Three days ago, I saw the film ‘The Book Thief’. I had
read the book of the same name some time ago and was enthralled by it. The film neither entirely, nor accurately, follows the book, but I will not hold that against the film-makers as the book is very long and any film that included
every written detail would have lasted a day instead of an hour and a half. Corners had to be cut, with (I think) an excellent result.
However, as the story is based on happenings in
Germany during the Second World War, once more my mind wanders into the territory of ‘how did people let that happen?’ I mean – six million Jews murdered in the most appalling way. And, for
what? Because a man called Hitler and his Nazi henchmen decided that Jewish people had no entitlement to live? Or what? How did people let that happen? That was 70 years ago.
People (that’s us) are letting similar atrocities happen right now. I cannot bear to watch news reports of all the killing and maiming that is going on in other parts of our world today. There are reports of 100,000 people – people of flesh and blood; people of all ages, with feelings of pain and hunger - and love for others - and fear (especially fear) have been killed in Syria during this latest conflict. About 10,000 of them children, as the reports suggest.
And other people in other places - other countries - are being tortured and killed, for incomprehensible reasons . What makes these pathetic so-called leaders - the abhorrent despots/tyrants/monsters - decide who is to live and who is to die?
What makes man turn against man? Brother against brother?
It is all too much for me to cope with. There is nothing I can do. Nothing.
I (selfishly) thank fate – or whatever – that I live in a country that has (almost) honest ways of displaying democracy. But that’s all I can do.
A couple of weeks ago, I bought a ‘noodle’ to use in the swimming pool. (A ‘noodle’ is a buoyant plastic tube). I have discovered, during this hot spell in the middle of our summer, that I can loop the ‘noodle’ around my back, fold the ends in front of me and gently float in the pool. And, as I
float and feel the warmth of the sun on my head and face, I empty my mind of all worries and stop trying to fathom the reasons why there are people in the world who cause death and destruction simply because of some shit ideology.
My $3 noodle keeps me sane and helps keep at bay any thoughts of all the evil that might – or might not – be happening elsewhere.
But next week I plan to see the film, “The Railway Man”.
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.