Pretty much since afternoon christmas, right after all the amazing food had disappeared into my now permanently large middle, I've been glued to CNN and the story of the attempted plane attacks. Of course I am extremely happy and thankful for the fact that no one died not even the supposed terrorist and it's so much more of a miracle after seeing how close he was to killing over 300 people. But I also just realised and feel a great deal of guilt knowing that my interest has also been somewhat steeped in self interest.
See, I already had my fill of feeling like it was my responsibility in some way to respond to (I don't want to say ignorant but I won't lie, that's what I think) folks with their lively imaginations and ideas of some Nigeria wide business that involves everyone taking turns sending emails claiming royalty and promising to send lots of money for no reason to obviously very smart and discerning people who decide to send some money to get things going along. Interestingly, I get these too so obviously I am hoping to someday scam myself out of alot of money...I hope that works out soon 'cause I'm really broke these days. I'm aware of folks who seem to think all Africans are poor hut/tree dwellers (I often think I can't blame them because they only see what they are shown on tv but when I think about it I haven't been to alot of countries but I still make an effort to know more about what's really going on in these places so that when I meet an Indian who speaks English perfectly, for example, we can skip the bit where I ask 'how on earth did you learn that?' and I don't go 'so how do you feel about getting married to a stranger because they say it is widespread so surely there are no exceptions'; we are all in this world together afterall) and seem to think that meeting people like me once in a while gives them faith in the fact that the spare change they placed in charity boxes a couple times has succeeded in feeding me all my life, educating me and paying for 4 years of college at over 20k a year...well done us for taking care of our burden. Then there's some who probably think it's the aforementioned business that's kept me from lying around with flies up my nose. All good, I've made my peace with that and rely on times when people ask me stupid questions about things like this to tell these people how intensely stupid I think they are and how on earth they got into college while at the same time not realising that it is possible for few people to send lots of e-mails; Newsflash which may shock you to your core - each e-mail is not sent by a seperate Nigerian; the confidence email trick didn't even start in Nigeria or anywhere near Africa; and is still used by lots of people closer to all things Western, civilized and right *gasp* What The Fuck!!! the world has gone topsy turvy!
Anyways, so like I've said just had to pretty much deal with ideas of everyone starving and badly spelt and worded emails sent by poor, idle hoodlums in internet cafes that I cannot fathom how anyone could possibly ever take seriously. But now no doubt I will have to explain the fact that we are not all walking into planes with explosives tied to our underwear in a bid to wage 'holy war 'against the U.S. Of course, we are not the first to deal with this as everyone muslim or with a name that sounds muslim or 'looks Arab' or muslims wearing turbans which to all intents and purposes to the ignorant self absorbed of the world includes Sikh Indians and more, is immediately assumed to have some terrorist agenda. Even folks who don't really think this make jokes about it which I don't think is funny at all because there's always that one idiot, more probably, that will take you seriously. I've often pointed out how asinine it is to talk as if all the citizens of a country or even a group of countries are evil scheming terrorists planning to blow up another important location in the almighty G8, while in fact a whole lot more of their buildings have been blown up and a whole lot more of their people have died and the majority of people are thinking of the self preservation of themselves and their families and not eternal glory that begins with an explosion in the sky. But now I feel that more of what I say will be chalked down to the fact that I am now essentially defending myself (now it's gotten all closer to home) when I say stop stereotyping a country of people when you have barely tried to get to know even one of them, not that if you met one or even ten people that turned out 'bad' gives you any reason to label millions of people but whatever, what do I know I was undoubtedly malnourished as a child.
But the whole point of this was to stop thinking about how this affects me, I needed to write to myself to remind me of what is really important; that this man was in this plane and from what I can tell just needed to inject something into something else or press something (I am obviously no engineer) and the plane would have blown up and killed everyone including people on land but instead God intervened and what should have been an explosion became a minor fire. Thanks for awesome Dutchman Jasper Schuringa and every one else on that plane that acted quickly to make sure the fire did not become any worse, I can imagine that the gloriousness of life and christmas was even more acutely felt after this event and there is afterall a silver lining in every cloud(!cliche! but too tired to think of anything smarter and it works anyhow :P). Equally important are prayers for Umar A. and everyone else like him who might be harbouring thoughts like this borne of personal struggles that do not stem from religion, country or even family. Afterall, we know now that his dad had called the US embassy to warn them of the fact that he was worried about his 'radicalized' son, hardly the behaviour of a man who encouraged violent Islamist rhetoric and showing that this is the exception rather than the rule even within a family (Maybe the authorities should be talking more about why he wasn't taken seriously, but far be it from me to try and understand the great wisdom of those who are so obviously more intelligent and capable than I am, afterall I don't even know what all the red, orange and yellow etc. mean). I am Christian and proud of it but I do not hesitate to point to the Crusades, Northern Ireland, more recent abortion clinic bombers and so many more examples of Christian related terrorism to judgmental, high falluting Christians (who I sadly seem to meet everywhere being fed daily by the poison that is often Fox News) that bigotism is not specific to any religion and religion only becomes the means these people attempt to use in making their selfish ambitions legitimate.
So this has alot to do with me but not because of his nationality but because I am human and I am concerned about the direction our world is taking and I am glad for instances of heroism that gives me much needed faith in it, something that can often become greatly depleted. And I am especially glad for the life of others and this great, big Christmas miracle.
I will now stop watching CNN and go to bed.
Oh yeah, I love the snow and snow-related activities even though I have dumbly indulged in so little so far, gotta stop thinking I'll live forever.