Friday, July 07, 2006

Three years of silence

As Britain remembers this day last year, Ellis Sharp counters the three-year silence about other atrocities:
As Chomsky famously remarked, one good way of deterring terrorism is not to participate in it. Which for Britain means pulling our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, ending our lavish military, diplomatic and economic support for Israel, and terminating our leading role in the arms trade. But somehow I doubt that these topics will command much, if any, coverage on British TV or radio today.
Meanwhile, Richard Seymour describes the coverage.
Back to the warmly lit studio where Dermot and Sian pore over the obvious. Pre-recorded interviews with survivors and eyewitnesses (in one, Kate Silverton solemnly asks the driver of the exploded bus if he believes he had a "guardian angel" on "that day" since he survived). Still photographs of carnage accompany the interviews. Tim O'Toole, the staff-cutting boss of the Underground, explains his determination to keep the tube safe. Ian Blair, the Destroying Brains Instantly Utterly head of the Met Police, intimates that the police have stopped three attacks already since 7/7. Sian holds a door open for a wheelchair-bound survivor, and smiles warmly.

Possibly some kind of sanity or intelligence will peep through the cracks in this maudlin production, but this will make it all the more evident that seriousness of purpose and human sympathy has nothing to do with the ritualised dramaturgy that passes for 'memory'. The blogging commentariat will doubtless include those who wish to mimic the media produced hypostatisation of Grief, Anger, Determination and every other emotion an actor can display. [..] Like the media they seek to imitate and be like when they grow up, they will do your sentimental leg-work for you.

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