Wednesday, 29 March 2006

Tror vs. Tror

Just a short round today, as most of the evening was spent watching Arsenal's Champions League match against Juventus, as with the new job I can't just stay at home and watch the morning live broadcast till 9:00 and then leave for work and be there by 9:10.
So I had to watch it "dead" on video, and you know that when you watch a dead game you can't really tell the players what to do.
In this particular case it seems the players actually knew what to do (other than for the match's very beginning), but still - I can't predict a bright future for Arsenal. And frankly, I don't really care.

What I did want to discuss is some interesting observation from work. There were several sightings, but I'll stick to two:
1. I ask my new boss where he lives while having a chit chat over a few drinks and nibbles on Friday afternoon. This guy, who so far gave me no reason to believe he is anything but the very nice guy he seems to be (note I am not licking anything here: he doesn't read my blog), answers back with quite a serious expression on his face (and remember, Australians are not into sarcasm): "Why, are you a terrorist?"
2. Four people, me included, sit in a meeting room on the 24th floor, with Melbourne's view to our side. Suddenly I see an Australian flag going up, seemingly levitating on its own. I bend down to see what's going on and see a construction crane (one of those things they put on top of construction sites) pulling the flag up. Anyway, one of the women at the meeting asks me: "What's going on? Do you see a plane about to crash into our building?"

Both cases should probably not be taken overly seriously. However, these incidents and others that still take place show that Australians are genuinely afraid of terrorism. Maybe it's because of me and the fact that I'm the closest thing to a terrorist they'll ever come near to because I'm from Israel, but still I find the phenomenon quite puzzling given the "abundance" of terrorism in Australian soil.
In the couple of years before leaving Israel I openly admit to have been scared. I still don't see myself going on a bus while visiting Israel. But Australia, for obvious reasons, is quite different; and the fact that Australians seem to be genuinely worried of terrorism is something I can only interpret as a success story for a government that has managed to take control of its people so extensively that it manages to convince them that a threat which is quite slight when compared to stuff we all agree to live with on a regular basis - say, traffic accidents - is a major existential threat.
No wonder they can get away with so much.

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