We are in Sagaponack, NY. Nina, Leo and Mia went to see the Southampton 4th of July parade. I am sick in bed with a bad summer flu.  I stayed in bed watching a Game of Thrones marathon. I am on Season 2 Episode 4. I almost never watch TV but I do enjoy TV series.  I watch them mostly during flights off my iPad. And now because I am sick and can’t stop coughing I watch them in bed.  By now, I have probably watched over 10 hours of Game of Thrones over the last 3 days. 

Game of Thrones has a great deal of sex and people talk about that, but sex is nothing compared to the amount of violence it depicts. A violence that it is at the limit of what I can stomach, as when they kill a baby off a woman’s arm. But the story is good and I am hooked. At this point anything that makes me forget my flu is welcome. Still, I suffer as I watch the most violent scenes. When I watch these horrors, I remember the child in myself saying, this is just a movie, this is just a movie.  But then, during a break I read the news. The real news.  And I see this.  A very Game of Thrones real life story going on right now in Syria as Bashar Al Assad tries to stay on his throne and goes on a killing rampage. Reuters reports.

Video clips showed rotting corpses lying in dried pools of blood in dark hallways, their faces covered with flies. One showed a woman and her child prone in a living room. The activist narrating the video said they had been stabbed.

A third video displayed pieces of charred flesh which activists said were severed genitals.

“There was more here yesterday,” said a man wearing plastic gloves.” “But the dogs were taking them.”

So now my defenses stopped working.  I think about what is going on in Syria, a country I visited in 2003 and found it quite attractive.  Here are my pictures of that trip. I can’t imagine how those who appear in them are doing now in this horrible civil war.  Why would Bashar al Assad, a man who trained to be an ophtalmologist in London and his wife Asma al-Assad who was born and raised in the UK and has a degree in computer science go on murder rampages to stay in power?

There is still a lot of Game of Thrones around us. The middle ages are still here.

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

No Comments

ouriel ohayon on July 4, 2012  · 

probably one of your best posts martin

jose on July 4, 2012  · 

You suffer watching violent scenes? Well, just wait until episode 2×09, called “Blackwaters” 😉

I think “Game Of Thrones” depicts with high accuracy the essence of human being. That’s the great thing about this show. Most of what happens (besides fantasy) in the story is something that happened before a lot of times in the history of our (real) world, and still happens today.

Axel on July 4, 2012  · 

This is a moving post, Martin. I will never forget how, as a 9 year old, I suddenly saw on the evening news the images of a man on the ground brandishing his arm stump after having lost his hand.

Konrad Korenz wrote the book “on Aggression” with these 2 statements:

“All the advantages that man has gained from his ever-deepening understanding of the natural world that surrounds him, his technological, chemical and medical progress, all of which should seem to alleviate human suffering… tends instead to favor humanity’s destruction”

“The competition between human beings destroys with cold and diabolic brutality… Under the pressure of this competitive fury we have not only forgotten what is useful to humanity as a whole, but even that which is good and advantageous to the individual. […] One asks, which is more damaging to modern humanity: the thirst for money or consuming haste… in either case, fear plays a very important role: the fear of being overtaken by one’s competitors, the fear of becoming poor, the fear of making wrong decisions…

And in another book the March of Folly Barbara Tuchman describes how even smart elites consistently do wrong and dumb things because one decision leads to the other. that’s what makes even more or less democratic or even just rational governments with powerful weapons dangerous when one thing leads to another like in the Cuba crisis.

Sorry for the long comment, I’m just moved by your post.

Axel on July 4, 2012  · 

The news I watched as a kid was the Lebanon war.

barbaramandl on July 4, 2012  · 

thank you, after a day of hard work , and caught up in trivial matter of work life, for making me think and stand still. However, this is not the first time you have achieved this with me.

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