Wednesday, June 4
Today I went with a couple of mates to the Imperial War Museum, down near Waterloo. I hadn't been there in years, and I didn't appreciate it fully when I went. A day off school, probably... Anyway, we spent a few hours in there, looking at the guns and planes and tanks, but what I found the most interesting were the two exhibits that were fairly temporary. The first one was a short film, and a load of information on a computer, concerning the history of various genocides in the twentieth century. The second was a full-on exhibition about the Holocaust during the Second World War.
To be honest, I knew a little about some of the atrocities that had been committed during the Twentieth Century, but the Genocide Exhibition gave me so much new information it was scary. Such as the conflict in Bosnia at the start of the 90s. I wasn't 100% sure who was fighting who, and for what reason, even getting mixed up with the later Kosovo conflict. The information that was given in the Exhibition was clear, concise and above all unbiased. It stated the commonly held (and reported) view on what happened in the region, then showed how much this had been twisted by the Western media in order to present it as a straight good against evil conflict. Of course, this was nowhere near the truth. For a start, there were 3 different ethnic groups involved, each having a fairly reasonable claim to the disputed territories. This is what annoys me about the media today. They always like to find a simple way to explain the events happening around us, and credit the general public with very little intelligence. I enjoy reading various newspapers to find out how they report a story, in order to try and find a balanced view.
Some of the images contained within both the text and the short film were horrific. One sequence in particular involved a Cambodian woman showing a film crew a house full of bones (mostly skulls) which were the remnants of those persecuted during Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge campaign in Cambodia. It was incredibly disturbing to see all of these bones which used to be human beings, especially since they died purely because they were different from the ideal that the government of the day wanted to pursue.
Which leads me nicely on to the Holocaust in the Second World War. This was a huge exhibition, and was again informative but horrific. Some of the things that these Jews had to go through don't even merit being put into words, because they will simply do no justice to the suffering which they endured. There were no punches pulled in the exhibition, with naked, emaciated prisoners of the concentration camps being shown throughout via film and photo. The pictures of mass graves were the most disturbing, purely because of the sheer scale of them. Bodies everywhere, not even being given the dignity of being buried face up. Another horrific thing was the sheer audacity and nonchalance which the SS soldiers designated to the camps went about their duties. Apparently, a favourite "game" of the SS guards was to send an inmate outside of the electric fences to "pick raspberries," then to shoot the inmate because they were "escaping." How can an individual be that sadistic and inhumane? It shows how much a person can be brainwashed if enough propaganda is forced their way. Which kind of brings me full circle to how the media reports events.
We need an independent media, not one which is at the beck and call of the government, but also not one which is radically opposed to the government. Of course there will always be opinions in the reporting of news. The journalists are only human, after all. However, placing your own opinions into pieces presented as fact is inherently wrong, and should not be accepted... But how do we know if what we read is really 100% true and accurate without experiencing itself? Don't look at me for an answer, I can't provide one. Although I am getting flashbacks to 1984, where the news is constantly altered and the past is changed so there can be no comparison...
Sorry for the pretty negative post, but I just found myself in full flow once I had started writing. Nothing much else happened today, hopefully tomorrow will provide some excitement. A nymphette who is infatuated with me would be nice too. Here's hoping.
Zwan - Of A Broken Heart (I'm very, very tempted to get this album. I was never the biggest fan of Smashing Pumpkins, but Zwan seem to be doing some really cool stuff)
Nas - NY State Of Mind
Orbital - An Fhomhair
Kernal + Rob Data - Hostile