Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Switch off your tellys!

Was the underlying message of Neil Postman's charming book titled 'Amusing ourselves to death'. Television no doubt is a big part of our culture or rather was, the internet probably takes more precedence now.

However, television is still the medium that occupies much of our time - speaking of those who watch television. Whilst, I do become a couch potato on the weekend, I rarely have time to watch TV on the weekdays because a) I am too tired, or b) I don't have enough time - sad reality of someone who had been in full time employment for the first time this past 6 months.

Whilst I would jump on the bandwagon of TV is destroying our brain cells however, at the same time I do think TV can be stimulating. I'm a Doc-geek. I love watching documentaries - it's informative and important for the ignorance in us. I also enjoy debate shows such as Newsnight to keep in touch with current affairs. However, many a times I have found myself staring at the box. Mind numb. It's quite a horrible feeling afterwards, knowing that I have wasted x-amount of hours of watching something that did not entertain or enrich my life in any way and worst of all, I don't even remember what I was watching.

Aside from the content of television there is also the argument that we are conditioned by media to think in a certain way because ultimately we have no control of what is aired on television. This of course could go onto all forms of media. We can take that argument to anything really, the environment around us conditions us to think a particular way so I don't think that holds much weight but I guess the premise to that argument is that TV is the most influential.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

"We are all Palestinians!"

Just one of the many slogans chanted today, at the biggest ever march for the Palestinians and the large scale massacre that is taking place in Gaza.

I attended last week's first national demo for the cause which pulled tens and thousands of people from all over the UK to London. It was a short march from Embankment to Trafalgar Square which later went on to the Israeli embassy. Last week was a fantastic turnout, old, young, black, blue, white, pink - everyone you could imagine was there. It was not just an Muslim affair but rather a British one. Funny how the media like to focus on the Muslim women in head scarfs and Muslim men with beards. It is not exclusively our battle. No half human would be able justify Israel's actions nor will they be able to bear the images of the unjustified killings taking place in Gaza.

Today's turnout was rather overwhelming. Numbers were most definitely in the hundreds of thousands. Not sure where the BBC or Sky News got their figure of "tens of thousands" from - it really undermines the cause. I could not see the front of the march nor could I see the end. When we got to the Israeli embassy we still had friends who were still leaving Hyde Park, the place where the march begun, the distance spanned 1.5 miles. Surely, that's a very good indication of the shear numbers that were out today?

A lot of the protestors, instead of banners, had shoes tied to their sticks as a gimmick taken from what happened to Bush a couple of weeks back (click - I never get bored of watching it :) ).

Accompanied by chants, such as:
"Bush, Bush where are you?
I want to throw my shoe!" :-)
These demos mean a great deal to the Palestinian issue. Those who knew not before of the situation were now enlightened. I feel that we're that much close in raising greater awareness amongst the societies we live in. Also, highlighting the complexity of the Middle East and bringing to the surface that it is not merely a Muslim-Jew thing but a territorial thing.
I don't know how a two-state solution can be an end to all this. Resources must be shared so must land. People should have the freedom to walk on their land without presecution. Single-state solution it needs to be.