Thursday, July 07, 2005

You Gotta Love the British

The BBC has published a copy of a statement from a Islamist group claiming responsibility for the attacks.

I like the part: "Britain is now burning with fear, terror and panic in its northern, southern, eastern, and western quarters."

Who do they think they're kidding? "Britain is now burning with the desire for a cup of tea and wondering if they'll get tommorow off work" would be far more accurate.

9 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Tony Blair, perhaps. 

Posted by David

Anonymous said...

I don't live in England, let alone London, but I do live in the UK, and what is surprising me most about this is how low-key everyone is being about it all. No doubt sometime in the next few days a few loonies will rear their ugly heads, calling for Bush-style reprisals, but from what I can see so far, they will be in a very small minority.

Even the UK press, which I'm usually a harsh critic of, seems to be handling it all in a largely sensible way.

It's weird, and please don't take this the wrong way, all you Americans out there, but the most emotional responses I've seen so far have come from the US. Maybe Londoners have just seen all this before too many times? 

Posted by Crys T

Anonymous said...

If you're right about the US responses, Crys T, I'd hazard a guess that at least some of the intense emotional reaction is feeling as if, to some degree, this is partly our responsibility. Subconscious guilt goes a long way. 

Posted by jpjeffrey

Anonymous said...

Guilt? Oh, no, I totally disagree.

Look at the news, even talk to friends, and the general response isn't just, "Those fuckers, this is terrible," but is quickly followed by, "Shit, are they planning something here ?"

Media spirals it out of control here ("LONDON TERROR!!!") and immediately links it to us, stirring up fear and terror in our own country because we're worried about whose transit system is next.

I like the Brit attitude, frankly: FUCK those FUCKING FUCKTARDS.

The best way to cover something like this is to show how well people handle it, how soon it's cleared up, how quickly the city goes back to functioning normally.

Terrorism is a tactic used to, well, inspire terror. Putting TERROR on the front page and trying to inside hysteria is just what these fuckers wanted.

I, for one, am going, "Fuck you," and think living in London or NY will be pretty fucking neat, cause then I can say, "Fuck you!" from ground zero.

Assholes.  

Posted by Kameron Hurley

Anonymous said...

I think a lot of it is that feeling of "oh God, does that mean we're next?!?" but......and this is probably going to come out wrong, so please bear with me....I think it's partly that for many Americans since 9/11 there has developed a sort of specific response to the word "terrorist" and any phrase that contains that word, especially "terrorist attack" that wasn't quite as strong as it was before. It's like since 2001, all those phrases seem *personal* in a way they might not have previously.

Also, one thing that is really bothering me in reading over my normal daily list of blogs: I tend to read left to far left blogs, written by self-described liberals, progressives, etc., and I'm seeing a lot of responses to this that are highly emotional in a way that they aren't on those occasions when terrorist attacks in non-Western (especially non-English-speaking) countries occur. I mean, how many incidents of terrorism are there every year around the world? Far, far more than make the news, even. And often with as many or more casualties. Certainly with similar losses of life. Yet most of them barely rate notice.

I don't want to say in any way that Londoners don't deserve compassion, but it does seem that for many, they rate MORE compassion than certain other victims of attack with other nationalities warrant. And this is from lefties!

I know I'm nowhere near the first person to point these things out, but right now it's really disturbing me that the people who should be seeing through the bullshit and pointing out that yesterday was par for the course in many places are responding....well....in the way that Bush & Co. want them to: seeing this as somehow a bigger, more important type of tragedy. 

Posted by Crys T

Anonymous said...

Crys-T, I, too had to figure out why this one hit me more than daily bombings in Baghdad, and honestly, it was pretty easy to figure: I found out about the bombings because my roommate e-mailed me early that morning and said that a mutual friend of ours living in London was "OK."

Feeling a deep sense of foreboding, I clicked to CNN.com, and sure enough, Oh shit.

Most people in America don't *know* anybody in Baghdad (I have two cousins there, one flying missions, one on the ground, and a couple of friends who've since come home, but most other people don't). However, you get to London, and oohhhh shit.

I know people in London. I had a cousin who got off one of the stations that were hit about a half hour before the first bomb went off... ehhhhhh...

So I think a lot of the reaction may also come from the "Oh, shit, I fucking *know* people in London" variety as well.  

Posted by Kameron Hurley

Anonymous said...

I've been offline for a couple of days, which is why the late response.

I understand in your case the feeling of relief that someone you actually know is OK. Again, I don't want to come across as minimising what the London victims and those who care about them have gone/are going through.

But in all seriousness, I doubt most people in the US actually do know people in London. I do think a lot of the emotional content of the response is due to the fact that Americans tend to see the British (or the English anyway) as "Like Us" in a way that most other nationalities aren't. 

Posted by Crys T

jeff said...

Kameron,

You said:
" Guilt? Oh, no, I totally disagree.

Look at the news, even talk to friends, and the general response isn't just, "Those fuckers, this is terrible," but is quickly followed by, "Shit, are they planning something here ?" "

I'll grant that I have no idea what TV news is portraying the response in the US as, although I'd hazard a guess that it's nothing about guilt.

Talking with friends and reading the blogs that I do, however--knowing that they are skewed pretty far left--I do hear about the guilt. So, it seems that we just travel in different circles in this regard.

A lot of my friends have expressed--in addition to the sentiments that you note--guilt about 'allowing' Bush Jr. to go to war, and thereby making the world a less safe place to live, whether the recent attacks have anything to do with the war in Iraq or not (and it would be strange for somebody to say that they had NOTHING to do with it, at this point).

Anonymous said...

Crys T, yea, maybe there's a "like us" feeling to it, but if the same thing happened in France, I don't know how much we'd care (fewer people know people, commute to France). Of course, we don't share a language with France... OK... say somebody bombed New Zealand. I dunno that we'd "care" so much... I'm not sure it's a whiteness/lanaguage issue as much as a "Shit, I've been there/know people there" thing... eh... I'm not thinking coherently this morning.

Jeff, eh, yea, I think we just run in different circles. Knowing the history of bombings in London and Britain (the reason they're well equipped to handle this, and the reason many people say the mood's more like "carry on" is because they've got a history of terrorist activity that we don't, largely the IRA. Wow, did I just fuck up that acronym? Oh, who cares, it's 6:30am).

Britain's always a target. 

Posted by Kameron Hurley