My random ramblings.

World Watch

Olympics 2012

As I write this, I keep a watchful eye on the TV. It’s fifteen minutes to the Olympics 2012 closing ceremony. It feels surreal. Wasn’t it only yesterday I sat in front of the TV with Bubbles and friends watching the opening ceremony? I remember the surprise, then the incredulity which turned to amused wonderment when the Queen appeared with James Bond. I remember peals of laughter ringing in my ears when the all too familiar Mr. Bean played the repetitive staccato in the Chariot of Fire’s theme song. Most of all I remember being there, among the live audience; ¬†and then watching expectantly from one scene to another recalling what I had already seen.

Yes, I was there! I was there for the opening ceremony dress rehearsal on Wednesday, two days before the actual opening ceremony. I had the privilege of being there with thousands of others, privy to what became a well-kept secret; amazingly.

I present to you some of the photos I took. This is the first setting we were greeted to upon arrival: Green and pleasant Britain.

A tree up on a hill, representing Glastonbury Thor, suddenly uprooted from the ground. It was as spectacular as it was unexpected!

Next, the Industrial Revolution literally packed up the agrarian society.

Tall chimneys rose from the ground, as miners and construction workers laboured diligently at every corner.

These rings rose in a brilliant display of fireworks. I must admit this part looked better on tv as the aerial view showed us the five Olympics rings, not quite visible from the stadium.

As spectators of the dress rehearsal were not privy to all the details of the Opening Ceremony, we were not informed of one of the best highlights of the ceremony: the Queen’s guest appearance with the iconic James Bond. But all that we got was a brilliant display of lights and the James Bond theme music.

From here onwards, I started neglecting my camera. It’s always a dilemma of mine: do I immerse myself in the experience and let my memory do the photographing, or do I break my attention away from the scene to look through the lens of the camera?

Anyway, I managed a few more shots…

As I said, it only feels like I was there yesterday and it is already the Closing Ceremony. Memories aside, the whole Olympics ceremony at my doorstep has taught me about the greatness of us humans. Aren’t we capable of achieving anything we set our minds to, regardless of our circumstances?

And there can’t be a better reminder of this than the next event: the Paralympics.

Gone Gaddafi!

So…Muammar Gaddafi is allegedly dead.

Toppling of a tyrant.

Death of a dictator.  

The end of an era.

What is it about the year 2011? It seems to be a busy year for the Middle East, don’t you think? It all started with civil unrest in Tunisia, then Egypt, then a series of other Middle Eastern countries followed suit. Next, Obama found Osama and now Mahmoud has found Muammar.

One can only hope that the winds of change continue blowing and this momentum we are witnessing for the retribution of crimes does not slow down.

If my game with names is no coincidence, let’s hope that Morgan topples Mugabe soon!

RIP Gaddafi? You’ve been ripped, that’s for sure, Gaddafi.

Riots in London

Forgive my seemingly cavalier approach to the use of adjectives in this blog, but given the circumstances it’s anything but. It is senseless, ridiculous, inhumane, crazy, merciless…perpetrated by a group of deranged, moronic, violent, thuggish brutes.

In days to come, hopefully by which time the rioting and looting would have come to an end, the media will no doubt undertake a post-mortem of the situation. Questions would be asked to ascertain the cause of the rioting:

  • Was this the result of an underlying racial undercurrent between the police and some minority groups?
  • Did the economic downturn and unemployment trigger the unrest?
  • Was this caused by growing frustration among deprived communities in London over the lack of political will to address issues faced by them?
  • Was this inevitable, given the lax state of immigration laws over the past 20 to 30 years?

The answer could be ‘yes’ to all of the above questions, however it does not justify the mindless rioting that is going on. So what if the police treated some minority groups differently? Would the actions of these thugs convince them to do otherwise? It would only substantiate their prejudices further. Why can’t the minorities of a nation realise that they have a big responsibility? A responsibility to conduct themselves as truthful, honest, responsible people as they act as ambassadors for their race and that their whole race is judged by their conduct alone in a foreign land?

Did the economic downturn and unemployment trigger this? Perhaps the effects of a poor economy are more palpable to deprived communities, however that does not give them reason to go berserk on the streets, causing grievous bodily harm to others and looting others’ property and possessions. The lives and safety of innocent people are at stake here.

Has there been a lack of political will to address the issues facing deprived communities? Some papers suggested that the budget cuts have caused the closure of youth clubs and the likes, which may have aggravated the frustrations felt by these groups of people. Somehow, I can’t quite imagine these people making use of any available youth groups to improve their lives. If this was the root of their frustrations, they would not have resorted to this kind of violence.

I am quite certain that the issue of immigration in this country will come to the forefront again. Whilst the government is already curbing immigration, the negative repercussion of past policies that allowed an influx of migrants unchecked is inexorable.

Ultimately, we have to stop blaming every problem on outside forces and the failure of the state; and ask ourselves: Where is justice as meted out in the good old days – with longer term sentences and – even capital punishment? Why are people no longer resilient and self-sustaining, causing them to become ‘deprived’ and impoverished? What happened to personal responsibility?