The cycle

It's easy to be outraged about what's happening in Gaza (Unsure? Here's a handy 1:48 animation of one point of view to help you out) but, then you see pictures of Palestinian gunmen  dragging the body of a dead, accused Israeli-collaborator behind a motorbike and your sympathy thins ...

It gets a bit confusing, you don't know who to feel sorry for, who to root for, so you head for the national news section instead and see the Bogan Overlord of Frankston threatening to cut a bitch with a boxcutter (funnily enough, the weapon of choice of the 9/11 plane hijackers) because she dared to sing in French on a bus.

Of course, as has been noted by many viewers, the really special thing about this video is that the gentleman in question is pushing a child in a pram, as a young boy (possibly related to him) stands behind him watching, uploading his invective and hatred and, perhaps, normalising it.

(You might also particularly enjoy that the grub who seems to have sparked much of the aggro is using a handsfree unit to talk on his iPhone with a ciggie tucked behind one ear - because, hell, who wants brain cancer to go with your lung cancer?)

The thing is, if we can produce people like this, in a country that's most pressing national concern is that an internet shopping website melted down overnight so we couldn't buy cheap(er) cologne and handbags, well ...

Is it any wonder, when nine people from the same family - five of them children - are reduced to berley by a rocket hitting their home, that certain anti-social attitudes form in its wake?

Dragging some dude out of his house and executing him in the street, then giving his corpse asphalt dermabrasion behind your Yamaha don't seem so out of proportion, does it?

Feeling sad, you click off the internets and instead read your book and there's a snippet in there from the author, a Mr Chomsky, who speculates that racism isn't so much in our genes ...

"What is in our genes is the need for protecting self-image. It's probably in our nature to find a way to recast anything that we do in some way that makes it possible for us to live with it," he says.

And somehow this makes some small sense of people bombing and executing each other, of threatening to cut and kill because you realise, once again, we're all operating from the same circuit board and even the journalists, the politicians and the outraged newspaper columnists would act the same, given the right (wrong?) circumstances.

If they'd grown up as the little boy watching his dad threaten to cut bitches on the bus, or saw baby cousins murdered or men mutilated in the street, they'd soon react in kind, and it's only accidents of birth and upbringing that separate us from them.

Give our mates on that bus in Melbourne a shoulder-fired rocket instead of a rock and do you have much doubt what would have happened?

Fill some some Palestinians and Israelis with booze and put them on a late-night bus in Melbourne and see how that works out.

I'm gonna read some more of my book.

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