Thursday, July 14, 2005

What say you?

What say you - eight

27 comments:

MHN for short said...

Yes, a 2 minute silence is the VERY LEAST we can do. Serious one this morning, Herge. A lot on your mind?

Herge Smith said...

It is a serious issue. But also an incredibly complicated one. Like a lot of people I'm conflicted in the face of public grief - does it make us feel better? Or make the situation worse?

I know this - we can better honour those that die due to war and terrorism by NOT being silent - but asking questions of our leaders - such as "How can you let this happen?" "What are you doing to stop this?" and the one I want to ask - "How much are YOU to blame for this?"

Anyway... yeah, serious one.

Crystal said...

There's never anything simple about death. The media will just cover it though until everyone is emotionally trampled. I recommend turning off the news a bit. That's what we had to do after 9-11.

Sniffy said...

If people wish to pay their respects in any way they seem fit, then fair enough. If there is a national call or invitation for a 2 minutes' silence then it's fair enough if people wish to participate. However, I strongly disagree with being forced into these things and being made to feel no better than the terrorists who undertook these acts if I don't take part.

Standing round for 2 minutes isn't going to do anything for anyone, nor is signing a book of condolence (that will never be read). But that's my opinion and others are entitled to theirs.

On a general note, this expectation to show grief publicly is ridiculous; it's something that started with Diana's death. I don't know how many millions signed books of condolence or laid flowers, or visited London at the time, but a whole lot more didn't. Yet the media convinced us that the entire country was beside itself with grief. The reality was rather different.

Sniffy said...

Oh, and I think the Ladbroke Grove comment is quite clever. I can't even remember how many died there, but it must've been somewhere around the fifty mark. But it was an "accident". Or was it? The train driver ran a red light and BANG! Death and destruction. Loads more people are killed and injured because of dereliction of duties at work, or not obeying the rules of the road than in terrorists attacks on the UK. Where are the 2 minutes' silence? Where are those wake up calls?

2 minutes' silences, books of condolence and the like give people the opportunity to be part of the grief. So despite the fact they had no connection, it gives some people, not all, the chance to be the victim. I have no idea why this is.

Herge Smith said...

31 I think. But the point is when people are killed in 'accidents' or as you say, a dereliction of duty it's all pretty much brushed under the carpet.

I don't really know why we have this emotional outpouring - The Diana stuff was a huge step back for this country - it was insane.

I was actually in Kensington on the Monday because of work. I went along to Ken gardens with my sandwiches and sat and just watched - stunned at all the fucking idiots sobbing their hearts out - like their child had just died. Weird.

I blame the media - it'a all about flogging papers and getting you to watch their channel - they don't give a fuck - it's all money.

Labours whole thing is social engineering - guiding and controlling us.

Don't want to sound paranoid but read 1984, or re-read it. It's all happening.

War is Peace.

Spirit Of Owl said...

The two minutes silence is supposed to draw us together as a single community united. During the time, we can focus on straightening ourselves out, and preparing ourselves hopefully to ask the questions that Herge rightly poses. People did use the opportunity to create banners that have been seen across the world now through the media. Mass media isn't all bad, if it was we wouldn't be communicating with each other right now.

A train crash caused by a sleeping driver is hardly likely to lead to escalations of violence. But if someone wants to be quiet for a couple of minutes, sign a book, have a concert or sit in a bath of beans to show that they will resist with strength, I don't see a victim. I see a peaceful, civil human who still has hope.

Herge Smith said...

Sorry Owl, I see victim.

But then we're all discussing it, so that's a good thing.

Sniffy said...

Yes, victim and blame. That is what we're talking about here. People love being victims, being the focus of attention and they love having somebody to blame. I'm not assigning this label to all who participated in demonstrations of respect today, but an awful lot of people have gone pathetically soft and just relish in jumping on whatever grief bandwagon happens to be doing the rounds.

Herge Smith said...

Tina - is it possible that we are wrong, you and I? and that we are just two evil, cynical twisted blog b'archs?

Sniffy said...

We just see things differently than some.

I have no objection to 2 minutes' silence here and there, but I do object to people going too far with their inappropriate grief.

I'm quite insensitive and I admit that I find it difficult to get upset about things unless they affect me or the people I'm close to. Others are a bit less psychopathic I guess. But there are still those who go completely over the top with things.

