Friday, May 6, 2011

Adolf builts a bonfire, Enrico plays with it (Peter Gabriel)

I think of weird things while pootlin' along in the Tiida, on the way to work. I was struck by the thought, the other day, that somewhere in the world Paul McCartney is doing something - present tense. Then I thought about Ringo also out and about - doing stuff. I wonder what? The UAE is three hours ahead of UK time so it's coming up breakfast time there as I write this. Maybe they are about to get a bite to eat somewhere in Britain.Macca has just announced his engagement to Nancy so his kippers should be extra delish today.
Amazing eh. What a privilege to be alive and safe to day dream such things.
When I think like this I get a glimpse of my own existence and also my luck. I'm alive in a world that holds two former Beatles (and for my first 23 years all four walked the earth with me, well - not with me but it was comforting to know they existed somewhere). 
I thought about this again when Osama bin Laden's death was announced this week (Jacky rang me at work to tell me); we also share the planet with unspeakably evil people.
My initial thought was a selfish one I'm afraid. What does this mean for me and Jacky?
A thought crossed my mind briefly and was quickly dismissed: to all intents and purposes if locals see us in downtown Abu Dhabi we could be mistaken for Americans (not that there's anything wrong with that).
Some of my best friends are Americans but America has done us Kiwis and Aussies no favours by killing bin Laden and then dancing around in the streets of America a-hoopin' and a-hollerin'. What's that about? Yes, like Adolf, he was an evil, twisted, mass murderer and perhaps his death gave closure and a sense of justice to the families of his many victims but to see people celebrating a death like their team had just won the Superbowl was unsettling to me and I would say a whole heap of moderate arabs.
The reaction at school has been quite muted by contrast. As the westerners have kept their thoughts to themselves (hard to get a water cooler conversation going on this with an Emirati - "So - how about that bin Laden eh?" doesn't quite work) - so too have the middle easterners.

Now, a few days later, and it's almost like it never happened. It's largely vanished from the news as an event. On to the next thing I spose. I wonder what karma has in store for him.

For me the tragedy of bin Laden is also the way he subverted Islam to cause havoc and war. His legacy is really the hate that a lot of people in the west feel towards muslims since 9/11. By becoming a mass murderer and using Islam as a pretext, he has done no favours to the people he was trying to support.

Salaam alaykum - Wozza

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