Thursday, 31 December 2009

End of Year Thoughts From The Gallery

And so the door is about to be closed on not only another year but another decade, the first of the new century. The funny thing about this is that whilst privately individuals are contemplating what this means to them and what changes or fresh starts they plan to make, there seems to be one preoccupation reported in the media that seems to have drowned out the more important issues - what name is to be given to the next decade? One idea that's been floating around is "The One-ders" get it? When considering that the new year and decade will find the world still wrapped in terrorist wars that have fractured international relations and unbalanced an already volatile world, not to mention trying to recover from from a global recession and the "perceived" threat of swine flu which has claimed thousands of lives, you have to ask yourself "who cares?"

In the film "2010" adapted from Arthur C Clarke's novel, Dr Heywood Floyd in his narrative epilogue points that this was the year that humanity could enjoy a new lease of life after a wondrous climactic change that rescued the world from the brink of a destructive war. When considering the horrific events of the past decade, the wars fought and the lives both civilian and military that have been lost as a result it would be too optimistic to hope that humanity could start to pull itself from the ever widening precipice we find ourselves hovering over.The new decade does however present everyone, politicians, monarchs, celebrities but most importantly ordinary people to bring about fundamental changes that could bring about a much needed peace, if but for a short time. A unifying miracle wouldn't go amiss either.

Happy New Year one and all and may 2010 bring you everything you deserve and more.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Shoe Thrower Pelted in Paris

By now the name Muntadar al-Zaidi is well known; the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at George W Bush last December in protest over the occupation, torture and slaughter of his people, by the American and coalition forces. Of course Bush being the magnanomous world leader that he was, allowed him to be charged with assault and sentenced to a year in prison where the journalist was ill treated and even tortured.

Since his release in September, al-Zaidi has continued to rally for the plight of Iraqi victims, speaking at news conferences and events around the world. However in an about face, whilst in the middle of his speech at a news conference in Paris, al-Zaidi became the victim of a shoe throwing. He managed to duck in time and al-Zaidi's brother chased the attacker from the room. Although his identity has not been confirmed, it is thought the attacker was also an Iraqi journalist but one who supported the US policy and actions in Iraq, and who has previously attacked al-Zaidi as a man "who worked for a dictatorship".

Well everybody is entitled to their opinion but what is amazing is how al-Zaidi bears this man no ill will but has shown the sort of compassionate gesture that wasn't offered to him. Muntadar has become a hero in the eyes of many people not only for his actions last year but also his continued work, which has earned him many offers of large cash sums and even marriage proposals. However he has issued instructions that all gifts to be refused "until I find a way that they can be passed on to the people of Iraq".

Food for thought?