I WRITE this stuff to try to lighten your day. Or at least to sow the thought that the human condition, if not funny, is at least peculiar.
But you don’t need me.
You’ve got George and Saddam.
They’re definitely not funny – but they’re very peculiar.
And suddenly I feel depressed, and unable to see the funny side of my wife’s complaints that I use too much soap in the shower.
“How dare you moan about the rate of wear the soap suffers when there are madmen out there killing people!” I yell at her.
The peculiar thing is (one of the peculiar things) is that if you ask anyone — anyone at all — what they actually want, it’s to raise their family, worship something, earn a crust and pop down the pub for a stubbie or two.
Or maybe a fruit juice, depending what you worship.
Lets draw a couple of circles in the sand. In one we’ll place everyone who wants to raise kids and beer glasses. In the other we’ll place everyone who wants to leave bits of shredded human beings hanging off the remains of shop fronts.
I guarantee the first would be so packed you take your feet off the ground and not fall over, and the second would look like… well, an Iraqi desert.
Give or take the occasional mad bastard who keeps automatic rifles and mortar shells buried in the back yard.
And guess where Saddam and George would be! In the crowded one, patting babies’ heads!
How can that be! Are they really just a pair of jolly old granddads who have gone a bit soft in the head? Or are they a pair of devious, conniving megalomaniacs with bad potty training and an unhealthy conviction that the end justifies the means.
Maybe they’re just liars.
Whatever… somehow we have a war on our hands. A black comedy of own goals, dead people, orphaned children (orphaned parents, if you can have such a thing!) and ruined lives.
The joke, if you’ll pardon the expression, is on the human race.
And part of the joke is that we; us people in the pubs and the supermarket, really haven’t the faintest idea what’s going on.
Oh, we know people are dying and we know the reasons we’re given. But I’ve reached the point where I don’t believe any of it any more.
I suspect they’re both lying…. Saddam and George.
How do I know?
Their tanks are moving.
Maybe this whole war is just (but if you’re trying to cook porridge for three children in Baghdad at the moment you’d have a different point of view). Or maybe it’s just silly. It’s definitely just awful.
As I watch people watching it, the thing I notice most is their sense of puzzled curiosity – like children peering at an insect under a magnifying glass.
Except that insects don’t wear the soap out in the shower.