Friday, July 08, 2005

Big Bang Theory

Watched all the soot and gore my eyes could gobble last night on the teev. It appears terrorist attacks fit neatly into our addiction for Reality TV. I admit to being quite a sucker for the genre and still curse the fact I went to bed 3 minutes too early on September 11 2001 and missed watching history unfolding before me through the night. Though not of terrorist origin, the Boxing Day tsunami must get honourable mention in reality entertainment. The yuletide tsunami’s story unfurled over many days of compulsive viewing. At the time I was having the kind of Christmas that only a mass disaster could eclipse, so it gave me some bizarre comfort, putting my own petty misery into perspective.

London is the latest in the series. Yes I know I have glossed over Bali, Madrid and our own entrant into terrorism in the making – Iraq, but those are for other rants. Back to Blighty. The whiff of explosives in the air has bought out the “bulldog spirit” the tabloids tell us. Within hours we had many a Londoner remind us of the blitz and the historic stoicism of the locals. Blur got up and let the world know that they wouldn’t let the bastards grind them down. This tragedy of lost lives is one of the most fortuitous PR campaigns the country has seen for decades. As if winning the 2012 Olympics wasn’t enough for them! The timing is immaculate. Blur desperately needed to get certain G8 recalcitrants on his side, so if this can’t win him a sympathy vote, I don’t know what can.

But one thing stands out. No one is surprised. The timing may be subjective, but every man and his dog believed it was always a matter of when, not if, Britain would be the subject of a terrorist attack. Despite the gore fest, the shock value has been lost for the viewer since that day in September. We have, to borrow a phrase from Dr Helen Caldecott, become victims of psychic numbing once more, becoming desensitised to violence of this kind. Sad but true, dead bodies on the screen won’t make us choke on our cornflakes any more.

Back home we have had a ludicrous show of reassuring Joe Public that the powers that be are keeping them safe. There was a token police presence around public transport in capital cities today. Putting a priest on each train may have been just as effective. For what it’s worth, no boys in blue were visible as I waited for my number 96 tram in Bourke St Mall in the home time rush. If we want any semblance of actual safety full screening just like at airports, complete with random shoe tests and sniffer dogs would have to be introduced, at every stop along the line. That would throw a whole new twist in the frustration of running for a train, let alone quadruple your travel time and cost. No, that was obviously some ludicrous fantasy of mine. Put a pair of policemen at Flinders Street and we will all feel safe. Job done.

Although this post may appear flippant I in no way want to lessen the personal grief and trauma that many experienced in London yesterday. (In my own defence I did edit the remark I originally made about bomb dodging being added as a new Olympic sport). But as a nation we have been very selective about what terrorist events we have chosen to give perpetual coverage to. The Madrid bombings, of an almost identical nature and human scale did not warrant hours of live feeds from CNN and Sky. Perhaps it was because they were wogs (as the Australian vernacular so charmingly puts it). However there is a real horror, of our own collusion, that now barely rates a mention in the nightly news and never, ever the disruption of scheduled programming. I refer to the 100,000 plus Iraqis that have lost their innocent lives, and continue to do so, in the West’s so called liberation of their country. And this, so neatly, brings me back to my obvious conclusion for this rant. As I have said before, the most obvious way we can free ourselves from the waiting game and improve our public health, is to stand up against the Western Bullies and remove our support from the blood for oil fest in the Middle East. The war we have entered into with the USA and Britai n is the sole reason we will inevitably become another terrorist target. Be alert and alarmed, the choice is ours.


Blogger MelbourneGirl said...

this was good to read, i agree with you.

10:37 pm  

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