Thursday, November 14, 2019

What I'm thinking about

I'm sorry you've had to wait so long for a post. There are a lot of disparate thoughts swirling around my head this morning but I'll try to get them into some kind of order. I was going to write a domestic post but other things have come to the forefront of my thoughts. Tune in tomorrow for something different. 

I am not on Facebook, but I spend too much time on Twitter, following politics, writing, art, personal friends and family, and three accounts to cheer me up, namely @SeaSkyCraster, @ObamaPluskids, and @VictoriaQOTD (quotes from Victoria Wood.)  Far too much time. 

Such is Britain after 9 years of a Conservative government. 

Just now I learned on Twitter that in Gaza a family of 6 has been killed by Israeli bombs, and the shelling is continuing. At the time of writing 26 people had been killed and 95 injured. Gaza is the most densely populated area in the world. Two million people live in an area of 25 x 7 square miles. More than 50% are children. They are besieged and there is no escape, and Israel is bombing them. 

Yes, they are bombing them in retaliation to rocket attacks from Hamas, but the sides are unequal, and more importantly, the Israelis oppress the Palestinian people. In the Occupied Territories, Israeli settlers steal their land and their water, chop down their olive trees, and the authorities bulldoze their houses. Gaza is besieged and short of too many things to list here, but vital medicines are one item. Did you know the Israelis frequently refuse permission for people to leave Gaza for cancer treatment they cannot get at home? Did you know they frequently forbid parents to travel with their seriously ill children for treatment outside Gaza?

Last night on the news I saw Boris Johnson - at last - visiting the floods in South Yorkshire. I can't tell you his precise words, but the gist was this -  'It must be  very upsetting to see your property under water.' I know for certain he used the word property and I thought it very telling. These are peoples' homes. 

We've been OK at Hepworth Towers but a few miles away it's been horrendous, and in Sheffield Zoe has been fighting hard to prevent floodwater rising up from the cellar to flood her home.

Trouble, trouble, everywhere there's trouble - strife in Hong Kong and Bolivia, war in Syria, floods in Venice as well as here, fires in Australia. In thinking about Gaza I was reminded of the work of a Palestinian artist, Mona Hatoum, whose exhibition at Tate Modern I saw 3 years ago.

One of her pieces was this:

It was a kinetic piece. As we watched it, red lights flashed on and off in different places round the globe, always changing, but somewhere there was always a hot spot.

Has it always been thus? Would it have been easier to be a Victorian and to get all your news from a newspaper, and that news probably two days old?


Anonymous said...

The red, pulsing globe - wonderful image in so many ways.

I, and many of the people I talk to, stand beside you Sue - nerves similarly frayed.

Thank god for family, friends and the kindness of strangers.

And for humour - that age-old defence against the unspeakable.
Kudos to Dave for the latest contribution - a keeper, if ever.
And the otter in the Comedy Wildlife Photography competition on the BBC website yesterday.
He is surely with us, too.

Thea xx

Sue Hepworth said...

Thanks for this, Thea. Yes, that otter is terrific!