Tag Archives: Paris

Paris: The week that we decided to care.

This is a difficult article to write; the equivalent of tap dancing on egg shells whilst adorned in steel heeled cowboy boots.

Paris

It revolves around the tragedy of last week’s Paris shootings, but is not intended as retrospection of what occurred, those ostensibly responsible (Isis), or the fact that their artillery and vehicles were almost exclusively funded by the USA and allied nations. That narrative has been reported, debated and raked over en mass.

This is an article to skim the surface of the event; the manner of broadcast and way in which social media has once again set in motion a slew of fads, anti-fads and hash tags, as supportive naivety threatens to stray from organic empathy.

 

The key points in my personal reaction to the coverage

 

I do not take umbrage with anyone who places a French flag upon their Facebook profile picture.

One war or act of terrorism having fewer casualties than another does not make compassion less legitimate, or incongruous to the event.

Media outlets are guilty of deliberately fear-mongering in order to promote their agendas.

Social Media increasingly sculpts the way in which people conduct themselves following tragedy.

Praying may be well intentioned, but to use it in lieu of substantive support  is the equivalent of throwing a penny into a wishing well.

Equally, stating that the terrorists were screeching prayers as they committed atrocities does not mean that well intended prayers should suffer that stigma.

Governments reducing people’s freedom even further or being violently reactive will bring Europe and the US closer to a Universal three-tiered state in which human beings could conceivably become little more than caged vermin.

 

War Magazine

I’ve dreaded signing into Facebook this past week or so. Everybody seems to  have two rusty cents to share regarding the Paris shootings. Usually from a superficial perspective.

This generally leads to a chain reaction of statements, thumbs up, disagreements, and self-anointed keyboard correspondents who to the uninitiated rubber necker have vast knowledge of geography, religion and politics.

The precious few may well do, but most are tantamount to Russell Brand firing his hollow, multi-syllable integrated rhetoric at Fox News presenters who want to talk about his hair (or in  the case of Facebook play Candy Crush). This is an ignorance virtually all of us share, but many refuse to acknowledge.

99% of said arbiters are blinkered by social media’s addictive ease of access. Whether it’s the aficionado who declares it time to shoot all Muslims and bomb the shit out of Syria (Thanks Mr Trump), or the one who’s furious that people aren’t taking into account other wars.

The BBC have gone into overdrive in their attempts to cash-in on those 129 deaths that occurred six days ago. Radio One aired a programme about UK citizens joining Isis, while the BBC website pondered: “Paris shootings: is London next?”

Their coverage, alongside a petition that proposes to close UK borders until Isis are abolished – a petition with more than 431,000 signatures already, have tossed fuel onto a counter-productive fire that could threaten our liberty. In addition, Home Secretary Theresa May has pledged to intensify security, all it needs now is the Geordie Big Brother narrator.

There is clearly a lot more to this tragedy than the tapestry woven to date. The parallels of recent army training in Paris with the massacre that unfolded is one of many factors that have left pockets of humanity sceptical, as has the touted banning of all conspiracy theorists from the French capital.

As for me? I’m just a fucking writer in a cocoon 400 miles away. Wanting to assist, but not sure how.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Andy Murray Vs Rafael Nadal French Open Semi-Final preview

This afternoon in Paris two tennis heavyweights go head to head, when Andy Murray takes on ‘king of clay’ Rafael Nadal for a place in the French Open final.

Andy Murray

Scotland’s Britain’s finest post-war racket wielder enjoyed memorable years in 2012 and 2013; grabbing his first Grand Slam title at the US Open, winning medals in the Olympic men’s singles (gold) and mixed doubles (silver) and, of course, blowing the roof off SW19’s Centre Court by spanking Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon men’s singles final last year, ending a 77-year home wait for a successor to the great Fred Perry in the process.

Reaching  world number two in the rankings, the boy from Dunblane seemed destined to take the top-spot in the latter stages of the season, only for a back injury to flare up, meaning time off post-surgery and emaciated tour point opportunities.

Rafael Nadal knows all about injuries, his knees were famously described by an esteemed surgeon as ‘those of a 45 year-old with severe arthritis’ and are hardly aided by his smash-mouth style of play.

Despite this, the Spaniard returned from his latest injury setback last term and immediately settled into inspired form, reaching 12 finals in his first 13 tournaments back on the circuit and regaining the world number one slot in the process.

Rafa Nadal

More ominous than those facts is his record at Roland Garros, which reads: played 65, won 64, lost 1 (Robin Soderling the only man to defeat him, in 2009) –  becoming the only male singles player ever to win the same Grand Slam on eight separate occasions during that period.

So, what hope for Murray? His path to the final has been far from elementary, courageously battling through five-set epics against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber and local favourite Gael Monfils.

With his energy levels certain to be a little depleted, the man who lit up Cliff Richard’s favourite grass courts last season will probably go for broke, attacking from the offset to avoid too many prolonged rallies.

For that reason Andy shouldn’t go down as meekly as he did in a straight sets defeat to Nadal at this stage in 2011 and he could conceivably rip a set from the world number one’s steely death grip, but that’s about it.

Prediction: Nadal to win 5-7, 6-3, 6-1, 7-6.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.