Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Martin Bell's Killer Facts on Postwar Suicides
I have done a limited web search on the topic and while it's still clear there is an acute problem, I'm not sure I can believe the horrific figure I thought I heard. Bell pointed out that in a few years time psychologists predict a bitter harvest from the Iraq and Afghan wars. A sobering and grim point about war which so many overlook. I wonder if the close involvement of civilian and children's deaths in modern, post imperial wars warfare, is a connection with this appalling wastage rate of ruined young lives.
On a slightly less sombre note, though an equal slap in the face, was supplied by the two guys to my left in the audience. I only mention their absurdity as I have never encountered it anywhere else in the whole of my life. I went to the lecture along with a journalist colleague who wanted to write an online article on Bell's lecture. She found a piece of paper on her chair and used it to record some notes, True, her paper did emit a certain crackle but not to any excessive degree I would maintain.
Suddenly the guy to the left of my colleague snatched up her paper and dramatically threw it on the floor. When she tried to retrieve it, he placed his foot on it so she could not. When I remonstrated with him after the lecture they both claimed the rustling paper was so loud they 'could not hear the lecture!' Such a claim, absurd in itself as Bell was using a microphone, was deemed justification for what in law, I guess, amounted to an assault and theft. As a teacher I want every audience member to take notes- some undergraduates don't bother, so I was a bit outraged by this inexplicable act. I advised them both to take course in anger management but my companion was furious at the sheer hooligan behaviour of apparently respectable people.
As for the way your colleague was treated - unbelievable. I am staggered anyone would behave that way.
Hope you're having a great time in Hong Kong.
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