Historically speaking I think of myself as a very lucky child. I was born at the end of two significant times in world and British history, the Cold War and the Troubles. With the Cold War I was obviously too young to notice anything less than the fall of the Berlin Wall. But I do at least remember that, and knowing that something rather big had happened. But I sadly wasn't too young to remember the terror campaign of the IRA.
In Northern Ireland the times known as the Troubles were complicated and featured a two way conflict between terrorist organisations (and the RUC, British army and Irish security forces). The ramifacations for the "mainland" were quite different, especially down here in the south. And my family who were around at the time, whilst not stupid, were not politically or culturally as aware as they are now. We didn't understand the whole Catholic/Protestant conflict, nor were we too bothered with the concepts of nationalism nor unionism. All my family let on to me was that there was an organisation called the IRA and they killed people like us. They might hide a bomb in a suitcase or a bin, and you'd never know until it exploded. Even after the Good Friday Agreement I still treat bins at railway stations with unwarranted wariness.
Sometimes I wonder if everyone has gone mad when I look at coverage of the 7/7 attacks and the "increased security" caused by it. Doesn't anyone remember the Ring of Steel? Even in Maidstone (the "big town" nearest me when I was young) there were often closed off areas due to bomb alerts. If Muslims think they are treated badly by the police, they should remember how Irish men were treated during the early nineties (at least in Kent!). They couldn't even work in construction in Folkestone when I moved there without being accused, behind their backs of course, of being IRA spies monitoring the construction of the Channel Tunnel. The local news spent, roughly, the next 8 or 9 years after the local Deal Barracks bombing featuring at least one story on the subject daily. I was only ten when the Warrington bombs happened but I remember a great deal of upset even in our distant little corner of the country.
Of course most of this is the ramblings of someone who remembers that time through the eyes of a child and it should all be taken with pinch of salt, but it is a subject that has been on my mind a lot recently as I've met a lot of people who seem to either not know of this time (most, but not all, being born abroad so I forgive them) or have completely erased it from their mind. And then Jim introduced me to a programme called "Deadliest Warrior" and that's how I found this...
For those two bored to watch, that's a video of what would happen if the IRA and the Taliban had a five a side death match. Words fail me. They really, really do. I listen to an awesome podcast called Dan Carlin's Hardcore History, and in his current series on the Eastern Front of the Second World War he neatly started it by mentioning how he never got angry emails when he talked about the Punic Wars because it was too far removed. But when he talked about something like the Second World War he did get angry emails because there were still people around to listen to his show who can look at their arms and see the tattoo they were forced to have in the death camp they were assigned to. I wonder if the programme makers ever had a single thought even approaching that idea. I thought the programme featuring the Apache versus Gladiators was a little "too soon" on the Apache front, but the IRA vs. Taliban really took it too far. Can I please be allowed to massacre the programme makers using only cocktail sticks fired from high pressure cannon? Because I think that's the only proportional thing, in their eyes anyway!, to do given their complete and disgusting lack of thought for how wrong their show is.
Glorifying the violence of humanity is not something to be proud of. This show is deeply disturbing.
Too yucky even to dwell on any more...
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