Tuesday, July 19, 2005

arguing about terrorism

You see, I started a long post the other day about the terrorist attacks on london, about what motives may have led the bombers to such an appalling act, and about the truly dreadful way in which the word 'evil' is used in modern society as a lazy, ignorant way of saying 'I know nothing about it, except that you're wrong, buster'. But I ended up with about two pages of pretty much unsubstantiated opinion which – although I think it was right – did work on the assumption that I am more able to figure out what was going through the bombers' minds than Christopher Hitchens (isn't it great having two idiot Hitchens all of a sudden – wow) or the guys over at Harry's Place. And frankly, I can’t claim that insight. So I scrapped it.

That's not to say that there's not plenty of stuff to be said on the subject, which is why I'll draw your attention to this post from John B on his reliably excellent Shot By Both Sides blog. It starts with a fairly simple (and delightful) premise proposed by fellow Sussex resident Chicken Yoghurt:

"A television advert. You round up 50-odd celebrities, sportsmen and women, the whole nine yards - a spread to appeal to the knuckle draggers on the Right and the wankers with their hard-ons for the virgins. Each celebrity says the name of one of those killed last week. At the end of the advert, a simple caption, black on white: 'If you think Muslims did this, you're a prick'."

But the devil, as so often is the case, is in the detail, and in this case the devil is Peter Cuthbertson, who used to maintain an oft-updated blog of his own until the lure of winding up 'liberals' on their own blogs overcame him. He incites a lengthy, thought provoking and occasionally hilarious debate in the comments section. It's a long read, but well worth it.

Things may have moved on by the time you read it, but a lovely final post in the comments box from Lorna at the time of writing:

"Oh, I'm sure I'll get around to worrying about it eventually. It'll just have to get in line and be patient, because first I've got to worry about heart disease, cancer, traffic accidents, murder by someone I know (feel free to make a snarky comment regarding provocation and my personality at this point), suicide, diabetes (with my family history, anyway), and all the other much more likely ways I could snuff it. (A thought that's almost welcome after being at work all day in this heat, really.)

I think I'm right in saying - though maybe I'm too tired to think up decent keywords, because Google is not playing nice - that hanging around friends, family, lovers and acquaintances is complacent, and in denial about the people who're most likely to kill or harm us. And yet we keep doing it."


It’s the fuckin gangsters I'm worried about. (see last post).

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