These are confusing times.
In a London
I don't recognise, a man moves through a tube station. His CCTV image suggests a handbag-snatcher, but this thief's alleged haul of choice is human lives. A bombing mission has ended in failure or, as politically correct teachers are now being urged to say, deferred success. The attackers are planning to come back.
The capital's biggest manhunt is on. Police seeking four would-be assassins shoot dead a man running for a train. Suddenly, shoppers, children and commuters are actors in a Tom Clancy fantasy that has usurped the lives of a city and its inhabitants. It is hard to pin a single mood on seven million people, so the media have two labels: fear or defiance. Neither sounds right to me.
, I feel conscripted to a bizarre war where I don't know what my enemy wants but I'm told it's my moral duty to defend western consumerism by defiantly riding the underground. Perhaps I would feel easier if political leaders were prepared to do the same.
In London SW8
, an area I know very well and where the young man was shot, we were thankfully back to 'normality' by Saturday morning. This is not a misnomer. 'Local' peopled were vox popped (sample study: whitey in a suit), suitable quotes were scribbled down and a moral panic was unleashed on a nation of retired Colonels in the Home Counties.
Do I feel safer in Stockwell this evening? Not with the gutter press parked right outside my gutter.
As a blogger, I often wonder about my readership. Apart from myself, who am I appealing to?
About 50% of you arrive here via search engines. Although I can see absolutely no connection with the 'Yage Bay Club', I'm gratified that a quarter of Googlers are actually looking for Jakartass, but I do wonder why half of the Yahoo visitors are looking for Indonesian bar girls. Is it something I said?
Among my non-reciprocated permanent links is Joe Rose
, a right-wing Christian pensioner in Bakersfield, California who copies and pastes snippets from blogs that appeal to him. So why Jakartass?Touchy Subjects
is a wordy, yet worthy, philosophical blog including such posts as 'Either Political or Religious Correctness and the Unity of Meta-Ethics'.
No, I don't understand it either, but I think I'm flattered to be included in his blogroll in his 'Touchy Foreign Viewpoints' links list.
Even more confusing to me is the old news that the Disney Empire
owns the largest percentage, as a partner, in the biggest company in the soft-to-medium porn market.
And finally comes the sad news of the death on Friday of Long John Baldry
. He was a seminal musician in the London blues scene and gave room to Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts, Jimmy Page, Ginger Baker and Reg Dwyer who took the John from him and Elton from his sax player, Elton Dean.