Wednesday, 4 January 2006

Keep calm - it's a commercial

Front page of an Emirates newspaper. It is aimed at English readers and we do not know how much, if at all, it mirrors the Arabic versions published in the area. I was struck by just how it differs from the papers we will have seen in UK today. A calm community. Not racked with political schism. No pudenda-revealing photographs of some thong-offender. Just the thing to fall asleep with over one’s face after a nice tiffin and a gin and tonic or two.
During the times we lived in the more remote areas of the world – well, remote in those days anyway – we used to get UK papers weekly. They looked something like the daily issues bound up together as a magazine. One could read them with a complete sense of security. Something like the Archers. Each daily issue would fulminate on how nigh was the end of the world or civilisation as we knew it. Drama. Discord. Deadly danger.
And yet. The very next day the same papers appeared. All was well. The end of the earth had passed us by. Very comforting.

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