Thursday, July 26, 2007

Panicing could result in severe potential danger

Telegraph first line today: "Airline passengers are in danger of being turned into potential terrorist targets" ... ? How much allusion to risk can one sentence hold without breaking into tears and claiming it was forced into a life of fearmongering and scarepandering by radical, jittery gurus?

Elsewhere, knives may potentially be weapons of mass genocide if possibly wielded in the right numbers by the right kind of people. Perhaps. And that tile on the steps outside your front door could possibly, if loosened, make for a potential deathtrap if God's vengeful rain descends once more.

Thankfully, the first line is all I've read. 2 weeks away makes for great ignorance of news and, coincidentally, a much jollier outlook on, well, everything.

Friday, July 06, 2007

"Pop" Idol given a whole new meaning

Was going to post the below as a comment on Richard's post: POSIWID: Terrorism as Farce. But it made me chuckle so much with grim realism and coffee-spiked realisation that my brain split in 2, the very idea manifested and crawled out and typed itself into a blog post.

Richard talks of the efficiency of terrorism (or not), the similarity (or not) between Evil Plotters [tm] and James Bond [rm], and the underlying flaws of the attacks that make them into farce rather than fear. He sayeth:
"In the past, some plotters have sent warnings so that the relevant area can be evacuated, and television cameras set up, before the bomb goes off. Presumably the idea is to get maximum media coverage for your cause without alienating the more ambivalent of your supporters."

This is exactly where the spiral of violence comes from. Terrorists need the media frenzy around their death - it validates them, makes them feel like they've accomplished something, and so they get whatever reward they've promised themselves, etc etc.

The police, needing to validate themselves at the same time, therefore big up any "terrorist" attempt, failed or unfailed. (A failed attempt: "we need to stay alert!" A successful attempt: "we need to be more alert!") So the hype surrounding terrorist activities gets bigger, which in turn feeds the terrorists' lust for "impact" (or "fame").

Meanwhile everyone else is too afraid to decide between the two impossible and "undebatable" options.

Perhaps the answer lies in reality TV shows which are, from the word go, a farce anyway. "Britain's got Terror" would, I assure you, produce ratings never seen before outside of real terrorist activities. (Hmm, does that doom it?) Let members of the public come in, show how they would go about causing mass carnage, then let the public phone in and vote for the most "dramatic" (out of the survivors, that is).

The winner gets a record contract, and to host a Sunday morning digital channel show. 3 months later they're never heard of again. "Disappeared". Makes Guantanamo look like an old folks' home.

Monday, July 02, 2007

War is Peace. Unity is Strength.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown warned the nation that the threat would be "long term and sustained".

Fortunately, there's always the manual :
Since about that time, war had been literally continuous, though strictly speaking it had not always been the same war. ... Oceania was at war with Eurasia and in alliance with Eastasia. In no public or private utterance was it ever admitted that the three powers had at any time been grouped along different lines. ... Officially the change of partners had never happened. Oceania was at war with Eurasia: therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia. The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil, and it followed that any past or future agreement with him was impossible.
Apparently, June was the wettest since the beginning of time. The 21st century is gearing up to be the most deliberate, "sustained" bout of racist-fueled anger management classes for the same period. Or, perhaps, culturalist rather than racist - but where's the line between the two?

Danger all around
Enemies hide in the fog
Fear and War endure.