it's all very well keeping a positive frame of mind, and making a conscious decision to be happy. which has been working quite well for me thus far. but then you listen to the news and somehow it seems unfair to be happy when so many people are struggling.
there's the continuing news of job losses, the research coming out about child poverty, the constant nasty beneficiary-bashing policies being put out by the government, school closures in canterbury. and overseas, workers being killed in factory fires in pakistan, and embassy staff under threat & some killed as protest rages in various countries in response to some stupid film produced by some random idiot in america.
i'm not sure i even have the energy to respond to the latter. the protests in themselves i don't have a problem. someone produces something stupid and offensive, then fine, gather a group of people and protest about how stupid and offensive that thing was. make your point, express yourself. don't have a problem with burning flags either, mostly because i don't attach a whole lot of emotional symbolism or meaning to flags. they're just a piece of cloth after all.
but hurting people, and specifically, people who have taken no part in the financing, production or distribution of the film concerned makes no sense whatsoever. in fact, it seems that many of the people who did take part were conned & had no idea what they were actually participating in. not that i'm saying that it's ok to hurt the people who did know what they were doing and who deliberately set out to hurt and inflame. of course it's not. there are plenty of ways to protest against them without causing them physical harm.
i know we're talking about environments where violence is already a huge part of the mix. the arab spring started in many countries with peaceful protest, but has led to violence by the state, which in turn has caused rebellion and further violence. it gets to a stage where violence becomes the only response, an emotional gut response to a "we hate you" message from abroad.
i can't say i'm impressed with hilary clinton's response, though mr obama's was somewhat better (& mr romney's reaction is purely appalling - please US voters, do not let this man be your president). and i hated the coverage i saw on the tv news - which i know, i mostly try to avoid, and for good reason - which was all about these countries which the US has been so generous in helping turning around and doing this terrible stuff. yes, it's terrible, but as to the latter, let us not forget the wholesale destruction of infrastructure, the death of civilians and the huge decrease in the standard of living that were the result of NATO bombing in libya (in which the US played a large part). we can show sympathy towards those killed and currently living in fear and condemn violence, without the rewriting of history.
i can't even begin to understand the mentality of the people who made the film. it was such a strong, clear "i hate you" message, and what they hoped to gain from it i'm not sure. other than to hurt others and to inflame emotions. as if there isn't already enough hatred and violence in the world. what makes a person want to pile more on? no, i really can't understand it.
and finally, my sincere condolences to the families of those embassy staff who have died, and my sympathy to those who are currently living in fear of attack & to their friends and family anxiously waiting and hoping for their safety. i know this is a difficult time for you and i'm sorry that you have to deal with this.