Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Not in my name

Last Thursday morning started like any other for so many people. Many people left their loved ones blissfully happy, hurt, disappointed, angry, indifferent or in love not knowing that when they next saw them everything would be different.

Monstrous acts of terrorism do that: they aim to change our lives for ever; to makes us dance the same perverse tarantella of extremism that the perpetrators feel compelled to follow.

We have no defence against this - that's the point. They attack the vulnerable in mundane settings in order to make the ordinary seem impossible. They seek to cow us, to have us capitulate to there whims and will.

If we take up the petrol bomb or write anonymous vitriol and aim it at anyone who may bear some cursory resemblance (remember the paediatrician attacked because some moron thought he was a paedophile just because the two words look alike?) to those we believe to have done this, we join them.

So don't throw your Molotov cocktail for me, you are not my protector; you do not speak for me. You are the bomber on the underground. You are the bomber on the train. You are the rogue pilot of a plane. You are not a saviour, not an avenging angel. You sit shoulder to shoulder with them not me. Your hands are covered in the same blood, your soul indelibly stained with it.

When you attack them, whoever "they" may be, you are a terrorist.

I despise you for it; I reject you for it; I cast you out. You claim a collective impetus as a moral imperative. I do not belong to your collective and I reject your morality.

You are the voice of the mob; you do not speak for me.

You maim our society with your wickedness but not in my name.


A bit of beauty in an ugly world

By the talented John Morris, soon to be exhibiting on Plymouth's historic Barbican at the Art Garden not far from the Mayflower Steps.