Monday, July 11, 2005

Not Everyone Has To Be Involved

One of the more annoying things associated with last week's terrorist bombings in London is that in our modern media "how do you feel?" age everyone seems compelled to try and insert themselves into what is essentially a tragedy for a relative few. I am not talking about those who take a minute to reflect, comment, or offer assistance and support but rather those who insist on parachuting their own egos into the disaster without any sense of proportion or basic decency.

I wrote to my brother about this impression I was picking up from various online newspapers and so on, and he replied with his own observations. My brother writes from Leicestershire in the middle of England, a fair distance from the geographically compact area affected by the bombings:

From me to my brother, Barry: "Do you think it is time for British people to stop posting to message boards about how stoic and brave they are being? As in "I live in Garboldisham and refuse to let terrorists stop me from going about my daily business of molesting sheep" or "Here on the Isle of Mull we refuse to be cowed by the bombings in a geographically tiny bit of London". Its not brave to get on a bus or a tube train (when have terrorists repeated themselves either geographically or tactically in this current campaign?) per se; especially not when people keep bleating on about it...."

From Barry to me: "It is getting a bit like that over here, I think it is an overwhelming sense that people want to be involved, as well as the impression that some are quite enjoying the drama. It is ridiculous to hear people in Leicestershire discussing about how it will not stop them carrying on with their daily business, whilst at the same time using it as an excuse to knock off early to avoid rush our on the A607 to Melton in case it is a target. All that happens is that whilst those people in the rest of the country go on about their bravery in face of events 150 miles away is that it prolongs the fears and worries for those in London. There is also a wealth of inappropriate near miss stories of 'I once went to Oxford Street' or 'I was in London on Monday'. people just want to be involved. The latest one today is that we will not be having a collection for someone's birthday given 'everything else that is going on'. I am also concerned that people's 1st thought is to record it on their mobiles when this happens."


Listmaker said...

after 9/11, a friend of mine who had grown up in kansas said that when he went back to visit shortly after that 9/11 was basically an excuse for the people to brandish shotguns and saw that they were ready for the terrorists.

weasel said...

Listo, its like that Larry David episode where the rabbi's brother "died on 9/11".... of an unrelated ailment in Queens.

We had two assholes from Maine who were arrested post 9/11 who went to New York to "help", ended up stealing a bunch of fire fighter gear, and then parading around Lewiston claiming the uniforms had been given to them by a grateful FDNY.

People are weird and self centred.

weasel said...

Apologies for the twisted syntax- I'm eating bugles and typing one handed.

RPS said...

I am somewhat stunned that there actually is a place called Garboldisham. (I suppose it's full of tractors.) They even have a cricket club, although the club's web site — in true Garboldishamian fashion? — hasn't been updated since 1999.

Seems like a place only to be found in the land of the Goons (or in the mind of a Parsley).

weasel said...

Aha! Norfolk also has a Little Snoring and a Six Mile Bottom. Garboldisham is nothing, a mere amateur in the inane name game in the mighty county.

Benny Hill said...

Norfolk also has a Little Snoring and a Six Mile Bottom.

Sounds exactly like my first wife.

Anonymous said...

What can I say? We are a very saucy people.

Love, Boudicca

unwellness said...

OH dear. This sounds so much like a darling little Time magazine piece that really pissed off the little town my father-in-law lives in. It was right after 9/11, all about how Marietta, Ohio was up in arms, very concerned about the terrorist threat. It cracked us up.

weasel said...

Unwellness, I'm glad to see that this is a shared North Atlantic experience, like those annoying "we are all New Yorkers" and "we are all Londoners" boasts that people insist on making. It reminds me of that scene in "The Life of Brian" when Brian tells the crowd that they are all individuals, and they all yell back "yes, we are all individuals". I want to be the guy who says "I'm not."