I hadn’t planned to write anything about what happened (and in fact is still happening for the families) in Beslan. I’m still not sure that my mediocre grasp of prose can do justice to the thoughts that are in my head. Having said that, there are a couple of thoughts that I have to attempt get out of my head and into writing.
Firstly: Leave the children out of it you sick bastards. I had thought that if there was one, single tenet that transcended any and all boundaries – be they political, religious or scientific – it would be that children are sacred. The utter abhorrence of any sane person to reports of kids being blown up and shot leads me to wonder thus…
Secondly: how seriously, totally buggered up must the situation have to become for people to have to consider taking hostages at a school? Over the course of a sunny, quiet weekend in this little backwater that is New Zealand, I have tried to imagine how even the most militant person could be led to make such a decision. I’m a generally passive person, but can still manage to imagine getting to the stage of violent protest or (god forbid) guerilla tactics if my country was being oppressed, and local children were being killed and maimed by landmines. But if in the midst of that defiance someone were to say “hey, let’s take hostages at a school”, I’d be the first person to tell them to pull their head in.
So I’m left realising that my mind has boundaries; that due to my personality and upbringing, I am unable to fathom the darkest recesses of either oppression or insanity. And I’m ashamed to say that this makes me slightly relieved.