Last night I was reading a book in bed. When I came across this passage, I stopped in amazement. Something sounded shockingly familiar,
Nothing was as it had been. Martin Place, where once she had happily browsed the fine designer shops, now appeared to her as empty and strange as the ruins of an ancient city that somewhere, sometime long ago, stopped making sense. For a moment she stood surrounded by colourful bunting and beautiful images that communicated nothing. Dolce & Gabbana. Louis Vuitton. What did any of it mean? On vertical banners pushing a designer label, models, no more than kids, were reproduced with their strange unfocused gaze, as if they had witnessed a massacre or horror they still could not comprehend.
p 169. The Unknown Terrorist. Richard Flanagan, 2005.
Although written some years ago, this novel is a timely reminder of the complicit and nasty role that politics and the fear mongering media often play in society, especially after events such as the recent Sydney siege at the Lindt Cafe in Martin Place by a lone lunatic and the tragic outcome for two innocent victims.
I recommend this novel, and as we are saddened by the loss of Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson, we might also strongly express our opposition to any sensationalist media coverage which, like piranha, feeds off these events.
Footnote. from letters to the editor, Sydney Morning Herald. Dec 18,2014.
It ill behoves our Prime Minister, the head of our political decision-making process, to lead the charge of divisive recrimination against the administrative decision-makers, police and judicial officers who have determined matters relating to Man Haron Monis (“Abbott’s open question: how was the gunman ‘at large’ in the community?”, December 17). To second-guess decisions relating to issues as complex as refugee status, surveillance and bail knowing little more about those decisions than that something went horribly wrong at some later time is to succumb to the seductive lure of hindsight reasoning, the most insidious threat to logic and the calm analysis of evidence. This is a time for our leaders to encourage healing and cohesion, not blame.
Justice Lucy McCallum Sydney