A decade on, the dust is still settling

9/11 anniversary marred

A tribute in lights

Sunday was the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 atrocities. Like JFK, the Moon Landing, Elvis, Princess Diana, it was a generation defining moment, and everyone knows where they watched the towers come down. For me, it was R.E., and probably the only thing I remember from five years spent in the company of Mr. Haines.

The occasion was always going to generate controversy. An American flag was burned outside the US embassy, by the radical group Muslims Against Crusades. Don’t get me wrong, these are inflammatory idiots, trying to provoke an already emotive situation.

But then you the Daily Mail brigade chiming in, with such measured observations as “if you don’t like the West, fuck off home”. Good one. You don’t get it, do you?

1) The whole reason for countries like ours being targeted is because people can act like that. It doesn’t make it acceptable, but if it’s within the law, there aren’t repercussions, and that’s how it should be? Think you’ll get away with your life burning the flag in downtown Damascus? Of course not. If we tried to stop this kind of protest, then the radical elements would be winning. They want fear, repression, and a restriction of freedom.

2) The flag burners don’t represent Islam, just as the terrorists of 9/11 don’t. They may believe they act in the best interests of their religion, but it’s the Muslims who speak out against extremism who are the true followers of Islam.. In the same way as the Islamic bigots who disrespected the commemorative ceremonies aren’t speaking for all Muslims, just as the bigots who tell people to fuck off home don’t speak for me.

9/11, Bali, 7/7, Madrid, Mumbai… free thought will always be a target. By living in the manner we a lucky enough to enjoy, we’re winning. The only way we can lose is if we beat ourselves. Telling someone to go home is a pretty massive own-goal. Thank the stars most of us are pulling the right way.

Nikes

As seen on the brilliant Fancy. Show me a cooler pair of kicks. You can’t.

Not for gingers, they'd clash like a motherfather

Roald Dahl

It’s 50 years since Roald Dahl’s first children’s book, James And The Giant Peach, was published. Dahl is one of my heroes. His stories were evocative and dark and funny and imaginative and mesmerising and were as much of a mainstay of a childhood as penny sweets and scuffed knees. I used to tape Match Of The Day because I wasn’t allowed to stay up to watch it. The program was about an hour and a half long, and an hour and a half into the tape was Dahl’s The Witches. It used to scare me shitless. There will never be another like him, with his talent, creativity, and unique twisted humour. What a man.

Jokes with a guitar

Excellent. Dramatic batteries:

In other news

-I want to go here.

-I want to live here (yeah, that’s a swimming pool over the front door).

-I want to stay here.

Golden:

And when you dream…

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