I think about Gaza a lot, the frustration that is the ongoing battering of civilians by the IDF disgusts me, as it should anyone with a conscious, I should think. Manic Street Preachers had a song entitled "If You Tolerate This, Your Children Will Be Next" and I think about it from every time the body count rolls off the BBC announcers tongue over the airwaves, but at the same time, I find it increasingly hard to involve myself with the anti-Israeli groups in the Bay Area, I think it might have been the first time I attended a rally and saw a swastika where a Star of David should be where I truly understood the disgust my more moderate family members feel towards the far left. This is not to say that Israel's actions aren't odious, I certainly feel that the bombing of a UN facility wherein civilians had taken refuge fits the definition well, but the Left's willingness to bring to bear one of the greatest travesties in the history of humanity upon the descendants of said horror, to so casually make that comparison, well I find it revolting. A firm believer in Godwin's Law, that bringing in the Nazi's is a sure sign of desperation, a sign that your argument has run out of steam, I believe that there are other, better, manner which to make the case against Israel's overwhelming use of force than to distill an issue which is grayer than the New York Times down to inane blacks and whites.
Certainly images like the one above are reason enough, but then again the current nature of international relations and the refusal of the nations of the west to even communicate with Hamas is beyond the pale of ridiculousness. Listening to Mr. Blair's interview on the BBC this morning, where he places the blame solely on the shoulders of Hamas was infuriating, especially given his refusal to even bring them to the table. Stating that the Egyptians are talking with them, and that should be enough, well it goes without saying that that isn't enough. Mr. Blair, you are the UN envoy, its time to put away the daft labels which Mr. Bush and yourself divided the world into, and step back out into the morning sun and realize the world isn't simple, and nor should our positions when it comes being willing to broker for peace.
There are just too many layers, too many soiled hands and too much blood spilt by both sides to do such a reduction. The bodies keep piling up, and the fuse on the powder keg keeps getting shorter. But what to do? Its something I ask myself daily while listening to the morning's news on the way to work, just what to do?
It's the general sense of hopelessness that I hoped I would have grown out of by now, but the world is so large and sometimes my place in it feels so small and disconnected from the greater world around me that I can't help but fall into such a malaise.
In more cheery news, a few recommendations:
- I don't know if I can really put into words my love for Monocle Magazine, while the rest of print world seems to flounder away, they do the seemingly impossible and create something engagingly designed and well written. And now it seems they've entered the world of podcasting, and I can't recommend them enough. Listen here, this week's interview with Khaled Abdel Shafi, head of the regional United Nations Development Programme, in Gaza City on the situation on the ground is of particular interest, I think.
- Neal Degrasse Tyson is amazing. I'm currently reading his Death By Black Hole and I can't seem to put it down. His ability to summarize the hundreds of the art of staring at the stars, without really dumbing it down, and placing it in digestible bits is an art form. I'm about a quarter way through it, and can't wait to get to the part where one's death by black hole is discussed, having heard him describe it on several occasions in interviews. Something about being summarily torn in two down to the atomic level, delightful.
- Of course, I'm a firm advocate that you abandon your miserable football club and bow before the godhead that is FC Barcelona. Truly, they are a wrecking ball of passion and fury. How Lionel Messi lost UEFA player of the year to that miserable bastard Ronaldo, I'll never understand. Somedays I feel like Elijah in the face of the prophets of Baal, except Jehovah called in sick, and everyone continues to fall for the parlor tricks of the charlatan from Portugal. The only way I could hate him more if he went to play for Real Madrid.
- Been listening to a lot of Life's Blood, Oasis, and Bad Brains lately, you should consider it as well. Also, rediscovered the special place in my heart for Morrissey and lets be honest, Cold World Dedicated to the Baby's that Came Feet First is brilliant, fools just don't get it. Yet.
- Am a total fan of Gilt.com, being the fancy lad that I am. Super deep discounted, top shelf luxury brands for cost of picking up trousers at the Gap. Really is there any other way, any of us could afford such things these days?