Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Stuff happens in the August doldrums - August 1914?

Stuff happens. 1914 and a war broke out and all the generals thought it would be over by Christmas. Others used the excuse to try out new tanks. Formations dating back to the Crimean War that were then tried and tested were utilised by these same generals to create a mass genocide of young men in trenches. Stuff happens in 2008 too. Only this time its pipelines and oil and middle aged men in suits in offices throughout the 'free' world worrying about their pensions. And all this is set against the 2008 Olympics. What a sad excuse for humanity. Competitors vying against one another to win medals and young men and old women and children are being killed and for what? Why do it now? Is the world asleep? Well, probably, if you consider the silence from the brilliant humanists at the UN downwards. Supine, supine... Let's not go there.

Other stuff happens too in my small cosmos. A feature here, a piece on the radio there and tomorrow participating in a documentary. A first time for me to be filmed. What do I wear? Is it important? In the short term, obviously it is. Set against another unheeded war, then no. It's not important. But let's not be disengenuous here. I care about what I look like and because people are being murdered for no reason other than one man's obsession with his place in the pantheon of murdering despotic leaders, I realise that I can't do anything about it. So I'll primp myself and have my hair done and worry about whether I wear white or if black is going to be slimming enough.

All this happened against the backdrop of the Holocaust too, when films in colour were shot in Warsaw. These films are now being shown again and they bring home the reality that in colour people existed. Being part of a documentary shot in black and white, one is distanced from the concept that those shown actually lived and breathed and did the same things as us. Young women worried about their hair, their clothes, their jobs and their boyfriends. No one being filmed smiling and chatting had a clue that they were about to be made a party to possibly the worst atrocity that they could ever envisage. So I'll smile to the camera and the athletes and acrobats and swimmers and shooters will win medals and stand on podiums and listen to their national anthems with pride and an army will march across a burnt landscape and kill with impunity and no one will care.

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