Sunday, 17 May 2009

Things that have distressed me lately

(1) Eurovision. But then, the pan-European paean to the garish and the outlandish has always had that effect on me, so nothing new there.

Contrary to wide-spread anticipation (at least in Israel), Achinoam Nini and Mira Awad failed to win. Didn't even come close to it, actually. Of course, the song was rubbish - but then so were the others, so I suppose that can't be held against them. I won't be cynical about the Israeli Broadcasting Authority pulling out all the stops - singing in English, Israeli-Arab and Israeli-Jew, etc etc - but somehow, I wonder whether the point may have been missed by the wider audience. Text I received half-way through the evening from a friend elsewhere in the world: "OK, Israel is on now...which one's which?"



Perhaps they should have gone down the traditional route and settled the Russians with bags of cash...

(2) Television News: Last Wednesday, this happened. A terrible thing to happen to any parent, regardless of the circumstances...

Next morning, Channel 10 report the story on the morning news. The report is accompanied by a clip. From a CCTV camera, of the moment when the mother finds her near-lifeless child in the car, rescues her and pleads for help from passers-by. The clip - which, helpfully, was repearted several times - profoundly disturbed me. Don't TV journalists get the whole issue of protecting the dignity and respecting the distress evoked by moments such as this? Can't they see the difference between reporting because it is in the public interest, and reporting because it is interesting to the public? The fundamental lack of humanity shocked me to the core.

Or perhaps I'm just being hysterical...

(3) Sri Lanka: The Sri Lankan Government's offensive against the Tamil Tiger Rebels/Seperatists/Terrorists has now reached end game, with the last few refugees trapped amidst the fighting desperately scrambling for safety and Tiger cadres apparently blowing themselves up.

The last few weeks have been particularly ugly, with claim and counter-claim about the numbers killed by indiscriminate Government shellings, whilst taking refuge in hospitals and supposed safe havens. The odd thing is, broadly speaking no-one really seems to give a flying fuck.

Example - the link above is from today's Guardian. The report has been compliled by two journalists; one, according to the byline, is based in Delhi, whilst the other usually writes for the Health Desk. Really high priority, no?

Actaully, this isn't intended to be a slag-off-the-Granuiad post. It's the same across the board. What distresses me is that really, no one seems to be bothered enough to actually find out what exactly is going on. I threw the question up in a previous post, in a slightly varied form: I appreciate the amount of interest that the shenanigans in this part of the world attract, but why here - Israel and the Territories - in particular, when there is so much similar shit elsewhere in the world? An acquaintance emailed me a lengthy reply, which included inter-alia a statement that chilled me to the bone: "At least they are killing their own people, it isn't at all like the situation in Palestine." i.e. They don't have a specific and evident factual difference to hang their differences upon, so we can't be bothered to pick sides this time.

Given that the Sri Lankan Government has gone so far as to deport journalists whom have failed to toe the party line - and I'm not even going to talk about journalists whom have been killed - I suppose it won't be long now before we get huge numbers of protesters and shoe-throwers outside the Sri Lankan High Commission in London.

Or perhaps not.

(Not directly related: I found this video on line the other day, featuring Gorgeous George, self proclaimed defender of the Palestinian people, making an arse of himself. Most unusual - he is usually full of articulate bluster. Anyway, it's worth watching, just for a laugh. As they say, with friends like these...)

9 comments:

Roi Ben-Yehuda said...

What a great vid.

Goy said...

Galloway is a charlatan in love with himself and the sound of his voice. I'm really not sure who on earth decided to give him a TV programme...

Anonymous said...

what a huge table !!

bf.

thebookmistress said...

Here in Canada, we are all suddenly Sri Lanka experts -- because the local Tamils (largest community outside of Sri Lanka) have been closing major roads with demos.

But yes, watching the stop-the-war protesters paying absolutely no attention to wars not involving Israel and/or the US is enlightening.

Goy said...

@bf - huge table for a huge ego, I suspect :-)

@bookmistress - it's enlightening, but also very disturbing...

thebookmistress said...

Incidentally, if you need any English books, I happen to live in a city with probably the third-best used book store culture in the world, and ship books to Israel on a regular basis.

Goy said...

I've been instructed to say that I do not need any more books, in English or in any other language...

Goy said...

third best? Which cities are the top two?

thebookmistress said...

London has Charing Cross Road and the OxFam bookshops; New York has the Strand plus just random wackiness.

We are packing for an upcoming move, and I certainly sometimes wish I had taken up heroin instead of book-buying as a hobby.