An Atrocity Impossible to Comprehend

Whilst at the time of writing, there is still no attribution to any organization responsible for the horror of Manchester, it now appears certain it was a bomb, placed in the foyer of the Manchester Arena designed to kill people, specifically young fans of Ariana Grande as they left the concert.

The gross heartlessness and callousness of this action is simply impossible to imagine, these were kids probably, at least some of them, attending their first ever concert.

Stories of nuts and bolts strewn across the ground after the explosion, seem to undermine the absolute evil intent of the bombers.

Somebody had to pack this bomb, most likely in the full knowledge as to who was the intended target.

What sort of an animal sets out deliberately to kill Kids?

The horror of parents of young children, having allowed their kids out for a big night and then, having to face this dreadful aftermath, is almost inconceivable to comprehend.

I have a young, almost ten-year-old granddaughter who spends hours trying out outfits, before deciding what to wear when she is heading out to a friend’s birthday party.

We can imagine the joy and excitement these kids must have invested in their preparation for this night with their pop idol.

Surely our children still have the right to their innocent enjoyment?

We can only begin to touch the surface of the grief; some parents must now be feeling and indeed some of the surviving kids if their parents were killed or hurt in this inexplicable act of horror.

I don’t think I would be the only person who feels this attack has crossed the Rubicon of horror, but before we start to lay the blame on the entire Muslim population, we must consider that at least some of the victims were actually young Muslims themselves.

If ever there has been a time when the moderates of all faiths and beliefs must come together, to try even harder to delve into the depths of depravity displayed in this atrocity, that time has certainly arrived.

Adults can take their own risks in this volatile world but it would be an absolute horror if as a result of Manchester, parents now try to protect their children by not allowing them to have their special nights.

My heart goes out to all the people who have been hurt or killed by this latest act of evil


Thoughts of Leaving

It has been a day of fun, reflection and some tears. I had breakfast with my old mate Mark H where as usual, at these semi regular get togethers we solve all the problems in the world. If only it was that simple.

Billy joined us after he had been to Hot Yoga and he proceeded to demolish all our carefully crafted arguments with a solid dose of Chinese pragmatism.

I came home and caught up with Insiders on IView, there seems to be no escaping the shadow of Donald Trump, the news that he is doing a $150 Billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia did nothing to allay my unease with this man.

The leaders of Saudi Arabia appear to have the world on a string as they pay public homage to the ideals of peace and yet, have been shown to covertly foster terrorism. Any country where women are not allowed to drive, where gays are publicly stoned and adultery by a woman is treated as a capital offence, surely, is not a country the West should be calling an ally.

My enemy’s enemy is my friend as a reason for aiding and abetting a brutal regime, is only as good as the current threat lasts and until a new enemy who may or may not be a mutual enemy, emerges.

It will not be the first-time American military might is used against a new friend of the West, and in the muddy, fluid alliances of the Middle East, this is likely to be sooner rather than later.

A world, where the struggle for peace is reliant on propping up despotic regimes, is a world which will be constantly be at war with itself.

The apparent flight by several Saudi Families from the USA in the wake of 9/11 still haunts me and the questions raised by these departures have never been properly answered.

The reliance on Saudi money makes for very strange bedfellows, the thought of Donald Trump dealing with these people raises even more troubling questions given the Trump business presence in this region.

Billy is out for the day with friends and I am having a very quiet day at home, I chanced on old episodes of “I am the Ambassador” on Netflix. I have never seen this show before and in many ways, it encapsulates the recent time when America really started to look itself in the eye and there was at least some commitment to human rights and personal freedom.

Surely, I am not the only person who yearns for the quiet decency of Obama, he may not have been perfect and there are things he could have and should have done better, but at least you felt the world was in steady hands.

The bitter partisanship of American Politics, the legacy of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and, the fallout from the GFC haunted Obama’s terms in office. One can only guess at how much more he may have achieved had he not had to contend with the toxic legacy George W. Bush left behind.

I know, I for one did not go to bed every night wondering what new shit storm I was going to wake up to in the morning, as I do every night now.

My tears today came in the silence of self, as I sat on the balcony in glorious autumn sunshine watching the sail boats on the Harbor and wondering for how much longer I would be able to enjoy this simplest and greatest of pleasures.

Maybe, it is not such a great idea for me to have a day to myself.


Trumping the Fool

Two articles in Saturday’s SMH played perfectly into my post-apocalyptic fantasy world.

Firstly, there was Richard Glover’s fanciful take on life without the internet and the important role the older brigade will play in teaching our younger friends how to survive without Google, GPS, Snapchat etc.

We will dig into the recesses of our memory and remember what it was like to put a key in the door of our car or house, we will dredge the darkness and try to recall how we used to send a letter and we will trawl the archives as we search for that old solar powered calculator that was “oh so modern” in the 1980’s.

We will be the living history, the human encyclopedia our children and grandchildren will turn to in their hour of need.

The article was a timely reminder of just how fragile our world has become, as our reliance on the internet becomes more and more consuming.

The thought of something as basic as the running of our trains and traffic lights haunts me, as I approach the time when it will be no longer of any concern to me.

Does this mean I will I have to actually carry the hard copy scans of my withering brain, instead of walking out of St Vincents straight after the MRI, content in the knowledge they will be on the Professors desktop in time for my next appointment.

Oops, I forgot; the damn MRI Machine probably will not work anyway and I will miss the dubious pleasure of being able to compare the growth of the white spots at the base of my brain against how big and how many there were six months ago.

Drugs and pigheadedness have slowed the deterioration to a fraction of the speed it was just few short years ago, my Plateau has bought untold benefits in terms of the love and time I can lavish on those precious grandchildren.

This brings me to the second piece in Saturday’s Herald; the interview with Roger Waters of Pink Floyd; now that’s a name that will challenge anyone under thirty.

I used to hope that by the time of my demise, Science may have trumped ignorance and there was a future for the world I would be leaving behind, now I am not so sure my pigheadedness has been worth the effort.

Waters uses that wonderfully old fashioned word, “Nincompoop” to describe the current occupant of the White House, what a delightfully humbling description of the narcissistic fool who now leads the free world.

Waters goes on to say, he now fears World War Three, Roger that makes at least two of us!

The thought of the future of the world being controlled by a man who believes in himself so fervently, a man to whom science and politeness are just mere words to be brushed aside in his rapacious race to power, and a man who has made “Fake News” and a disregard for the constraints of a legal system the hallmarks of his dirty administration.

I was never a fan of the Kardashians or the Apprentice, but I also never dreamed they would be anything other than a ridiculous sideshow to a world which was starting to take science seriously and was looking at ways we could contain the damage we had done to the planet.

They are no longer a sideshow, ignorance has trumped science and they are now the main event.

There is hope though. That hope has kept me going, way past the time when dribbling and death should have overtaken me.

That hope is family and the simple goodness and intelligence, I still believe resides deep in the souls of most people.

Richard, before the internet breaks, can we at least try to use it for the promotion of family, intelligence and goodness.

If we all work at that, Roger, we may be able to avoid the horrors of the apocalypse we fear.