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@radiobrendan

A typical response by some what you might call ‘leftist’ types to Isis-inspired terrorist attacks on the West is, after the perfunctory expressions of condolences, ‘they (we) had it coming.’

There’s a modicum of truth to that. Both overt and covert military operations by Western forces have killed many innocents in the Middle East down through the years, while they have often been poorly planned and with the wrong focus/aim. Thus, to say that some people in those parts hold resentment towards ‘us’ is no grand revelation.

Iraq - IraqiSecurity Twitter

You could, of course, put Syria alongside Iraq in the above as well. A brighter future for the Middle East seems a long way away. Image from Twitter.

Yet, considering the beliefs of the fundamentalists behind the Isis attacks (and some others), no reasons other than we don’t subscribe to their way of thinking are needed to wage ‘holy war’ against the infidels. Follow the path of Muhammad or be damned, there is no middle ground. If they were to get their way, they would return us to the Dark Ages.

In our liberal world, people are entitled to believe in whatever they want to, but they are equally expected to allow others have the same freedom. It’s all about respect and tolerance. What’s more, and Western sympathisers of Islamic fundamentalism ought to bear this in mind, secular values, human rights and democracy are generally seen as pillars in progressive societies. For Muslim extremists — as it tends to be for other extremists, too — none of those pillars are given any consideration.

So while we may be cynical, as many are and with some reason, towards Western, nay US, intentions in taking control of the Middle East, it’s rather easy to be so from the comfort of a liberal, Western abode, even allowing for the odd terrorist attack and a few fundamentalists of some sort of creed in our own ‘camp’.

There was a time, when Christian Europe was in its Dark Ages, the Muslim world was leading the way in terms of mathematical, medical and scientific progress. However, instead of continued, enlightened progression, many Islamic states have been on a course of regression for the last few centuries – politically speaking if nothing else.

The hope must be that moderate, well-educated Muslims, those who align themselves with rational thought and scientific reasoning — that is to say not believing in some archaic warmongering rubbish in an old book — come to the fore.

Liberalism and what you might call Western values aren’t about to capitulate just yet. Despite the extremists’ efforts, the West is winning, so to put it. We must be careful, though, in such heightened times not to run to the extremes ourselves.
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Facebook: Wrong Way Corrigan – The Blog & IQuiz “The Bogotá Pub Quiz”.

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La vida en Colombia desde la perspectiva de un periodista y locutor Irlandés, quien ha estado viviendo en el país desde 2011. El blog explora temas sociales y cultura, interacción con los nativos, viajes, actualidades y mucho más. Escucha su podcast acá: https://www.spreaker.com/show/the-colombia-cast.

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    'Cry me a river?' 'Eh, no thanks'

    @wwaycorrigan [Listen to an audio version of this blog entry here.] In the 1972 classic, Godfather, there's an early scene where Don Corleone berates his godson, Johnny Fontaine, for crying because he didn't get a part in a movie. 'Godfather, I don't know what to do', a sobbing Fontaine mutters. Cue a slap in the face and a violent retort, 'You can act like a man', followed by a gentle mocking of his behaviour from the Don. [caption id="attachment_4643" align="aligncenter" width="347"]People who cry regularly get on Wrong Way's nerves. 'Let it all out ...' (Image from emojipedia.org.)[/caption] Crying times That scene is set in the late 1940s, a quite different world from that which we inhabit today, to state the obvious. These days, it's all about being in touch with one's emotions. It's OK to cry, whether you're a man, woman, child or however else you define yourself. Don't suppress your feelings, let it all out. I don't completely disagree with that approach. For one, for the most part, it's good to be honest about how you feel — at least if you're asked that is. What I don't like, what irritates me, is when the waterworks start, especially — although not exclusively — when it's men who are shedding the tears. This is where I side with Don Corleone. It's not that it makes me uncomfortable, it's more a case that I find it hard to take seriously men who cry with regularity. As for women, whether the tears are genuine or not, they often, um, precipitate a granting, justified or not, of whatever they may be looking for. I generally make an exception for death, but even in that there seem to be people who let flow more than really appears "necessary". (Perhaps we could introduce a tear scale. 'Careful now, you're close to your limit.') Bidding adieu to loved ones for an indefinite period of time is another "acceptable" tear-jerker. Alcohol-induced crying is also excepted, meaningless as it often is.

    'When the tears in others come they invoke a negative, cold reaction in me. Rather than wanting to help, I have a desire to walk away.'
    This aversion towards, bordering on utter contempt for crying has something to do with, it's safe to assume, my childhood. I was, after all, a serial crier into my mid-teens. Then, from about 15 onwards, I started to develop a strong dislike when seeing others well up for reasons that I would have considered rather inconsequential. During that time, no doubt having to deal with me, her last born, I recall my mother crying for what seemed like the merest of reasons. It used to get my blood up. Even if I'd been told it was all largely down to the menopause, it's unlikely I would have been sympathetic to her plight. Selfish teens, eh. Dry your eyes, mate This clearly left its mark. For in my current abode, the landlady, a nice woman I hasten to add, cries on an almost-daily basis. It's not only, as has happened a fair few times, a headache when she does it speaking directly to me about some grievance or another (these grievances have nothing to do with me, by the way!). It also irks me simply when I can just hear her sobbing away in her room. I know I should probably be a little more empathetic considering she suffers from depression, it's just when the tears in others come they invoke a negative, somewhat cold reaction in me. Rather than wanting to help I have a desire to walk away. It's not that I lack understanding. In fact, I'd wager I take the time to listen to and empathise with other people's gripes as much if not more so than the next person. I just wish they'd leave the crying out of it. The British-Irish band The Pogues sang in Streams of Whiskey, 'there's nothing ever gained by a wet thing called a tear'. That's not fully true, but I wish it was.   _______________________________________________________________ Listen to Wrong Way's Colombia Cast podcast here. Facebook: Wrong Way Corrigan — The Blog & IQuiz "The Bogotá Pub Quiz".

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    • beforechrist

      Funny that, the dentist I’m currently using is called Olga Lucia as well (a different one though)! Thanks for the contact info.
      As for Bogotá, I guess you could say I have a love-hate relationship with the place. It’s here, though, that I have most of my work right now. At times I do think that perhaps I’ve had my fill of the place … Vamos a ver!

  1. jaimetorres0930

    You write extremely well, as I discovered for the first time yesterday, reading several of your past blogs. I was most struck by the one about Linda and the elusive suggestion that there is more to know than we really know. I have had similar, strange experiences. And the one about dentistry: there is an excellent dentist who speaks English, with post-graduate training at Columbia University. So far, the treatment I have gotten from her is as good as the best in the US, and I have experienced both. Problem is, it’s not cheap, so I only go there when problems get out of hand. But sometimes there is no alternative. I’m too lazy to search for her phone right now, but let me know if you need it.

    • beforechrist

      Hi Jaime. On the dentist front, I’ve managed to find one who I trust and she’s reasonably priced as well, so I’m content for now! But it’s always good to have other options/recommendations.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, much appreciated 🙂

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