Thursday, July 07, 2005

Bark: London

You're going to have to forgive me for sounding a bit callous, but as I'm glued to the blanket TV coverage of the terrorist attacks in London this morning, I can't help but feel that the media is being very opportunist, sensationalist and hypocritical. Without doubt, the events are terrible - I have many friends in London I'm trying to check up on as I type - but what's happened this morning is no different, and even smaller scale to what happens in Baghdad and throughout Iraq EVERY DAY. Yet do we get TV schedules cancelled and wall-to-wall blanket coverage of the security operation? Of course not. But because it's London, somehow it's more important.


The number of casualties isn't even that big - only two confirmed deaths so far, however I expect that number to increase at least tenfold - though there's been a calamatous effect on the London Transport system. The timing is clearly to coincide with the start of the G8 summit, and the intention was to grind the capital to a standstill. As far as it goes, it seems to be a complete success, as the tube has been closed, and the buses have been taken off the road too.

The media coverage is totally disproportionate to the severity of the attacks - it's 9/11 coverage for 0.0009/0.0011 events. There were bombings in Northern Ireland with casualty counts bigger than this. If there's anything the conflict in Northern Ireland tells us, it's that there's no point living in fear. You *could* get wiped out by a terrorist bomb at any time. Then again, you *could* get debrained by a meteorite in your back garden. The odds of either event happening are so extremely remote, they're not worth peering fearfully through the curtains about. That doesn't make either event happening any less tragic, but you can be blotted out of existence by nature at any time, so worrying about everything that *could* happen to you would be so paralysing you'd never get out of bed.

So fuck the terrorists, and fuck the media - I'm turning off the TV and getting back to work. Because that's the only way to defeat terrorism. Not with bombs, not with bullets - just fail to give them the recognition they want, so that nothing they do has any impact anymore.
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