Thursday, July 07, 2005

deja vu all over again


Being from Northern Ireland, we've gotten a unique perspective on the randomised slaughter that is terrorist bombing. Too much fucking perspective, as Nigel Tuffnell put it. And my hometown had the privilege of being the most bombed town in Northern Ireland, too. Growing up, it was all hardboard in the windows round our way, with "business as usual" painted artlessly on them.

I thought the Provisional IRA had it in for me personally, because they seemed to bomb the three central pivots of my life: McKinley's toy shop, where I bought my STAR WARS action figures; Robinson's toy shop, where I bought my ACTION MAN gear; and the Astor cinema, at regular intervals. Little did I know, at that age, that this was actually due to their proximity to certain tactical targets (the court house, the cop shop, the local newspaper's offices). All I knew was that the Provos were the biggest bunch of joyless fuckers ever, stomping all over the holy trinity of my little kid life.

To add insult to injury, I missed half the dialogue in every episode of DOCTOR WHO, because every Saturday night, local news readers would clumsily read out police warnings for local key holders to go back and check their premises, as the 'RA regularly phoned in some half-hearted warnings of incendiary devices hidden in the shops. Finally, they succeeded in putting both the toy shops in my home town out of business. To add insult to injury, it was during the run-up to Christmas. I had a Tom Baker Mego
DR WHO doll and to-scale TARDIS back in the Christmas club (art on the box by Walt Simonson!). For weeks, me, mum and dad would go in and pay a little bit off. I was being taught a valuable lesson in economics - Santa doesn't exist, and everything you get at Christmas we've had to strive for, save for, work for. Well fuck that sonny, because BOOOM! Your present of a lifetime has been smelted down because a bunch of malicious tossers hate their neighbours, but hide that awful truth behind a wall of sub-Marxist cobblers (still do).

So the moral of this meandering anecdote: terrorists are humourless bastards who'll always try and shit all over the finer things in life. But fuck them. Fuck anyone who can place ideology over empathy.

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