03 August 2006

The religion and war entry



Another night of reheated bolognese and a beer in front of the television. I had a particular interest in the programs tonight, after the discussions on the bus tonight about the Israel / Lebanon conflict.

Apparently each country represented in the company has a marshall, who in the event of an emergency, would tell us what to do. I was thinking if there was a fire, but no, they're talking a war. Like we all get marshalled somewhere and are evacuated from the country directly.

Until now I have always felt a long way from the troubles in the 'Middle East'. It's definitely a long way geographically to that area, but politically as well. Surely Qatar is so rich and so interesting in business and making money that they would not risk their position to get involved in this kind of conflict, to become a target. Probably.

But if Syria and particularly Iran, who are just across the gulf from here, did put their toe in, someone would have to assess whether it was a safe place to continue working. Would this peninsula into the Gulf have some strategic importance that one side or another might want to control?

Even if Iran was involved and it was deemed no significant risk by the company, that might not be the opinion of the participating countries in the Games. What if they started pulling out of attendance? The Games, and the Ceremonies, could get cancelled. With all the build up, all the work so many have put into it, its almost impossible to imagine this machine not rolling on.

All this is bus gossip and not to be taken too seriously. But for the first time since arriving I did start to feel close to what's on the news. I watched a full half hour of BBC World News, which is dedicated almost totally to the war. I even got through some of the English version Saudi news, just to see their take on it. No-one seems to be discussing anything Syria or Iran are saying, so I can only hope they're not say or doing anything. And they stay that way.

Also found an interesting little snippet on the American Church TV Station (or some such). A peroxided and badly face-lifted Southern woman was reading out headlines from international publications, all supposedly showing that muslims were behind all the conflicts in the world. Her reverend pal qualified their blatantly bigoted comments with the classic 'I've got lots of friends who are Muslims' and 'Don't forget Muslims believe Jesus is a prophet too' and 'It's only the extreme ones (that cause all this havoc)'. I was stunned to see blatant pornography on the satellite television here, but how this gets through I don't know. They confiscate Bibles at the border FFS.

All this on the same day that see on the morning news that our Mel Gibson is apologising for an anti-sematic tirade when pulled over for drink driving. They showed an old clip from when The Passion was released and he was accused of creating an anti-Jewish film. His response was something like 'No, that's just not me at all. I pray for them!'. Presumably that they will come to their sense and covert to his particular form of old Catholic Christianity or else burn in hell.

The other funny thing is that Beirut has the reputation amongst all the DAE employees as the best destination to go for a holiday around here. It's cosmopolitan, it's lively, it's fun and historic. And this is from the same bunch of people who have been spending their time off in places like Oman, Iran, Morocco, Greece and Italy, none of which sound like dull destinations.

Hopefully not all of Beirut is ruined and the life will come back to it. If this war can end and if it can avoid escalation. I hope to hear nothing aggressive from Syria and Iran; but such silence is a little spooky; what are they playing at? What's the plan? Surely they must have more of a strategy than just to fire a few thousand missiles in villages close to the border? Although deadly, this isn't mush more than a nuisance for the Israeli army and people.

I'd like to keep my job and I'd like to think that all this work will not go to waste. Please don't bomb us kthx.

Now playing: Bioshphere - Dropsonde.
This is actually really top 'ambient' stuff, I'm enjoying it. Surely this is the same Biosphere who used to chat on Soulseek with us all a few years ago. He was actually pretty annoying if I remember correctly, a bit of a big-noter. Maybe it was all qualified; back then, to me, he just seemed like another random bedroom banger. Maybe I am confusing him with someone else, but I'm certain that there was a Biosphere, and i even downloaded a track or two from him on the trusty 56k. Must have them somewhere...

Well this is getting late for me, almost 10 o'clock. I'm worried that if I start getting into the proper local timezones I won't be able to continue waking up at 6:30 and going to the gym to burn off all this bolognese. Maybe this is my 'get fit' opportunity - I've got spare time, easy access to a gym, and few distractions like friends, a partner, the internet or even decent television. Here's hoping.

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