…a pacifist. (oh and a bad blogger for not writing anything for ages!)
I turned the TV on tonight, I do that pretty infrequently. I’m like one of those harbingers of doom from past centuries who thought travelling in trains would cause your brain to explode or installing electric lights would make your fingernail melt and your hair turn blue.
Well I think watching TV will make your brain turn to fluff, your bank account shrink considerably and make you forget all the things in life which are important. Yeah I know, I belong in the eighteenth century.
So I gave it a chance tonight, because I don’t want to be ignorant of my enemy, that’s what it wants, I have to beat it with knowledge. So first of all I saw the news, sadly. Israel are killing lots of civilians again, with American backing and huge military resources. Anyone who remembers the 1940s, 50s, 60s, 70s or 1980s and 90s might feel a bit of deja vu over that one. The usual footage from under-funded Palestinian hospital and a ten year old girl’s funeral.
Then I watched one of Ross Kemp’s amazing inquiring documentaries. In this one he’s poking soldiers in the arm until they cry, interspersed with footage from other documentaries he’s done. (look I got pictures of Israeli soldiers crying to link the narrative!)
Apparently we’ve sent 180,000 soldiers to the Middle East over the last ten years during Operation Futile Spending. And the Futile Spending is continuing because a percentage of them returning are mentally disturbed by what they’ve seen and done so the government is putting money into the NHS to make them alright again. (Tell that to the estimated 1.3 million Iraqi and Afghan dead since 2001).
Then during the adverts I was teased to tune in again later in the week to watch a program about MPs who are still committing fraud with our taxes, another on the ruined economy and what the banks are doing wrong, and then an expose on Jimmy Saville and all that. It all sounds too good to be true.
By this stage I’m feeling pretty fragile. Injured soldiers, injured Palestinian children, my taxes going to furnish the Spanish villa of a Tory MP. I needed some light relief, and the magic-TV-machine must have sensed it and a program began whereby a group of celebrities were sitting around in a forest clearing striking poses, eating cockroaches and smoking cigarettes. A program I wouldn’t have believed if I hadn’t watched it for ten minutes.
This picture pretty much sums up my ten minutes…
So I decided after all that – two things.
One, I’m not going to turn the TV on again for a few months (my head is packed full of games consoles, DVDs and super 3D TVs I feel like I’ve eaten a Curry’s catalogue) because its alternating horribleness and ridiculousness.
And two I’m a pacifist. And I think we’ve been tricked into thinking soldiers are heroes and all war is for freedom and horribly necessary.
I probably learnt other things which will mature and become philosophies in time. Thanks TV!!