a little east of reality

Thursday, July 07, 2005

london calling

I got a random text message late tonight from Gio telling me that Baps was safe. I immediately messaged back, ‘what reason would I have for thinking she wasn’t?’ His reply was my introduction to the terrorist bombings in London.

I didn’t know what to think. In some ways I’ve become immune to this kind of news. In some ways bombings in London are no different to the war news we are hearing every second day coming out of Iraq or the Israeli/Palestine conflict. But there is something about this kind of random violence against civilians that never ceases to be shocking. And the fact that I still have one friend and one cousin in London unaccounted for makes the whole thing play on my mind even more. What if they are dead, only because someone wanted to make a statement? And a statement to what purpose, if all they are expressing is rage, with no concrete demands and no clear sense of what it is they want changed?

Similarly, if I am outraged, what place does that rage have to go? How can I really express it without simultaneously feeling completely helpless to do a single thing to change the situation? Where will that rage go in London, where thousands of good, peaceful Muslims are no doubt about to be abused by their fellow citizens (as happened after the bombings in Madrid)? I mean we’re talking about a place where people kick the shit out of each other over soccer. If I was a Muslim in London, I’d be cowering in my locked house right now hoping that my neighbours do not forget our friendships in their need to express rage over this terrible bombing. Is that fair?

On days like this the world just makes me weary.