Saturday, December 01, 2007

But I digress

I'm going through a few domestic crisis at the moment so I promised myself I won't write about the strike or writing in general. Gets me too worked up.

I thought for a change I'd choose something less contentious.

This whole 'Teddy bear' business in Sudan? Wtf??????

Now if a Muslim teacher at a Christian school for instance had decided to name a teddy bear Jesus Whoremonger then I can see certain elements getting upset.

But here's the thing. Gillian didn't name it. Her pupils named it. 20 out of 23 of them chose the name Mohammed. The most popular boys' name in Sudan.

Then she circulated a letter to parents informing them of this. And not one of those parents complained. Why would they? They have no political agenda.

Nope, two months later a ''staff'' member informed the authorities.

Yeah right.

In Friday prayers the Imams whip it up a storm and send a few hundred rent a looneys out demanding death. The cameras are, of course, there.

It's called PR.

In essence what this means is that a handful of people suddenly have the power to besmirch a nation and a religion. For what? To put pressure on the West not to send peacekeepers to Darfur? Possibly. If so it's a tactic that has badly misfired. Unless it is a tactic to alienate moderates everywhere by the use of extreme measures intended to cause resentment and division which they can then exploit for their own political ends .

Much like the purpose of terrorism?

A big thank you to those British Muslims protesting outside the Sudanese embassy today voicing their displeasure. The way to counteract terrorism is for right minded people to actually stand up and do the right thing.

Anyway I have no doubt Gillian will be released to the British authorities shortly 'for her own protection' The Kuwait news agency have muted this ''might'' happen. Kuwait being one of the biggest aid donors to Sudan. 'Nuff said. But thank you.

I have no time for fundamentalists of any persuasion or conviction. I don't have a lot of time for organised religion in general. I'm of the live and let live persuasion.

But as a human being I've got to try to understand the motivations behind such actions rather than take a knee jerk reaction stance. More importantly - as a writer I've got to take a .............. dammit. I promised myself!


Jon Peacey said...

Thank you for being far more reasoned about this than some.

PR & Politics... that was the reality here. Then combined with the usual suspects trying (for their own ends) to foment anger within a group of disenfranchised and impoverished people. (There were/are also local issues about land-snatching as well.)

Thank you again... and especially for the line "But as a human being I've got to try to understand the motivations behind such actions rather than take a knee jerk reaction stance."

Anonymous said...

You can't write a character unless you understand the motivation of the character.

Got it Dave. lesson learned.

English Dave said...

jon - Kind words. I suspect we are both too long in the tooth to believe anything is ever quite what it seems.

Anon - I suppose that did kinda slip out in the last line. Though that wasn't my intention when I started the post. I just can't help it.

My name is Dave, and I'm a writer.

Hi Dave.

Lucy said...

Well said, ED.

Writerholics Anonymous... Can anyone join? My children are suffering, I write too much so they watch too much TV that I will one day write for them... It's a vicious circle.

English Dave said...

So true Lucy. Writing creeps up on you and becomes a disease!

And forget 12 steps. When it takes hold you're a gonner!

RichardB said...

Actually, together with my sympathies for the teacher caught up in all of this, I really feel for the poor kids who suggested the name in th first place, and have now seen their beloved teached imprisoned and deported. I only hope someone has the wherewithal to let her stop by the school and say goodbye, somewhere on the trip between the prison and the airport.

far away said...

intriguing to see how quickly someone (who looks fairly teddybear-like & PC etc) becomes a 'stool pigeon' in the wider agenda....

Jaded and Cynical said...

Of course being flogged for giving a teddybear the wrong name is scary/comical. But Sudan is a backwards, almost pre-industrial type of society.

The attitudes of our own ancestors a couple of hundred years ago wouldn't stand up to much scrutiny. They were jailing gays, women weren't allowed to vote, and our only interest in Sudan was courtesy of the slave trade.

More interestingly, I wonder which of our contemporary attitudes will seem outdated a generation from now?

My money's on the eventual introduction of euthanasia, legalized prostitution and limited voting rights for cats.

Jon Peacey said...

I'm surprised anybody has been taking this story at face value... in some ways it's reminiscent of something from the Cold War or that Yes, Prime Minister with the French puppy affair.

J&C- My suspicion, given how things have gone throughout history, is that within the next couple of decades we may be lookng at quite a major shift to the Right on the moral spectrum...

I suspect in 100 years time they might be saying 'you mean they really spent Saturday nights lying in gutters?'... of course, a few years back we were saying that about the 18th Century gin drinkers!

Anonymous said...

Free the teacher - behead the teddybear - everones happy!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, just found the missing Y from my last post on the floor by my desk.

LenCo said...

Hi Dave

I've just discovered your blog and I'm having a great time catching up with it.

I am sure we must have worked together - at the very least it seems we've done the same shows.

Keep up the good work

English Dave said...

Anon - lol - I understand that today she has been freed? But the teddy bear should deffo pay the price. Why does 'The Life Of Brian' stoning scene spring to mind whenever I think of this?

Lenco - Welcome and thanks. We must compare scars sometime lol