May. 28th, 2017

mtbc: maze A (black-white)
I waited a while before commenting on the bombing )

9/11 may be the attack that made the most emotional impact on me in that it is one of the very few events for which I vividly recall my circumstances when I heard the news, also events later that day. I was a little confused by political pronouncements afterward: especially President Bush's they hate our freedoms speech which, though not wrong, seemed to miss much of the point: bin Ladin himself had explained in quite different terms the concrete grievances. I subsequently learned more about terrorism )

This recent bombing, and [personal profile] emperor's recent mention of having watched Calvary (2014), reminded me of the line near the end of the movie, … all those years, did you cry then?. Though it requires some spoiler context for its full impact, it remains an excellent question that reminds me that I should at least pay proper attention even if I do not cry, and I believe that includes understanding why the bombing happened.

We now have some helpful information: it is reported that the bomber's sister speculates that he he saw the explosives America drops on children in Syria, and he wanted revenge though a family friend says how he grew increasingly angry about what he considered ill-treatment of Muslims in Britain. Daesh have themselves given the usual mix of motivation: Western acts against Muslims and their lands abroad together with domestic liberalism. Clearly the sister's words point to the former category but Daesh's talk of the Crusaders and the shameless concert arena suggests some of each. A suicide bomber has considerable choice of target: it would have been no harder to bomb a group of adult professionals but Daesh's shameless may point to one cause being our failure to impose their Medieval conservatism upon our young women.

Just as I was after 9/11, I have been somewhat bewildered by mainstream politics' response to the tragedy. Bill Maher's comment on Politically Incorrect (1993) that the 9/11 attackers were not cowardly appears to be what got his show canceled. After the Manchester bombing politicians have again lined up to call the attacker a coward, but I doubt that they obviously were ) I do wonder if this portrait of the bomber as a coward is some kind of psychological offense to dissuade imitators. I do not think that it explains targeting the concert.

The political surprises continue. For example, we have Jeremy Corbyn suggesting that foreign policy may be a cause of domestic terrorism, only to face a backlash of criticism and I agree with none of it. First, it is woolly thinking indeed to confuse explain with justify: in what now appears to be called the blowback theory, which many experts deem to have some credibility, our foreign policy may indeed be a relevant factor, but this does not make the bomber any less culpable or wrong )

Additionally, Jeremy Corbyn is being criticized for voicing a version of the blowback theory when the bombing occurred so recently. But, the bombing is of high national significance and government policy both foreign and domestic may have a material impact on such events. Surely, before a general election to determine the shape of our new government is exactly when we should be examining why the attack occurred? if that is exploiting the attack then so be it )
mtbc: photograph of me (Default)
This morning I took things easier on the cross-trainer: it took all my willpower to get through even that gentler workout. I have been tired all day. I have noticed the occasional day like that: I go to bed at a reasonable time and sleep for many hours, yet do not then spring out of bed, and I continue to feel lethargic. Perhaps it is all yesterday's activity catching up with me, or maybe my unconsciousness made me ignorant of that I slept poorly.

My slower workout wasn't due to our recent heat. After all, on Friday I worked out later on a day whose high was 78½°F and I managed nearly 23½ of the machine's calories per minute; this morning I didn't do much over 22½. Still, in a closed stuffy garage the heat isn't fun after a while; I had thought the winter cold was bad enough with my fingers not warming up quickly as I do the pushing and pulling on the handles.

I had increased the frequency of my workouts, returning to doing them most days, in the hope that over time I might reach the round number of 25 calories per minute, or at least satisfying my curiosity of if I would. I am averaging around 23 but not seeing much sign of significant progress beyond that. If I am not near 24 when [personal profile] mst3kmoxie's mother visits in July then I plan to accept that it is not happening and try the alternative experiment of dropping down to three longer workouts per week to see if I still exceed 22½ each time. If exercising more does not increase my power output then exercising less may also have little effect.

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Mark T. B. Carroll

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