Thanks to stress, a three-year stint in Jerusalem, Tim Palmer has seen his blood pressure climb 20 point. And he’s gone from non-smoker to 30 a day. “During intifada my wife and I had this fantastic flat in Beirut but none of our friends from Australia came to visit us. Nobody.”
Can’t imagine why.
UPDATE. Mr Creosote comments:
Hey, go easy on poor Mr Palmer. Think of how rough it’s been for him.
Imagine spending years working in a job where the place is governed by warlords and the only daily certainty is the unfathomable, byzantine struggle between factions and ever-shifting alliances. Ancient hatreds flow beneath you like a subterranean river. Hatreds so old, no one can remember what started it all. The place is awash with rumours, lies, revenge, envy, lust, deceit. Everyone is on the make and desperate to leave.
The government is hopeless, essential services are breaking down and every driver on the roads is trying to kill you.
The Jews control everything. A dastardly foreign power is thought by many to really control the country, deposing obstreperous Prime Ministers at will.
The locals continually treat you with mistrust. Some outright hate you. You spend all your time in the company of those that fawn over your ever word.
Vast holes scar the city centre where buildings once stood. Ethnic minorities have formed enclaves, and armed gangs roam the streets, looting and raping at will. The police are lazy, corrupt and never to be seen. Aircraft are heard overhead at all hours of the day and night.
Then one day, his boss calls him in and tells him he is being transferred from Sydney to Beirut. That must have been terribly traumatic and stressful.
Rammed out of the Japanese Grand Prix by German rookie Sebastian Vettel, Australian Mark Webber tells an audience of millions:
It’s just kids with no experience, they fuck everything up really.
Webber was in second place at the time, and a chance to win. Eventual victor Lewis Hamilton now has a 12-point title lead with just two races remaining.
John Pilger addresses Socialism 2007, an oxymoron held in Chicago. His audience behave like children at a pantomime, shrieking with glee when goodness is invoked and cackling in derision at mentions of badness.
Eventually even Pilger becomes embarrassed. Watch the first few minutes (you can’t miss the rapturous reaction to Pilger’s cop-fleeing tale) then zoom forward to the 8 min. 30 sec. mark.