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Thursday 4 November 2010

Hear No Evil...

Alison Curtis via Flickr

I happened to catch a trailer for last night's "File on Four" on Radio 4, which was apparently about young, British muslims being lured into fighting for a Jihadist group linked to Al-Qaeda in Somalia. In the end, I did not have the chance to listen to it, even though in some ways the subject piqued a certain macabre interest in me.

I've always been a bit of a current affairs buff. Force-fed a diet of Radio 4 ever since I can remember, I grew up with the Today programme starting the day, and PM at tea-time. Eventually, I even started listening to what was being said, and became hooked on the tales of political machinations of the day (the will-she-go-won't-she-go of Margaret Thatcher's final days being a particularly vivid memory). In-depth, background reporting of strange foreign lands mesmerised me.

And yet recently I find myself avoiding the news more and more. Part of this is down to the fact that I am just busier since having children, and when I settle down to watch television of an evening, I want mindless entertainment, rather than anything too taxing. However, there is also a part of me that just doesn't want to hear it any more.

Let's face it; bad news is just terribly depressing. Take international terrorism, for example - start thinking about it for too long, and you realise how hopeless the whole situation is. Whilst we in the UK had to contend with terrorism related to the conflict in Northern Ireland for a long time, with hindsight this seems small and manageable in comparison. There appeared to be a specific goal, and it was limited to a specific number of people. Compare and contrast this to the threat from Al-Qaeda and its cronies, where the threat could apparently come from anywhere in the world, and the goal is inexplicable and incoherent at best.

Don't even get me started on the apparently random acts of violence that you can read about in any local paper these days!

I sometimes look at my children and think - should I really have brought you into a world where you have to worry about what's in your ink cartridges? Where someone might just knife you on the street because you looked at them in a certain way?

So, forgive me if I don't read the papers as often as I used to. Sometimes I just think ignorance is bliss.


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