Thursday, July 07, 2005

XTC - Millions

My mother is English, and I lived in England for a year when I was a kid. But you know how childhood is. That single year (and four years in New Zealand, in many ways an extension of England) had an immense effect on me. I am much more English in temperment and outlook than American. I prefer English music to American. I have more of an English sense of humor. My ideal vacation involves a year, my girlfriend, and England. And I am taking the terrorist bombing in London very personally, much more than with Madrid last year or Bali before that. Al Queda, in my opinion, made a mistake with bombing London. First, there are thousands and thousands of old Londoners who lived through the Blitz. My mother was evacuated to the countryside with the other kids back then. These pensioners have seen carnage and suffering beyond comparison with today. This makes a difference. It's not a shock in the way the Eleventh of September was a shock to America. Secondly, everyone too young to have direct experience still has a collective-memory kind of thing where they are shaking it off and going about their lives just as the English did during the Blitz. Third, low-level terrorism is nothing new to London. They are used to occasional bombs here and there for decades due to the IRA. Of course, the IRA were relatively gentle about it, calling in warnings beforehand, but still.

So the terrorists tried to terrorize people that are not going to be easily terrorized. It's like blowing up a bus in Israel. It's so played now that although it's a tragedy for those involved, it doesn't have the desired effect on the people that they want.

No comments: