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Friday, July 08, 2005

7/7/ collage

Collage: 7/7

If the weather had been gloomier, it would have been easier to come to terms with the news and views from home.

As it was, there was an air of unreality to the blazing sunshine outside and the birds twittering and the neighbors' children chasing each other with what looked like depressingly unconvincing light sabres ... and me indoors, multi media monitoring and with blinds drawn to kill the glare on the monitor .... .

ferry vista july 7Radio and TV, web news and blogs, phone and email - not just to the UK but fellow ex-pats in WA and around the US.

In the end, it seemed that no one had suffered personally so I cried halt to the craziness and stomped out to let the Island distract me with its glorious reminders that Life goes on.

coastguardWith the bombings coinciding with the G-8 summit, naturally we got a bevy of world statesmen expressing condolences in rainbow accents and varying expertise.

coast guard & ferry
No prizes for guessing the most gauche and tongue-tied.

cloudI know I go on about the Gnome - and it's foolish in the extreme to slag off the top man when enjoying a country's generous hospitality - but, honestly, I don't think I'm imagining it: that man is tongue-tied past the point of caricature:

"The contrast between what we've seen on the TV screens ... what's taken place in London, what's taken place here is incredibly vivid to me. ... the contrast couldn't be clearer between the intentions and the hearts of those of us who care deeply about human rights and human liberty, and those who kill, those who've got such evil in their heart that they will take the lives of innocent folks.

We will find them. We will bring them to justice ... we will spread an ideology of hope and compassion that will overwhelm their ideology of hate." - George W. Bush

In fact, the only Dubya sound bite the networks seemed to feel safe with were his closing lines about the fight against terrorism continuing on. trees

Meanwhile, Mayor of London, 'Red' Ken Livingstone sounded in eloquent form, coming up with:

"I want to say one thing specifically to the world today. This was not a terrorist attack against the mighty and the powerful. It was not aimed at Presidents or Prime Ministers. It was aimed at ordinary, working-class Londoners, black and white, Muslim and Christian, Hindu and Jew, young and old. It was an indiscriminate attempt to slaughter, irrespective of any considerations for age, for class, for religion, or whatever.

That isn't an ideology, it isn't even a perverted faith – it is just an indiscriminate attempt at mass murder and we know what the objective is.

They seek to divide Londoners. They seek to turn Londoners against each other ... [but] Londoners will not be divided by this cowardly attack. They will stand together in solidarity alongside those who have been injured and those who have been bereaved and that is why I'm proud to be the mayor of that city."

live8One thing I haven't seen discussed is the effect all these shenanigans must be having on Bob Geldof's post-concert lobbying and cajoling.

Surely the bombers have also totally buggered up all plans to monitor what was comingout of the Gleneagles summit and make sure everyone was focusing on Penury Awareness? If so, things have gone mighty silent and I can't see the Geldof/Bono consortium being very pleased about *that*. As nor can I see the more serious fundraisers approving of Time mag's splendid opening sentence that, "Nothing says 'eliminate Third world poverty' like Beyoncé in a bootylicious short skirt." Tssk, that is so naughty. Quite made my morning.

Media Coverage: And so to the morning after the carnage, when I'm reminded why all sane citizens make absolutely sure they have jobs to go to and are out the door before messrs Lauer and Couric start their daily reduction of news highlights to the usual mushy brained absurdest.

They really do epitomize the twittering Tweedle-dums and Tweedle-dee of ephemeral morning TV.

God knows why they're allowed to stray anywhere near actual *hard* news - part of NBC's charter, I suppose.

Normally, it doesn't matter - runaway brides, hectoring scientologians - but then something weighty like this comes along and the cerebral-lite playpen approach no longer seems so funny.

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