It’s been a little while since we’ve heard from David, but he’s just checked in with this piece about the situation in Gaza, plus some news about appearances and the next book in the Roads to Moscow series. Thanks to David for sending this along; full text appears after the break.
Blood On The Rooftops
It’s a rainy Sunday morning in North London, and on TV they’re discussing the Gaza situation in the usual kind of ‘tolerant’ fashion we have in this country, with both sides trying desperately hard to see and acknowledge the other’s point of view. Only on topics like Gaza it’s pretty hard to keep a dispassionate, tolerant opinion. Right now, Gaza itself seems like some absurd and horrible (and inhumane) mix of concentration camp and shooting gallery. I can’t remember where it appeared, but one woman wrote in to one of the major papers to argue that if we (us Brits) had reacted in the same way that Israel has, during our “Troubles” (back in the seventies), then we’d have been bombing council estates in Belfast and having our snipers pick off anyone they fancied, man, woman or child, on the pretext that they’d been acting as human shields for the IRA.
Let’s be clear. I don’t like Netanyahu. He’s a hard-hearted man who has forgotten his own history. I think he lost the moral high ground ages ago – as did Israel itself – by treating the Palestinians the way they have and in stealing land to create more Israeli settlements. In a world where the United States wasn’t backing Israel, this wouldn’t have happened. Israel would not have dared. As it is, they are a rogue nation, breaking international law in almost everything they do.
One of the people on the TV panel this morning was trying to claim that there is no difference between being Jewish and being Zionist. I beg to differ. Zionism has a militant streak to it that is both unattractive and, well, let’s be frank, unforgiving. The Zionists I’ve heard on my TV have forgotten what the Nazis did to them. They have failed to learn from history.
Does holding this view make me anti-semitic? I’m pretty sure I’m not. It hasn’t changed, in the least, how I feel about my Jewish friends (and I have quite a few). No. It’s simply that what Netanyahu and the Zionists are doing cannot be tolerated. Not if we wish to solve the problems of the Middle East and not give the Islamic Khalifate lots of great publicity – all of which helps them (and Hamas) to recruit yet more young fanatics. No. This has all been going on far too long. In the same period we here (in the UK) have solved our Troubles and drawn the IRA – once our greatest terrorist threat – into becoming part of our democratic process.
All of this, incidentally, was spawned by watching a TV program the other evening about Genesis, one of my all-time favourites, whose track – Blood On The Rooftops – on the 1976 album, WING AND WUTHERING has given me the title for this blog. 1976! And what has changed? What improved?
Thirty eight years on and nothing has changed. It just gets worse and worse.
As Genesis sing – “Let’s skip the news boy (I’ll go and make some tea)
Arabs and the Jews boy, too much for me.”
If you think I’m wrong, let me know. That’s what this is about. Democracy and freedom of speech. An exchange of views and not an exchange of rockets.
Oh, and I ought, I guess, to say that, as a rationalist and dissenter, I’ve actually little time whatsoever for religion. I’m with Mao on that (and maybe that alone).
What have I been up to? Well, a lot of the last two weeks has been taken up with the fine editing of ROADS TO MOSCOW book two, THE OCEAN OF TIME, which I’ve now delivered. It was tough going, but I have to say I really enjoyed the process. Is it as good as book one? Oh, better. Miles better. My best ever writing, I’d claim. And such fun to write. But ahead lies the World Convention, being held here in London for the first time in some while. I’ll be hanging about the Excel Centre from Wednesday afternoon through to the following Monday. Oh, and I’ll list where and when I can be found later on in this blog, but just to say, if you’re there, come up and say hello. My dear friend Mike Cobley is coming down to stay with us here for the duration of the convention. If you’ve not read any of his work, go and search him out. He writes huge scale space opera with great characters.
One of the things I’ll be doing an hour and a half session with Brian Aldiss discussing his career and -his book jackets. But here’s the line-up.
Thursday 14th – 16.00 to 17.00 “Literary Beer” at the Bar in the ExCel.
Saturday 16th – 10.00 to 11,00 – Autographing 3 at the Autographing Space, ExCel.
Sunday 17th – 15.00 to 16.30 – “Brian Aldiss – 40 years of cover art” (London Suite 3, ExCel).
Sunday 17th – 17.30 – 18.00 – Reading (London Suite 3, ExCel).
Oh, and I’ll be blogging from the Worldcon. So keep an eye open for those. I’ve a lot of old friends scheduled to turn up – including a fair number of science fiction writers – and it’s also Sue’s birthday on the Monday (the 18th) so it’s going to be busy-busy.
I’ll call this to a close. The rain has stopped raining. Sue has gone off to do the food shopping and Genesis are still playing away in the background. And ahead, after the Convention? Well, my plan is to get Book Three finally finished (I’m still about three weeks off), ready to give to Michael Rowley at DelRey and see what he thinks of it.
And then? Well, then I plan to work on two things alongside each other – the finale to CHUNG KUO and a new thing called…? Well, of which, more later.
And next time, maybe, we can talk about the movie interest and spin-offs and…
Bye for now!
David Wingrove 10th August 2014