I have been exceptionally busy over the last few weeks, and thus, for whatever reason, have not commented on my life/others lives/the world around us in the normal fashion. As I have an hour before lunch, I figure I'm going to leave this here post open, and come back to it when I have thoughts. But I'll start off with the sobering news from Mumbai.
Shocking stuff, really. The authorities finally managed to take control of the Taj Mahal hotel this morning, the final outpost of the terrorists, 3 days after they managed to force their way in and hold hostages. The body count up to this point is at 195, probably to rise as the authorities clear the buildings.
You have to wonder what this will do to Mumbai as a city. Indians will still love it, it will still be a thriving metropolis - I can just imagine hawkers prowling around the Gate of India once again in the coming nights. It will not die. But the effect of such an unfortunately effective terrorist attack on a city that heavily relies on tourism is unknown.
One of the most frustrating elements of it, as an Englishman, is the England cricket team coming home. Now, I'm all for safety and so on, but as I have said after every major terrorist attack in the last 8 years - the time immediately after the attacks are the safest. Security is high, terrorists rarely try and strike twice so soon after. There was an attempt two weeks after the London bombings, but it was stopped, because of heightened security. So, my plea to the English cricket team is that you should go back out there and play cricket. Because if there's something that gets Indians back on their feet, it's a good old game of bat and ball, with a bit of colonial retribution thrown in.
My friend who lives down the hall from me is often away for the weekends, visiting his girlfriend, and so on. I often complain about such activities, as it often means we rarely see him. So, in one conversation, I joked that he was a disappointment for being away so often. Quick as Usain Bolt on performance enhancing drugs, he replied:
'Well, at least I'm not a mistake'.
I was doing some research for my project yesterday, reading through the response the The Sunflower, noting down their opinion on forgiveness, quoting them if possible. One opinion I came across was a well thought out, philosophical response from a man who had been through the horrors of WWII as a Jew, and emerged a survivor. Just. And forgiveness for him was completely superfluous, more or less equating it with a feeling; nothing more. Forgive the long quote, but he says it rather better than I could:
‘I can easily imagine that, under only slightly different circumstances, you might have forgiven the dying man. Suppose you had seen his pleading and implring eyes, which may have had more of an effect on you than his rasping voice and folded hands. Or suppose that just before that encounter, you had been in contact with one of those “decent” SS men, whom we all know, who had treated you with a little bit of kindness, putting you in a more tolerant mood. … So, then you might have forgiven: in my view, it would have meant just as little as your refusal.’
Is forgiveness really this cheap? Does it really amount to nothing but psychological peace for the one who is forgiven? Because if it does, my entire belief of forgiveness and how it works is subverted. There must be something more to it. Surely?
This recession, eh? What a to do. Thus far it had seemed a very arbitrary thing, quite distant from real life. And then on Thursday, Woolworths has gone into administration, taking EUK with it. And I have a friend who works for EUK, and another who had a job lined up there. Suddenly everything looks quite unsure. And the real threat of this recession has hit me. When you really start to think about it, it's apparent just how bizarre the whole capitalist set up is. Currency value is based upon other currency values. What kind of circular logic is that? They're lined up like dominoes, ready to fall on each other. We'll soon be back to bartering pigs and chickens. Which is problematic for those without livestock.
Last night was the first night of the Christmas production, with a very student-like take on the nativity. The crowning moment of the night, and possibly the hardest to keep a straight face for, was during an 'argument' between myself and Paul's character's, as everyone else went silent, he, rather loudly proclaimed:
'You look like a sultana!'
Lunch is upon us, and I had have had my fill of bizarre blog comments. I think.