Monday, July 18, 2005

In London after the bombings

Ok, so seeing as my sister has yet to ban me from posting despite no longer being anywhere exotic I’m taking that as indication that she so deeply enjoys my writing that she wants me to keep posting.

Hello from London!…where the bombings continue to dominate the news and the plucky Londoners continue to get on board bues and the tube without batting an eye. It really is something the way they’ve rolled over the incident as though it were common occurrence. However, it is in keeping with their national character that displays no public emotion under stressful circumstances until some seemingly random tragedy sets the country off and then displays public emotion wholly out of all proportion to the actual event - ie. the death of Princess Diana.

Last night I went to dinner with friends who live between the Liverpool Street and Altgate East stops and they were completely preoccupied with the latest questions on the investigation and not at all concerned that the trains being picked out of the tunnels were ones on which they normally travel to work.

The thing that has been most interesting is the desperate attempts on the part of the BBC to not label it ‘terrorist’ attack. In fact, the words ‘terrorist’ have been retroactively removed from BBC articles and the incident is generally referred to as the ‘London Bombings’ - the explanations that I’ve heard about this is that the British have become so accustomed to finding fault with themselves and saying mea culpas for colonialism that they have a hard time believing that anyone would attack them without valid reason and that somehow it actually is their own fault.


Dan said...

Hey :)

Just so you know, bombings in London have been a fairly regular occurance. The IRA used to blow up parts of it during the 70s, 80s and 90s, and all we could do was either panic and hide, or sweep up and get on with it :)

kate said...

HA! I love the logic. Ahhh, Brits. How we love them, and love to laugh at them.
Very interesting point about mourning Di, as well. I guess they -- we? -- all felt we could relate to her. It was somewhat easy to understand. Someone died. Someone much beloved (though undeservedly so, if you ask me). And something like a terrorist bombing is so hard to take in. So hard to grasp. That's my two cents. Maybe even just one cent.