Sunday, October 02, 2005

Chaos in my Backyard

I’ve been more than a little slack in blogging and have been admonished by several people for this so…sorry. Excuses? Yep I’ve got a few, not least being the gift of a brand new PSP for my birthday a few days back, from my friends, Wayhu & Krisanti. Sitting up half the night chasing aliens tends to slow the mind a little. But what a machine. I love toys and this one is the most exciting toy I’ve had the chance to play with for quite a spell….

So much for pleasure, now to the pain. The bombs…. I‘ve just got back from a spin around Kuta. I guess it’s vaguely unpleasant of me but since I was out I drove the extra few kilometres from the cafĂ© we were at in Sanur to see what had happened. There was little to see and I didn’t really want to venture down the blocked streets close to Kuta Square.

It seems pretty much business as usual along Jalan Legian, but of course it’s not at all. The shops are busy, although the Bintang t-shirt wearing Ockers, who were the fairly obvious targets of this horror, are glaringly absent from the streets and there is a gloom and despondency upon the faces of many of the Balinese. I was in Bali a couple of weeks after the 2002 bomb and again in January and February 2003 and I know what this is going to do to this beautiful, peaceful and undeserving island in the years to come.

John Howard was on television telling the world that this was mindless terrorism. Terrorism it was but mindless it was not. These people knew exactly what they were doing and I’m afraid, Mr Howard, that much of the blood of these victims is on your hands. How you, Blair and Bush, can stand in public and express such outrage is beyond me. Have you no shame….

As awful as this is too, such bloodletting occurs daily in Iraq, Palestine and Dafour with little comment from these self righteous people.

I guess like most people I have trouble understanding how a human being can so callously do what was done here. There is no conceivable justification. I can understand what the perceived injustice is and agree with the much of what brings these people to the place where their anger overwhelms them but cannot justify this.

I feel more than a little drained and despondent. I was in a restaurant in Jalan Danau Tamblingan last night when the text from a friend arrived asking if I was ok. We watched a bit of CNN who had fairly pitiful coverage...back to their old tricks…then the BBC which was much more incisive and at least made an attempt to analyse what had happened.

We then tried to sleep but that wasn’t too successful. We woke this morning to the local news channel and very graphic images on the screen, which the cable channels avoid…..they have no qualms about such here…and one of the local boys came around to tell me, in Bahasa, that the terrorists had blown up the airport. I had to assure him the airport was fine, but the level of local stress is evident. These people have suffered bombs, SARS, 9/11, and blatant Corby related media racism in the past four years (the normally excellent ABC Asia-Pacific were insensitive enough to show Schapelle’s god-awful white-trash mother on the morning bulletin as a celebrity commentator).

King hit after king hit and it really isn’t fair. It’s not fair at all and there is little I can do apart from hanging tight and staying here which I intend to do.

My friend Don who was scheduled to arrive tomorrow morning just rang to say he was still coming regardless which really cheered me up but………..

So on a more positive note, I’m going to have to admit that I seriously like about 80% of the new Paul McCartney album Chaos and Creation in the Backyard. Actually about 60%, but, fuck me, if I was able put together a record this good at age 63 I’d be a very happy man. There are a couple of seriously not good moments and maybe Nigel Goodrich, who produced this has a bit to do with it but keep in mind he is also responsible for some of the more pretentious drivel produced in recent years (and I used to so rate Tom Yorke). This really is a very good record and the good songs are so good that it may be the best thing the often slightly unpleasant fab (who has been a hidden pleasure of mine for years, and he was a fab so all is forgiven…I was a teen in the late sixties so the glasses are well rose tinted) has done since Ram or McCartney.

Then again maybe I’m just old……