I’ve been thinking a lot about the events of the last week in Britain. Well the Woolwich murder and aftermath in particular though I did spend quite some time dwelling on the sad death of a zoo keeper by a tiger. This story has put an end to my overly hopeful dreams of one day having a tiger round for tea. After learning at a young age that you can’t feed a pie to a caterpillar, and that there are no EasyJet flights to visit the Quangle Wangle Quee, this tiger news story has now left me with no children’s story tales left to pursue and an understanding that as a child I was mostly lied to. But that is for another blog. Instead, this one is about the sad death of Lee Rigby and the very sad chain of events that will now continue to happen due to media manipulation and the ignorance of some. Firstly, as knowing the internet, I should probably say that I thought the murder of Lee Rigby, which, as with any murder anywhere, was horrible and very sad. Regardless of what he did, or who he was, what happened was pretty grim and upsetting and I can’t imagine how awful it is for his family. I feel for them and hope they can stay strong and together throughout dealing with it. I’m sure constant images plastered all over the media and journalists pressing them for interviews really can’t help, but y’know, the public must have their eyes filled with disaster and horror on a daily basis in this world otherwise we may start to enjoy the better things in life instead of wallowing in fear. I often think that there must be some people out there who suck in all news as a definitive guide to the world, sure that every plane flight will crash, people are murdered on every corner, other countries are so far away its not that important when things go wrong and politicians tell the truth. Then I remember that organisations like the National Rifle Association or UKIP exist as absolute proof of this.
Which brings me onto the second thing. This second thing is the bit I’ve been thinking most about. This second thing is the horrific and pathetic response that the death of Lee Rigby has caused amongst those willing to label and persecute many because of a few. I’m not going to preach on how not all Muslim people are like the two people responsible for Wednesday’s attack, because anyone with half a brain knows that. In fact, I’m pretty sure most people with less than half a brain know that too, but have used it as a jump off point to reignite hatred that was started in 2001 and seemed as though it was on the wane. Or at least I hope they do. I’ve honestly reached a point in life where I’m not sure anymore how people can have such narrow views on so many subjects and spend a lot of time trying to fathom if there is any logic to their thoughts. I say a lot of time, but it’s usually mere seconds before I assure myself they don’t. I don’t mean that from a high and mighty stance. I am never sure that my opinion is right, so what I do is research, study, read opposing views and try and draw some sort of reasoned view from all of this. After I get there, I’m still not a hundred percent that I know it all. But the views of those who think attacking mosques or Muslim people because two men who happened to be Muslim killed another man are, and I can say it with certainty, definitely wrong. And I’m pretty sure they’ve never doubted their own reasoning which is what concerns me most.
I am ultimately a lover, not a fighter I think. I always feel Cheryl Cole confused this saying by insisting she would fight for this love. I, if anything, would much prefer to love for this fight. Though I don’t really know what that would entail. Mostly I like loving people and life in general and the thought of fighting is often a scary and unnecessary one to me. Though I really did love doing kickboxing in university and the day I made a 6’3″ dizzy by punching him in the head during a round is still something I’d like to tell everyone about all the time. Like I just did. But that was a sport, and I was, sort of, allowed to jump up and smack him in the face. I did have gloves on. And he had a helmet on. And still got dizzy because I am that badass. But apart from that, I have never seen reason for violence anywhere other than fiction. I do wonder though if prejudice and anger is an important part of being human. I have grown up knowing that people all over the world, and if you include those on the ISS, in space, are brilliant, wonderful amazing things. I mean, humans have made Xboxes but also paprika crisps! Incredible!
I’ve been taught by family, friends, living in a cosmopolitan city, that those of all religions, ethnicities, shapes, sizes can all be excellent. But this doesn’t stop me thinking, or if I’m in my car, shouting aloud, that at least 20-30 people a day are total bellends. Bellends is, by most days standards, a very tame term that I might use. The reason I think this about people? Well I think it’s natural for a start. We’re brought up with a certain need to maintain what we like and want to see in life, and those that oppose it, challenge it, or upset our enjoyment in anyway are going to rile us up somewhat. Especially in an overcrowded country like the UK, and the whole world being much closer due to the internet and media, you can’t go two minutes without someone doing this. But what I think is important is the reasons these people make me feel like that and why I get angry. Its never because of where they are from. Or what religion they believe in. Or how they look or dress. It’s almost always because they’ve done something selfish, ignorant, badly thought out and unresearched, but have been so intent to get their way, that the rest of the world is not important.
All these people, whether it’s everything from the racist fuck heads in the EDL who’d soon march on space because a well placed crescent moon and star may look like an Islamic flag, all the way to the MPs who make judgements on how people should live without any idea what life outside their pampered elitist bubble is like. The people who don’t indicate before cut in front of you on the road, the people who troll others online, the people who take up two seats on the bus. All those people. Now, it’s not an intelligent idea, nor have I worked out a way to feasibly do this, but what I’d like is if we redirected all prejudice on them. No violence, no nasty words (except maybe bellend) but if the sensible world, those who listen to each other, read things and those who relish being part of humanity all marched against bigots, I think that would be healthy. We could turn up on mass to wherever they are, whatever they are doing and just tell them that we aren’t 100% sure, but we’ve read a lot of stuff and we think they are almost definitely wrong. Then we could make sure they actually look at all our reasons and they should really stop it. Then they can have 5 minutes to think about it all while we check Twitter. Then if that didn’t work we could go where we believe they originate from (Wetherspoons pubs, Eton, the City of London etc) and just occupy it and order drinks they wouldn’t think of having and eat food from countries they’ve never heard of and talk about nice things till they have no option but to join or live on the moon. Like I said, I haven’t really thought this through but it seems like a much healthier way to have prejudice. So that’s what this week’s events have made me think about. A pipe dream. Its probably far easier to get a tiger to come to tea.
The excellent Russell Brand has written a much better, less pipe dream and generally more coherent blog on it all here, which is very worth a read: http://www.russellbrand.tv/2013/05/woolwich/