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AND IT GOES ON AND ON AND ON HOW I WISH IT WOULD STOP ...

My favourite quote yesterday re the Middle East was from a rather impressively urbane Syrian minister/spokesman (I didnt manage to scribble down his name, sorry), who, in response to some twat-head 'neutral' question, purred: "Ah, but what you have to understand is... History didn't begin six days ago." The naive fool! Just look at how hype/trend fixated even the broadsheets are (full of articles "on" other articles about WAGS etc, as tho not initiating the playground idiocy, only joining in the chorus of 'nuh-nuh-nuh-NUH-nuh!' the next day at lunchbreak, constituted some sort of Savonarola-esque distance): they could have a legend printed above the fold, reading: "History began late yesterday...."

Imagine two t-shirts: one sez "Yo, Blair" - n every hipster laffs, 'Ha ha ha!: THAT's f-u-n-n-y! I must get one of those ...'; and one sez "HISTORY DIDNT BEGIN SIX DAYS AGO" It's the sort of line which, if tranposed into L.E.D. by some 27 year old working from an ex-dairy in Hackney, would doubtless win the Turner Prize; but it should be flashed across the top of every TV newsflash report from the Middle East.... *

*{I was reading books yesterday about the 19th Century roots of Zionism; and also - complete ad hoc coincidence - about lingering anti-Semitism in Poland after the end of WW2, and the whole confused, messy, tragic transition of Poland then, in which the heroic underground resistance in that country were (literally) sold down the river by western Leaders who took Uncle Joe Stalin for some sort of Enid Blyton type maiden aunt or s/t...; but in both cases it shocked me precisely how little I knew about the crucial and founding detail of recent History; I mean, yes, I know the broad strokes OK and everything, but often the broad strokes can be the 'Yo, Blair...' that hides the dark and complex truth ...

posted by Ian 7/19/2006 08:04:00 AM

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