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16 June 2016 @ 06:04 pm
Not Throwback Thursday  
I'd been thinking about having a stab at Throwback Thursday since, as an idea, it seems both pretty fun and fairly easy, and I've been looking into ways to post more regularly by being a little less ambitious in what I write about. I had my photo albums out and was thinking about posting a photo from back in the 1970s - maybe a group photo from my 8th birthday party.

But then yesterday we had the unedifying spectacle of the Battle of the Thames, pretty much proving that rational and reasoned debate about the EU referendum is an impossibility and the best we can hope for is a comedy battle using pop music and water hoses to decide the question.

Today we have the murder of Jo Cox, MP - which, I'm aware, may or may not have had anything to do with the EU, since her murderer may or may not have shouted Britain First, and even if he did, Britain First != Leave and it's perfectly conceivable he was more motivated by her work advocating for intervention in Syria or a number of other causes she campaigned for than her support for Remain. I'm not sure, however, that the precise reasons are more important than its probable reflection on the current state of politics, and the relationship between politicians and the public, in the UK.

In other news 20 children are among 34 people who died of thirst in the Sahara desert, having been abandoned by people smugglers.

I wonder what kind of a world we have built, those of us in that group photo, because it gets harder and harder to pretend that the current state of affairs is not in some part our responsibility. So Throwback Thursday, I find I just can't. Maybe next week.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/193687.html.
wellinghallwellinghall on June 16th, 2016 06:54 pm (UTC)
That is a very intelligent and thought-provoking post, louisedennis.
louisedennislouisedennis on June 17th, 2016 07:03 am (UTC)
Thanks! I've been trying to figure out why it feels like such a blow but, as many people have mentioned, it feels not only like an attack on one woman, but an attack on something fundamental about our culture and society.
the little creep: snufkinnyarbaggytep on June 16th, 2016 09:17 pm (UTC)
I am feeling very similarly. In particular the murder of Jo Cox has really shaken me. I hadn't heard about the deaths in the Sahara, because I mostly try to avoid the news, but that is horrendous too.
louisedennislouisedennis on June 17th, 2016 07:35 am (UTC)
The deaths of refugees have become such background noise that I'm not sure I would have even noticed that particular headline had I not been feeling so raw about Jo Cox.

I think there are good reasons why we react more strongly to a small number of deaths that are geographically and culturally close to us than large numbers that are more distant. In this case I think there is particularly strong symbolism involved in the murder of an MP, above and beyond the loss of one woman's life.

But, at the same time, I think at some level trivialised political debate, violence against our fundamental institutions and a massive and unfolding humanitarian crisis over which we are apparently unable or unwilling to do more than wring our hands, are all part and parcel of the same malaise at some level - though that could just be the pessimism of the moment speaking.
the little creep: snufkinnyarbaggytep on June 17th, 2016 03:10 pm (UTC)
I agree, and I also think with her being the same age as me, with a child the same age as mine, there's also an extra level of identification for me.

I find it hard that beyond signing petitions, writing to my MP, donating to relevant charities, voting in elections/the referendum, there isn't a lot of direct action I can obviously take.

The hand wringing, particularly on facebook does my head in.
parrot_knight: parrotparrot_knight on June 16th, 2016 09:39 pm (UTC)
We do not hear enough about the deaths in the Sahara.
louisedennislouisedennis on June 17th, 2016 07:39 am (UTC)
Well, I don't know, I think it is over-simplistic to suggest we should give equal weight and equal attention to all deaths everywhere - if only because some deaths have larger implications for how we, in our situation, should act. Refugees are dying continuously in many places across Africa, the Middle East and Europe and the individual deaths are a part of that larger story that millions are on the move and thousands of them are dying as they do so. Whether that larger story should have more prominence in our minds... I don't know.
parrot_knight: parrotparrot_knight on June 17th, 2016 11:16 am (UTC)
It's that larger story I'm thinking of. Much of the immigration debate takes place without being placed in a wider context.