Saturday, July 12, 2008

Have just finished reading Peter Godwin’s remarkable book WHEN A CROCODILE ATE THE SUN. I wonder if anything will ever be done about Robert Mugabe, now into his eighties, or whether he will die a natural death and someone equally evil, if not worse, will take over. What is it about Africa that it throws up these hideous monstrous creatures? Mind you, reading in Godwin’s book about happenings in the Treblinka death camp, too horrible to even credit that it was being done by so-called human beings, Africa is not alone.

Two things I think about from when I was a kid. One – my Jewish school friend, Peter Lasker telling me the family, mother and two sons,( the father was killed in the desert fighting with the Eighth Army), were moving from South Africa to Rhodesia because that was the country of the future. Mother of course must be long since dead but where are the Lasker boys now I wonder in the country of the future, modern Zimbabwe? Two – we had a saying which went “sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.” A bit simplistic maybe but when one thinks of Mugabe’s thugs using sticks stones and, of course the ubiquitous AK47 in Zimbabwe and someone in Britain or the US wailing about being called a name they object to, for example “Paddy” or “Taffy” and receiving thousands in compensation for hurt feelings, it rather puts the compensation culture into perspective does it not?

I understand the aims and objects of political correctness but I so sincerely hope the pendulum, if it hasn’t already, will start to swing in the opposite direction. I’m also fully in accord with men and women being treated as equals, even though it’s perfectly obvious in the nature of things that they’re not, men cannot have babies for example, I am old-fashioned enough to wish that when, as a gentleman, I open a door for a lady or make a similar gesture, that I am greeted with a thank you and possibly a charming smile rather than a scowl and a growl. The former helps the day along. The later does nothing for anybody, male or female. And how about jokes that used to go “there was an Irishman, A Welshman and A Scot and …?” Perish the thought. It’s no wonder modern comedians seem to make jokes only about sex. There’s nothing else to make jokes about in this pc world of ours. Shame really.

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