Friday, April 26, 2019

You are what you eat

So they say. Recent events here have raised once again the radicalisation of young people. We can't  seriously be surprised at this. When a population is fed a daily diet of adversarial politics, both local and international, frequently fuelled by well-known media outlets, guess what the outcome is? In more recent years the advent of – often anonymous – social media mayhem has often made it even worse. Perhaps now is the moment to shift focus, onto the historically-authentic intertwined cultures, as with the famous shamrock/rose/thistle motif. Example below is the once-commonplace symbol in the mosaic at the entrance of the Ulster Reform Club in Belfast. The re-energising of the Red Hand as a symbol is particularly powerful and poignant - as you'll see on the left column here, from the Flickr gallery I set up a while ago, it is a shared emblem.

Some people find purpose in conflict. Even the most comfortable and pampered appear to seek it out, and even invent it where it need not exist.

Some here are undoubtedly radicalising and have been radicalised. But I know others who have been, in a sense, neutralised - with no cultural understanding whatsoever in how they understand themselves and this place. Perhaps school curriculums are also part of the problem.