Après Vuillard -- encore
Oil on Board, 40 x 22cm (14 x 8 3/4in)
P.S. I've just been dining with my wife, at home on a rainy evening, and she has just looked at my blog. 'You stuck that there without saying anything about it? Just like that?' -- I count her an expert on blog etiquette, but I tried over the second glass of Côte de Bourg to defend myself. 'I painted that some years back,' I said, 'and really I had nothing to say about it. And besides, I"d talked about Vuillard in my last.' 'It's egotistical, and impolite; you'll lose all your few followers. If you don't want to say anything about the painting (which I've alwasys loved; and I want to put it in the guest room) change the subject,' she drove on, quite fired up. ' Talk about other things -- anything; you're supposed to be a writer.' 'Well, but I've been painting walls and fixing things and getting the garden in shape, summer is a busy time. And besides I've been proccupied with what's going on in the wider world.' 'Ah,' she said with something approaching a snort, 'your fixation on Islam! Well, don't talk about that.'
And yet, why not?
This 'Freedom Flotilla' incident has had me fuming -- fuming at the skewed reporting in British newspapers and the BBC; interviews with the aid activists under captions like: 'We were unarmed,' etc. In the Washington Post I found the full Israeli account (04/06/2010). According to this, four hours were spent trying to persuade the ship to turn from Gaza, met by shouts of 'Go back to Auschwitz!' The Israelis did not expect an attack from humanitarian aid activists, but rather to see them chaining themselves to protect the engine room. They were set upon by 30-40 men. Seven soldiers were wounded, two critically, with gunshot wounds; 3 were captured and their pistols taken. Two escaped by jumping into the sea. Found on the ship were 100 metal rods, 200 knives, 50 wooden clubs, 150 military vests, steel and concrete building supplies. Many of the attackers had 10,000€ on them, raising a suspicion of their being mercenaries.
Is this version credible? -- I think it is. Question: If the Israeli soldiers were the ones bent on attacking, how is it their take-overs of the other ships in the Flotilla went peacefully?
In truth, like a lot of others, I've been proccupied for a long time by the Islamist threat to our way of life in the West. (How much painting could we do, with an Imam watching over us?) And my reading reflects my worry. Try, for starters, Melanie Phillips's Londonistan and The World Turned Upside Down, and maybe Irshad Manji's The Trouble with Islam -- if you haven't read them.
But enough of this. I'll get off my hobby horse. A copy of Oriana Fallaci's The Rage and the Pride arrived today from Amazon and I want to go to bed and start it.