Thursday, July 07, 2005

BOMB SQUAD. Condolences to my London friends on the awful attacks Thursday morning. I hope you're safe and stay so.

If you want to follow the bombing news, the best source I've found for updates is the Guardian's news blog. And I thought mainstream news didn't """get""" (*) blogs! Why, they have better info than a Tennessee law perfesser. The citizens' tributes posted there are especially good.

(* that awful usage really requires triple-quotes, as no human now living can use it without evincing at least three layers of alienation from normal speech patterns.)

As for idiocy on the subject, there are sources aplenty, though as usual Goldberg's Frat House holds its own. While the Man Who Would Be Bluto himself seems about two bongs shy of a pantload, speculating muzzily about possible "useful" outcomes, other Cornerites wave Union Jacks and shake fists energetically. "We Are All Brits Now," announces Den Mother Lopez. Funny, I don't remember ever being told that we were all Balinese (have you forgotten October 12?). I vaguely recall being told we were Madrileños, but I think the Ministry of Truth revoked Madrid's status as a Place of Which We All Are shortly thereafter.

I imagine some readers may find it offensive that I am expressing my opinions on even so ancillary an aspect of these bombings as their press coverage without resorting to the seemingly requisite clenched teeth and offers of prayer. My feelings for the horrible deaths of several people I do not personally know are probably about the same as yours. Every man's death diminishes me, whether or not it is on the news, but I try not to intrude upon the funerals of strangers.

For my own part, I am more offended at the cunning use of public tragedy for propaganda purposes. For example, the Perfesser's jape at Ken Livingstone's response to the attacks on his City -- that "they've got even Ken Livingstone sounding Churchillian" -- seems to me appallingly cynical. Red Ken, bless him, is simply being Livingstonian. To talk about his call for solidarity as if it were some sort of deviation from the norm makes no sense, unless your business is to interpret basic human behaviors and emotions in political terms.

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