You see things from a wider perspective and that's fair enough too. Who is grieving for the thousands killed in Iraq? For the children murdered there only yesterday? Where were the 2 minutes' silence for the kids blown up in Beslan? (Oh, they weren't western kids, so it doesn't count). How about the thousands killed in Rwanda, Somalia, Congo?

It's not as easy to feel the same about a situation when the folk don't look the same as you, or if they don't have the same language or culture. You're just trying to point out the the world should be outraged that atrocities like those on London happen almost daily elsewhere in the world but where's the outpouring of grief from the teary, hand-holding folk of the world for them?

Balance is what is needed.

The Antagonist said...

Probably not, Herge: London Blasts: Three Trains & A Bus, A Possible Explanation

Spirit Of Owl said...

I think that a lot of people stopped and didn't think about why they'd stopped at all. Others were, pretty much as you say, hoping that they might even get their faces on TV. That's just too bad.

Wider cynical exploitation of communal mourning is of course possible, and mass media covers only what is "sexy," sure. We are clearly manipulated through media, and our society does have problems. But I simply don't hold that all media coverage is bad (the Diana thing aside LOL) and that all gestures of communal mourning are bad. People coming together, uniting, trying to get a concensus, and, like here, talking and debating, that's all good to me.

Steve Dix said...

Bugger public mourning.

That's what the bastards wanted.

Sniffy said...

That's what I said, Steve. Only not here.

Wyndham said...

I remember the Diana thing being scary. All of a sudden my tube train was over-run with gangs of middle-aged and old ladies all brandishing heavy bunches of flowers. If you had the temerity to snigger at a funny passage in a book they all snarled and looked capable of kicking you to death. How dare I laugh when the blessed Diana is dead? Strange days.

Sniffy said...

How could anybody even stop crying in those sad days?

Herge Smith said...

Wow, who'd have thought my little 'What say you' piece would generate such a reaction - and I was trying to make the piece fair and balanced.

Hmm...

It's okay folks cartoon and comedy cards are on their way.

thordora said...

I find it sad that as a culture, people grieve in public as a way of getting some attention. I think what happens is so many people are so detatched from real contact and emotion that they latch on to these instances where they think it's ok to "feel"...it bugs me.

The whole "enforced mourning" thing pisses me off the same way enforced anthem singing or prayer did as a child. Or Rememberance Day. I certainly remember vets and war all the time, BECAUSE I ACTUALLY READ HISTORY. People are lazy. They want to SAY they care, and then return to shopping for new shoes.

I don't know what my point is here. I guess my point is that if people REALLY gave a crap, they'd find a way to change things so shit like this doesn't happen.

and will there be a moment of silence for the acts of retribution that have been occuring in the muslim communities over there? (I'm assuming that the news reports on that are correct)

Rowan said...

Just for the record, I agree with Tina, if a bunch of silly arses want to go stand outside and have their 2 mins. by all means, let them. But TELL me I have to? Whole nother story, that would make me furious. Utterly rediculous. However, at work, the break outside, hmmm, I might just nip out for a smoke, good opportunity, like when in highschool someone pulled the fire alarm and we could go out and get high.

Sniffy said...

Interesting Rowan....

2 minutes' silence, in a memorial service, in a church or place of worship. Do not drag passers by into it and make them feel guilty that they have their own way of coming to terms with events.

Nobheads.

Sniffy said...

This looks weird, what's happened? I'm a bit scared.

Herge Smith said...

What looks weird?

Sniffy said...

It's back to normal now -it'd all gone centred with a tiny textbox field.

MHN for short said...

JMO~ It seems that the people who don't know what to do, are doing this public mourning thing.

I agree with Tina, keep it in a church, which is where we do it. We do pray for all the injustice in the world, that the world leaders, all of them, will do what is right.

It's a mess and it's been going on since the start of time. There has always been war of some kind and there always will be. It sucks, but that's just the way it is.

I know you guys are miffed, but I wish I could pull you all in one big group hug and then go get a drink and play darts or go kareoke-ing or something... :-) I know, I'm silly...

Ship Creak said...

I never know which way to turn with these. Mainly I'm the guy in the top middle, who didn't know it was happening, but I sort've feel guilty that I don't mind that I missed it.

What a mix-up, eh?

Vorbis said...

I observed it.

Well acutally I was asleep at the time.