the US was minimal, so they strung Simon along, getting him in deeper and deeper danger. They could not have been more wrong.
As a film producer in exactly those same regions of East Africa, I can attest to the wonderful feeling of being “out there.” It is misleading. There is not one place on this planet any more (except perhaps deep underwater or on orbit) that is unconnected to every event happening all around the globe. It’s like the fans’ wave at a stadium… it may not have reached you yet, but you are connected just by being there.
So, here you are, on this planet, connected. The wave you want to ignore will catch up sooner or later. If you know it is coming, you can set your response ahead of time instead of being shocked, frightened, and terrorized. Fred Feiler, the project manager for the repairs for the 1993 bombing by al-Qaida of the Twin Towers’ parking garage told me his extra repairs were being made to strengthen the foundation, “because I know they will try again.” Was he or anyone else involved in that repair surprised by 9/11? Nope. Those were the very men and women who reacted quickly, quickly because they were not surprised.
So, remember, when you see something happening on a distant shore, nowadays it is actually personal, up close and personal, with the speed of light and connectivity. You can’t hide away from reality anymore. There is no “over there” any more. It is all here, now; the wave is always approaching.
About the author:
Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook
Title: Murder on SafariAuthor: Peter Riva
Publication Date: April 28/15 by Yucca Publishing
Back Cover Blurb:
Every adventure starts at the fringes of civilization. For expert safari guide Mbuno and wildlife television producer Pero Baltazar, filming in the wild of East Africa should have been a return to the adventure they always loved. This time they’d be filming soaring vultures in northern Kenya and giant sea crocodiles in Tanzania with Mary, the daughter of the world’s top television evangelist, the very reverend Jimmy Threte.
But when a terrorist cell places them in the crosshairs, there is suddenly no escape and they must put their filming aside and combine all their talents to thwart an all-out al-Shabaab terrorist attack on Jimmy Threte’s Christian gathering of hundreds of thousands in Nairobi, Kenya.
The problem is, Pero has a secret—he's been working as a clandestine courier for the US State Department for years. If anyone finds out, it may get them all killed. Exciting and expertly plotted, Murder on Safari is a gripping, edge-of-your-seat thriller set in the great wide-open plains of East Africa.
The characters that Riva has created definitely did the story justice. The individuals were well developed, highlighting the cultural differences while having a personality all of their own. I enjoyed getting to know them, becoming wrapped up in their lives and their plights.
As a whole, this was a remarkably suspenseful novel that kept me on my toes. I loved travelling across the world through Riva’s words.