Music: "Killing Time" and "Fireworks" by the Tragically Hip (Damn they're good!)
Mood: Tired. You'd be too if you'd just wrapped up a work week of forty-five hours truck driving plus five hours of blogging.
I'm elated, though. I'm cautiously optimistic that another writing contract loometh. Oh sweet and happy day. I think if I get twenty-five hours per week for six months out of the deal, I'll pull the trucking plug hard enough to yank the socket out of the wall.
Lately, I've been considering things to do in my spare time. However, I realized a little while ago that I have, in fact, no spare time. It's all I can do to fit in sleep and the odd beer.
Let's see: Terrorism. The Brits have nabbed the four suspects they were seeking in the second wave of bombings. The Economist this week featured some interesting observations on what drives home-grown terrorism.
One of the more interesting thing is that young and disaffected Muslims often follow a pattern of falling out of their religion, only to return to it with a vengeance--to the extent that they will leave moderate mosques in order to hold living-room prayers with imams like the disgraceful Abu-Hamza Al-Mazri. Interestingly enough, I see a number of common traits between these radicals and the radical brand of, shall we call it "Christianism" in certain segments out West.
In the army we used to refer to people who "found Jesus in the glove compartment". Without exception they were converts to radical Christian philosophies. Most of them were raised in a moderate church, and left it when they discovered the Holy Trinity of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll.
But after a few years of ₤µ€λing up their lives, they "found Jesus in the glove compartment" and underwent their conversions to radicalism, which included--and this is vitally important--that no-one else should ever be allowed, by custom or law, to ₤µ€λ up their own lives.
But as their religions were formed in this part of the world, they don't tend to bomb people. Instead they exert political pressure with their votes. Of course, this usually means they're just ₤µ€λing up other people's lives. But it's hard to disagree with democracy, providing it's not too subverted by the political process. Sometimes this results in people getting bombed anyway.
But there is hope. The young radicals are a minority within a minority. If the great majority vocally and repeatedly denounce those who preach hatred and murder, many of the radicals may not even get started.
I close with a quote from someone who posted this to Doonesbury's "Blowback" section. The poster purports to be a US Marine Corps Sergeant, recently returned from Iraq, and believes that "Muslims really worship the Devil":
"You can blame Bush for everything, but that does not make this his fault. He (I believe) is in place by God's hand. That is because God is not ready yet to let the power of the Devil's army (Al Qaeda) go on the rampage. But that that will happen.
If this person is who he claims to be, just imagine the suffering that could have been eased had his peers and comrades in faith showed him how wrong he is.
I hesitate to paraphrase Alistair Crowley*, but it's so appropriate:
"Lord, defend me from your followers".
*From the flavour of the Wikipedia bio, please assume that the person writing it thought that Crowley walked on water. Ahem.