Tag Archives: Afghanistan

Time to get serious

Time to get serious. And uplifting.

Japan - by Steve McCurry

The wonderful and striking photographs are by Steve McCurry, from his recent Finding The Sublime post. You should definitely click over there to see them all. Steve has popped up here before with his work in Afghanistan.

For an insight into London (or any?) gang culture, read gang intervention worker Emeka Egbuonu’s post – Are you willing to KILL? When asked that question by Emeka, the smallest member of the group answered:

We are in too deep. I have enemies who probably will not hesitate to kill me if they saw me slipping (caught off guard). That is why I am always prepared for whatever the occasion and if that means dropping a body in the process then so be it.

The good news is Continue reading

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Chess on 9/11

It was a grim day for first responders, but I didn't want a sad picture. So here are happy NYPD officers.

It’s that time of year when you talk about where you were when…

Which I haven’t done before because it seems a distasteful online version of shroud waving, unless you actually were there, like BBC journalist Stephen Evans who happened to be inside the World Trade Center when the planes struck, or you really helped, or – of course – it hit close to home – like with this young man who lost his Belfast-born father.

But somebody asked me to write something and perhaps once every ten years is acceptable. So…

There I was sitting in a radio studio in Bush House in London. I was editing a radio show called Newshour which goes out on the BBC World Service (reputed audience of 157 million Continue reading

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Filed under history

Bad memories

I joined our village’s Remembrance Sunday parade and service this morning. Though I have an instinctive uneasiness about people in uniform marching through my community – a hangover from growing up in Northern Ireland – this is one of the few such occasions of which I am proud for my family to be a part.

There is nothing grand about our Continue reading

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Filed under In the village, life, media, politics

Blood and Gifts or Why America is in Afghanistan

“Great men are almost always bad men.” That’s the tagline to the wonderful play, Blood and Gifts, about US involvement in Afghanistan from 1981-1991. I’ve just seen it.

That depressing opening sentence is also the missing third line from the famous and much cited quotation from Lord Acton (aka John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton):

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” Continue reading

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Filed under art, history, politics, theatre

A beautiful Hazara boy, some lateral thinking and Anita Tijoux

15-year-old Hazara boy Ali Aqa, Bamiyan, Afghanistan. (From Steve McCurry's blog.)

Hazara candy factory, Kabul, Afghanistan. (From Steve McCurry's blog.)

The Taliban’s favourite victims – the Hazara. You may remember them. They had some huge statues at Bamiyan. Steve McCurry has taken some striking photographs in Afghanistan. The two pics here are from his post Blood and Smoke of the Hazarajat.

He has other alarming photographs of war and death  – including an arresting image of a dead Afghan solider floating in water – which is at the bottom of this post.

It’s gruesome, so don’t scroll below the item about Anita Tijoux if you’re feeling squeamish. In fact, let me know if you think it’s too much, and I’ll remove it. Meanwhile more thought-provoking stuff on Afghanistan here.

And… This is clever.

Absurdist pranksters subvert anti-Gay demonstrators with a bit of lateral thinking. (From the Laughing Squid.)

Rather than try to out-shout, out-bluster or out-threaten the opposition, these guys just let themselves get a bit carried away with their placards.

(They’d have been welcome at our own demonstration recently.)

Other placards they introduced to the San Francisco protest by Westboro Baptist Church had messages such as:

  • God Hates Flags
  • Build Prisons on the Moon
  • Silly Hats Only
  • I Was Promised Donuts
  • God Hates Signs

It’s all good. More details at the Laughing Squid site. If only more demonstrations were more like this. (Apart from the homophobia, naturally.) It makes our save-the-village-bus efforts seem boringly predictable.

Anita Tijoux

Anita Tijoux

She’s a Chilean-French hip hop MC. I noticed her on the always interesting Exodus blog, where you can listen to “Partir de cero” (“From Scratch”) from her album 1977. Go on, give it a go. Mexican singer  Julieta Venegas is there too.

And now… The gruesome photo is below.

Same as the top two, it’s from photographer Steve McCurry. His details are here. Again, let me know if you thinks it’s too strong to have on without having to click on a link.

Dead Afghan Soldier, Jalalabad, Afghanistan, 1992. (From Steve McCurry's blog.)

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Filed under life, Music, politics

Welcome to your new job?

I started a new job this week. This video seems appropriate. (Seen at ComaGirlX.)

And there’s still no respite in the white shite (as snow should now be described) round our way. (Sigh. Brr.)

But on happier notes:
Q: Who’s the nicest man in a hospital?
A: The ultra-sound man.

Q: Who covers his shifts while he’s away?
A: The hip-replacement guy.      (Both courtesy of Popbitch.)

Also (fanfare) SHE’S BACK!The Little Pinch of Salt. Everyone can do with a bit.

And just time for a quick glance over to Portugal where you may some day see these images plastered on a crumbling wall.

Lisboa / Lisbon wall paintings (from "The Cardinal de la Ville presents"). Click on the picture for his site.

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Filed under life