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Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Who Gives a Shit?

London shortlisted for Olympic bid is what the radio news has been telling me all day.

Who gives a shit? This country seems to spend half its time trying to get shortlisted, an almost equal amount of time trying to get chosen, and a small (but essential) amount of time not ever being chosen, and then the whole rigmarole starts again.

I very much doubt we'll win the bid this time. We never do. We will waste £millions on pretty pictures and such and we won't be picked. And whether we do or not, I don't care. I don't think I know anyone who does.

And a man has been arrested for impersonating a police officer at Windsor Castle. Again, who gives a shit?

No members of the Royal Family were at the castle at the time and police say the pair, both in their 30s, did not breach security.

Ok, so not only do I not care, but it seems to be a non-story as well. There were no royals there (yawn), and this guy and a woman with him were in a public area... Why is this on the news?

And why are the royals so protected? What makes them any more important than me? Or you? Why?!

However, I do give a shit about the gay weddings stuff in Massachussetts. Here is a fabulous BBC photo report on the story, with a special appearance from the evil website people (note no link, don't want to encourage them).

A peace rally in Israel provokes some moving photographs too, and the Baghdad bomb attack photographs really show me more than I can deal with seeing.

Since I got rid of my television nearly 18 months ago, I feel the impact of visual images of such things much more strongly. Now that I get the vast majority of my news on the radio and am not bombarded daily with images of disasters, I find these types of images much more powerful and disturbing than I ever have before.

Protest photos are important, I think, to remind us that there are many millions of us who despair at the state of the world, and who are willing to shout, dance, cry, write and be all-roundly creative to change things. Photos from the Wall Must Fall demo last Saturday are inspiring and beautiful.

Not for the first time in his life, it seems Peter Tatchell was causing controversy. I have to admit to some sympathy for him on this one. Pretending that the Palestinian authorities are perfect is inappropriate if it's not true, and it is totally ok to stand up for Palestinians against their occupiers, while at the same time pointing out discrimination which occurs within its own communities. The two are not mutually exclusive or contradictory.

It's like there is sometimes an unspoken feeling within the anti-war communities that there must be no horror from anything done by Iraqis or Palestinians, say, because they are fighting the occupations of their territories / countries, and thus are justified. However, while I understand the reasoning and hatred and fear and bitterness behind any such actions, I still maintain the right to feel horrified at a man being beheaded, for instance.

It's all complicated. I know where they are coming from, and I support the determination for freedom, but I am essentially a pacifist and I want the fighting, all the fighting, to stop.

It hurts my soul.


Dooey said...

Why are they so protected? Hmm.. I feel for the poor children of that family. Prince William smiles at a human born with ovaries and two X chromosomes and the Press craps bricks. Poor guy..