by Mary W Maxwell
There was a boy soprano with an incredibly beautiful voice who, many years ago, sang in the choir of St Paul’s, London: Robert Eaton. For some reason he was inside the World Trade center New York on that fatal day. The video alternates inspiring photos of St Paul’s Cathedral with pictures of the burning Twin Towers. “Ye now are sorrowful” is from Brahms’ Requiem (which he wrote for his mother).
The conductor of the choir, Barry Rose, recorded the music in 1977.
It is my guess that this video is meant to honor the singer who died, and I, of course, approve of that. In general, however, I rail against our leaders using the occasion of “terrorist attacks” as a way of bringing people together.
I wish the community would indeed get together much more than we do nowadays. But it’s shocking that this should be mixed up with, and rolled into, the trickery of government.
We have seen John Howard attending the funerals of persons who died in the Bali bombings but surely Australian personnel – I don’t know their names – were part of the planning of that bombing. (A former Indonesian prime minister has said that Indonesian officials participated.)
In the US, in 1995, President Clinton made a big deal of giving sympathy to families who lost their kids, including infants, in the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. That bombing was carried out – as far as I can reasonably discern – by the FBI. I recall Clinton reading a poem that he himself had supposedly written for the funeral. Awful.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott laid a bouquet of flowers at Martin Place; the Queen laid flowers in Dunblane, Scotland.
I must say again, it is a good thing for people to experience bonding with the tribe, whether in good times or bad. But a leader mustn’t be seen to be bowing to evildoers. And isn’t a terrorist murder the same as a plain old murder on the street?
I have a friend in France who described the Balaclan stadium violence as “a patriotism enhancer.” Probably that was the deal.
The Murdoch press never misses a chance to say we have been changed forever by these attacks (yes, even the Lindt café siege provoked the statement that Australia was “changed forever”).
No. Please, no. That statement only enhances the idea that we are victims. Of course we’re not victims.
For some reason the opposite slogan has been used in Boston: Bostonians are “stronger” for having endured the Marathon bombing. (Whatever the hell that is supposed to mean!)
I think Bostonians have been rendered very weak by the dishonesty of it all. I go further: I think they have sold their inheritance down the river. Can’t they find a handhold somewhere?
The 20th Anniversary of the Port Arthur You-Know-What
On April 28, 2016 there was a ceremony at the Port Arthur Historic Site. The literature announcing it said that anyone who was touched by the 1996 event is welcome to attend.
And who in Australia was not touched by it? Even the whole generation born after it has been touched in many ways by this absolute outrage – “Australia’s 9-11.”
The ceremony was held on the grounds at Port Arthur, with live video-feed into St David’s Church in Hobart, for those unable to make the 90-minute trip to the Peninsula. It consisted of prayers and music. One assumes it was emotional and that the preacher talked about sadness.
We have heard on the grapevine that the prisoner, Martin Bryant, is under a great risk of being killed soon. The preacher should talk about the sadness of all that. By God, it is pretty sad.
Must We Be Sorrowful Indefinitely?
I wish they had had a boy soprano at the Port Arthur memorial ceremony singing the relevant piece, a là Robert Eaton: (“Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit” in Brahms’ Requiem). It isn’t all gloom and doom. It starts with “Ye now are sorrowful,” but seriously Folks, there’s some therapeutic anger at the end, and a bunch of joyfulness.
“Ye now are sorrowful, howbeit ye shall again behold me,
And your heart shall be joyful, and your joy no man taketh from you.
Yea, I will comfort you, as one whom his own mother comforteth.
Look upon me; ye know that for a little time labour and sorrow were mine,
But at the last I have found comfort.”
That penultimate phrase is from Isaiah 66:13 — which goes on to say:
“And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the Lord shall be known toward His servants, and His indignation toward his enemies.
For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with His chariots like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire.”
Yay! Go for it, God! Get ’em!
— Mary W Maxwell is certain we are going to lick this thing (the Port Arthur/Martin Bryant thing)