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July 08, 2006

How to feel on 7/7 by Ms Kaplinski..

Please tell me I’m not the only one slightly infuriated and nauseated by this mawkish public display of sentimentality as regards the first anniversary of the London bombings. There is almost nothing that prickles me more than being told by the media, or anyone else for that
matter, how and when, to feel; that if I don’t put down my books at precisely midday on the 7th July, and stare thoughtfully into space for two minutes, I am disrespectful, that my reaction is not
valid somehow.

I’m not so arrogant and self-centred as to assume that my emotions are in any way akin to those who may have lost someone close to them, or those who narrowly escaped, nor even those who began that long walk home in the evening of that fateful day a year ago. Nor would I insult those directly involved by referring to what I feel as ‘grief’; concern for the future, bewilderment or respect maybe but certainly not grief.

And yet when it came down to it, all I could feel yesterday was anger, not so much at the bombers condemned as ‘evil’ by the unforgiving religious leaders, but at the coverage by the
BBC and their use of language, aimed to cajole me into a collective way of viewing the events. For example last night on the Six o’Clock News Natasha Kapilinski insisted that ‘the bombers didn’t care how many lives they ruined’. Can she back this up with evidence? Can she prove without a shadow of a doubt that any one of the bombers was not wracked with regret as they pulled the trigger? No? Well then can we please stop passing such emotive speculation off, as objective news...

If we are to really make sense of what happened and hopefully to prevent such a tragic loss of life in the future, then we need to take a step away from the collective comfort of our cliched
adversity in the face of evil and think for ourselves. Then and only then will we be able to move on.

Posted by purple elephant at July 8, 2006 08:50 AM