View Full Version : I believe you now; I saw it on TV.

1st Apr 2004, 17:54
I made a really big beginner's mistake once when asked for the first time, 'So what is Lagos really like?' (This was from one of my sisters, a dripping wet, flaming liberal.)

So I started in describing Lagos circa 1982, dead bodies littering the streets, beggars everywhere, crime rampant, etc, etc.

My sister quickly developed this facial expression that suggested a very bad smell was wafting through the area, one that was coming from me. When I asked her why she had that funny look on her face she answered, 'I didn't know you hated black people!'

'No dear, I don't hate black people. I am just trying to tell you what Lagos is like.'

'It can't be! It can't be!'

'Why can't it be the way I am describing it?'

'It just can't be!'

That kind of pissed me off, but never mind.

After that I learned to tell people that Lagos was real hot. But then it would start to rain or the sun would go down, when it wouldn't be quite so hot. Then the rain would stop or the sun would rise and it would get real hot again, until the sun set or it started raining again.

'And the people?'

'Well, most of them are black, you know...'

'Oh yes, of course.'

But I hit the roof, in my quiet sort of way, when I got several letters from the States, from family members who had caught a '60 Minutes' program that told them, basically, what I had told them face-to-face some time before, about the crime and the dead bodies and all that sort of stuff that seemed so important to me at the time. So now they believed me.

If Mike Wallace told the American viewing public that the Moon was made of green cheese they would just nod their heads wisely and realise that not all old wive's tales are false, I suppose.

So we get to see some dead guys being dragged around like some pedestrian version of that Afghan game they play with a goat if they cannot catch a child, and we yet again realise that Iraq/The Third World is a Horrible Place. This is News!

(Actually, here in Germany all I got to see was a burning Toyota Land Cruiser with assorted indigenes pelting it with stones. Modern Germans are such delicate creatures that their feelings had to be spared the sight of yet more dead people, presumably. They still get to see farm wagons labelled 'Mengele,' however.

Being so hard of hearing I assumed at first that it was just a group of locals who had been put on hold trying to get Tokyo on the line about a warranty claim. Well, that's okay, I get to see enough dead guys in living 3D with smello-vision at my normal abode; I can pass on a few more on the TV here.)

Your red-tops will work this one for all it's worth until they get bored enough with it to show some minor Royal opening a Kindergarten or presenting a wreath of sausages to the lion at the new Municipal Zoo or whatever, when public opinion will swerve like a flock of starlings to realise that Life is Good. Until the next horrible occurence, of course. Stand by for more News, after a short break to ratchet the level of tension down a bit.

In fact, there was very nearly a really huge crash here, when a tractor came down a steep slope at a vineyard to be hit by a high-speed train that was then hit by another high-speed train. But 'almost' doesn't count, just like all those safe landings by jumbo jets with 350 passengers on board that could have resulted in flaming death for all involved. Here only the tractor driver was badly hurt. Good thing I told you guys over in the UK about this or you wouldn't have known, eh?

2nd Apr 2004, 15:41
Well, at least they asked the question. That's the first step.

2nd Apr 2004, 16:27

Couldnt agree more, I too have had that disbelieving look and comments that suggest Ive said something 'un-PC' when answering questions about what its like somewhere.... Im with you 100%.


2nd Apr 2004, 16:54
Except of course, that the ICE incident at Efringen-Kirchen was an absolute non-event! I can't imagine CNN fitting anymore [email protected] into 24 hours than they already do..?


2nd Apr 2004, 21:29

I presume that was a deliberate sarcastic comment?

I would hate to think it was a considered view

3rd Apr 2004, 09:47
Who knows, really? But I have found the most intolerant, narrow-minded people to be those who are on the side of Truth, Justice and the American Way (the very things Superman believed in) or whatever local variant rules their minds. It's like getting that shiny blunderbuss for your birthday when next a zeppelin does a low fly-past....

That same sister once tried to persuade me that the term du jour was 'gay people'.

'What,' I exclaimed, 'you mean "faggots"!?'

'No, no, they are "gay people"!'


'No, no!'



On down the list I went, when never came to her mind the idea that I was winding her up just a tiny bit.

Actually, I think those selfsame 'gay people' now insist on being called 'queers'. Well, some of them, anyway. And some 'blacks' have gone back to being 'negroes'. Go figure....

So my poor old dried-up compassion glands, when I feel the chilly hand of the News! providers groping around, trying to give them a little squeeze, well, there I go again, just lashing out in all directions.

Perhaps we need some sort of legislation that for every flaming disaster, bomb-carrying misguided yoof or what not, that the headlines provided by the News! people have to report in proportion on non-events: 'Jumbo jet with 350 makes routine landing at Heathrow with emergency services staring into microwave oven at a Chicken Vindaloo, asking, "Is it safe?"'

3rd Apr 2004, 13:34

My point is this.

Two express trains were approaching the scene, the first struck the tractor and then became derailed, almost immediately being struck by the express travelling in the opposite direction.

This is very similar to the derailment and subsequent major collision between an express and a freight train that happened at Great Heck in North Yorkshire about two years ago after the express struck a vehicle that had run onto the track in front of it.

Bearing in mind the fact that in the latest German case only the luck of God prevented the first express diverting towards the oncoming express and coming into full headlong collision it hardly seems like an "absolute non-event".

I suppose the aviation equivalent would be two aircraft in similar circumstances....I doubt many on here would class that as anything but major.

In this case the media has under-reported.

It is an unfortunate fact that most weeks there are a number of 'near misses' with both cars and farm vehicles on railway level crossings.

Occasionally they become accidents.

We in the Railway Industry await with trepidation the inevitable repeat of Great Heck but this time at a level crossing and involving two fast running passenger trains.

It is only a matter of time, given the stupidity of a number of car/lorry/bus drivers and farmers who ignore safety rules and common sense (i.e there is a train approaching ..so maybe I should stop!..)at level crossings. Generally the media under-report and never stress the seriousness of the situation.

4th Apr 2004, 21:24
This point ("seen on TV) could justify pages and pages.....

A few facts ( shortly) after I noticed on the first post on this thread some surprise that German TV didn't show all horrible pictures they could about the assassination of four civilians by terrorists in Falluja.

First of all : Tv screens are watched by a number of people, including children and babies. Do you think it's necessary to put these innocent young ones in front of this world atrocities, or is it enough to relate it verbally?

Then, if you remember the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and the fact that hundreds of coalition soldiers were killed or wounded, you could hardly ever see ONE of this military personnel bleeding on any TV.
Have you got any idea why that blood was not to be exposed on screens?

Media definition is: Radio tells the facts, TV shows it, and Newspapers explain........

Not allways true, but something is sure: you get more informations on a half page than on a whole TV News Show.

My personnal opinion : if you don't want being mistaken too often, you have to read newspapers and confront informations from several sources, and overall NEVER react immediately after having seen something on TV!

Send Clowns
4th Apr 2004, 23:20
Agree Grandpa. The BBC shows a lot of left-wing garbage. Read the newspaper the next day and you get the real story ;)

4th Apr 2004, 23:25
String 'em all up, that's what I say.