Friday, 29 December 2006

Fortress Embassies of our times

Mum´s home school
My mum who for many years was a school principal sometimes forgot that she had left her school and she was now at home with her own kids.
There were times when we had to be so dressed up and buttoned up because as children of a school principal we had to be examples the kind of comportment expected of school children, I probably suffered to more from this control-freakery till one day that I had an outburst that we are her children not pupils of her school.
The funny thing is that it cuts both ways, we became her fashion police and there was a time we refused to let her go out dressed as she was because it would reflect badly on us the children – sometimes, I wonder if parents can handle any of the medicine they dish their children, but she gracefully heeded our concerns.
Gladly, I was never a student in any of her schools, it would have been hellish with every teacher trying to make an example of one and probably getting accolades for inflicting actual bodily harm on the premise of keeping us on the straight and narrow.
It informed the reason why I blatantly refused to attended sixth form school because it would have been in an area where my mum was quite well known – one has to be smart about these things.
My lot of gallivanting
Anyway, the reason why I brought this up pertains to a number of words my mother used to describe what I do, most especially; she reckoned I was always gallivanting, that word had two connotations, that I was a ladies´ man, well, I did have a coterie of fans and that I roam or move around for pleasure.
I suppose we can conclude that I do roam and move about for pleasure, as for the first, well, sometimes mum knows best, no further comment.
So, I have been gallivanting and ended up in Belgium, England, Germany and the Canary Islands, there is no telling where I would be next.
Democracy armed to the teeth
What caught my interest in Brussels was when I took a taxi ride from our Belgium office to the train station and noted a building with a tank, lots of soldiers armed to the teeth, quite reminiscent of a Russian Embassy of old – it was the American Embassy.
I surmised to the cab driver, that it was strange what our world had become with this war on terror or what has become the terror of our democracies in the quest for some safety from those amongst us.
Not a few days after, I was on another gallivant, in Berlin, this time and saw another spectacle of soldiers, tank, guns and an imposing building in the embassy area, I was wrong to think it was American, this time it was British.
It now appears that running the gauntlet of embassy access in foreign lands of countries that so profess liberty and freedom might be a worse event than being caught in the warm embrace of a Tora Bora event – so much for how far we have gone beyond what the terrorists first intended.
Concern
We have not completed the first decade of the 21st Century and all that was gained in the last 50 years of the 20th Century has probably been squandered on the quest to spread alien liberal democratic and capitalist values to hostile lands – I do wonder for the promise of 2007.

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