Wednesday, July 06, 2005The Horror
Remind me not to live in London in 2012. And definitely, definitely, definitely not in Stratford.
PS: Ahem, quite.
A few quick thoughts on the explosions in London today -- not intended to argue any particular point (that would be crass), but just my initial reaction:
1) Everybody knows the tube is the weak link in the system -- back during the paranoid days of late 2001, when I was still living on the Isle of Dogs, the constant whispers of impending threat always centered on the tube. It's a sealed-off pipe full of vulnerable human flesh buried (in some places) hundreds of feet underground, and at certain times some trains carry tens of thousands of people, packed in like cattle. Frankly, I was relieved at the scale of the attacks. It could've been hugely worse.
2) Everybody (who pays any attention) also knows that there's a big militant Islamist community in London; some of these groups aim to turn the UK into an entirely Muslim country. They aren't shy, everyone knows they're there. But then again, London has a huge Muslim community period, and the vast majority -- 95% at least -- of those people are peaceable, honest citizens. Londoners, I anticipate, will understand the distinction in a way Americans never quite seemed to grasp.
It'll be interesting to see how Londonders -- who've survived twenty years under terrorist threat, centuries worth of the typical perils of big-fuck-off-city life, and a little thing called the Blitz -- respond compared to how Americans responded to their terrorist attack (admittedly a much larger one -- but certainly not as bad as the Blitz.) Hopefully we Yanks can take a lesson or two -- observe, my people.
Anyway, my thoughts go out to anyone who's worrying (or grieving) over a loved one in London. Moreover -- and anyone who's seen a tube strike will understand the specific mention -- my thoughts go out to London commuters. Man, Friday rush hour's going to be a son of a bitch.
And my plea: once, Americans were as united as Londoners are now. Please don't fuck it up the way we did.
Update: Apparently Fox News is already spinning this as a rationale for attacking Iran. Those fuckers will be the ruin of us all. |