Saturday, March 25, 2006

'Clive of India's' tortoise dies

I saw (heard?) the news of this on CNN last night.

Whether the tortoise was 250 year's old or only 150 is in debate: Still, it gives a perspective to our short four score and ten.

This could well have been the world's oldest living creature - living a life almost unknown.

Makes one think.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Milosovic and Martyrdom

I can't help thinking that the way we deal with "War Criminals" is not going well.

The BBC and CNN have spent an inordinate amount of time broadcasting images of Milosovic - next to no time showing the consequences of his actions.

Over half an hour yesterday was given to live pictures of his coffin at the airport.

Reports of his death and all the developing (more idiotic the better) conspiracy theories have saturated the airwaves: He is being turned from 'victim-maker' to Victim.

I am put in mind of Shakespeare's play, Julius Caesar.

Brutus thinks he has right on his side and he can use his great powers of intellect and word craft to explain the truth - and a very good job he does too: But he is as impartial as the BBC: He has to let both sides of the arguement be presented.

Mark Antony stands up, knowing he can't beat Brutus with the truth, and makes an brilliant, emotional appeal to the gathered crowd - throws in a few well chosen, but believable (because it is what the crowd want) lies - distorts reality and sweeps away all the good work Brutus has done, sending Rome into a bloody civil war.

Slowly and surely Milosovic is being turned into a Martyr.

Romania had the good fortune to put a few bullets into the heads and bodies of Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife - so ridding itself of any chance they could be martyred. A brutal and public act shown in all its sordidness.

Russia treats its enemies in Chechnya in a similar way. I make no point about the rightness of either sides view here - just the effectiveness of the technique.

I don't actually support the death penalty - but the total and instant removal from the public gaze of dictators and war criminals certainly proves a lot more effect in helping a country move on.

Sadam Hussain is running rings around his judges - and the media is reporting with glee every word they can get, in the name of fairness and even handedness. How much better for the world would it have been for his dead body to have been found?

Sad that the media is reducing the world to such a state.