Before i Forget : Simon Jones's blog

January 2005


PhotographySunday, January 30th, 2005, (6:52 pm)

I went and watched the sunset at the beach tonight. I missed the tide again.

PoliticalFriday, January 28th, 2005, (11:16 pm)

P Diddy launched an oddly phrased campaign to ‘mobilize’ the young voters in last years American election. It had the tag-line ‘Vote or Die’. This phrase may have sounded cool to the target audience, however I didn’t really get it. To me it sounded more like a threat, which is kind of ironic in a way when you consider that this Sunday the people of Iraq are voting under threat for the first time in western style democratic elections, the first elections of their kind in the region.

Occupying forces have stepped up security today in order to try and ward off attacks from groups who see themselves as Iraqi freedom fighters, or in new militarily correct language, ‘insurgents’ who want to try and cause havoc and mayhem on voting day. But with death threats against those who vote and their family the turnout is expected to be low despite some news reports that some thirteen million Iraqi’s have registered to vote.

Apparently to deter people from voting twice, poll workers will stamp hands with indelible ink, something that has been acknowledged as a risk to voters if anti-election ‘insurgents’ want to punish them. Election officials will of course themselves become targets in much the same way that any of the very few named candidates have been. In Baghdad last week election workers were dragged from their car and three executed on a downtown street. Unable to find enough security for election day, U.N. monitoring will largely be conducted from the safe distance of neighboring Jordan, a long way from the threats that face those who might be brave enough to embrace this vote that seems a long way from the idea of ‘by the people for the people’, a cornerstone of democracy.

You can be sure that no matter how small the turnout, how much violence there is, or what the outcome is, the occupying military forces will claim it had been a great success. They say things like “It’s the infant steps of a new democracy.” And “it’s early days for a new Iraq.”

I shall be see and read the coverage on the BBC, but for perspective I shall also look at Aljazeera.net’s English version website, as that often gives the news from occupied Iraq in a quite different light, a network whose name seems to trigger a relationship to terrorism in the minds of those who don’t understand that Aljazeera is merely the CNN of the MidEast. I shall also read blogs (Xanga like websites) by Iraqi’s who are brave enough to write Blogs in these turbulent times.

P Diddy tried to awaken the sleeping voters in the ‘land of the free’, where hanging chads and who won what once made the leaders of the free world look like asses. In Iraq this week, a hanging chad will be the least of the voters concerns as they exit the polls with their hands clearly marked in ink for anyone to see. And while it’s easy for you and I to sit back and rattle of the same old lines of “freedom comes at a cost” we should ask ourselves the question of whether or not it’s a price we would be willing to pay.

Aljazeera.net – Arabic New Network in English
BLOG : Burning Bagdad (the blog of a girl from Bagdad)
BLOG : Free Iraq (a far more outspoken blog against the occupation)
USA today story
Iraqi Insurgents Take a Page From the Afghan ‘Freedom Fighters’
al qaeda  – Made in the USA (Not really related as such)

GeneralFriday, January 28th, 2005, (1:39 am)

I’ve been going to my beach a lot since my Granddad died. More than perhaps I would normally in this cold month of January. Each time the tide has been out, leaving behind a vast sandy plain stretching to the edge of Wales, with scattered rocks and pools of water, where tiny sea creatures are marooned and can only wait for the waves to come back to shore.

I know I keep missing the tide, like old friends missing one another in familiar places. Our schedules are different that’s all. I know the waves are out there and it’s business as usual for the sea. But I want to see my old friend again, and sooner rather than later.

GeneralFriday, January 28th, 2005, (12:29 am)

What do you think has become of the young and old men?
What do you think has become of the women and children?

They are alive and well somewhere;
The smallest sprouts show there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait at the end to arrest it,
And ceased the moment life appeared.

All goes onward and outward. . . .and nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier.

Walt Whitman

Found on the webThursday, January 27th, 2005, (3:59 pm)

have you ever taken a picture of yourself in a reflective surface? If so then maybe you’ve got yourself an entry to a funny (not so) little website called ‘The Mirror Project’.

The site displays thousands of pictures of peoples reflections. Some are simple shots in a mirror on a wall, others are a little more imaginative. I found the site at the beginning of last year and have already submitted a bunch of semi-arsty pictures to the project. In fact the reflections idea was the inspiration behind the cover of my 2005 photography calendar. It’s a cool site, go check it out (link below).

The two pictures above were in order, New York City outside of Grand Central, and somewhere on the London Underground (my Dad knew where the station without was even seeing a sign!).

The Mirror Project (Site now moved to Flickr)

Found on the webWednesday, January 26th, 2005, (11:30 pm)

I heard a tune today, not really good enough to earn the title of ‘song’, but then I don’t think it was really meant for great success. However it is enjoying a great deal of success online as people, particularly those familiar with the joys of the London Underground (known as ‘The Tube’), pass it on to others. This then is me doing the same.

Now, before you go clicking on that link below I must forewarn you of a somewhat excessive use of the kind of language that good God fearing, clean living, Christian folk might find offensive. So if you are someone who would find that offensive, or if you are a flag waving ‘God Bless Bush’ Republican with a Bush & Cheney 04′ Bumper sticker, the DO NOT CLICK THAT LINK! However if you are someone of a slightly more broad minded outlook, then you might find this funny.

[audio:http://filthylittleangel.com/FLATpack4/14LondonUnderground.mp3]

To accompany the brief tune I dug out a couple of pictures I took in London back in August last year.

London Underground song
Official London Underground website

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