Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Saturday, 4 October 2014
Sympathy for Goliath
It is very heartening that I seem to receive more comments wishing me well when I mention some illness or anxiety, and I am very grateful for all of those. It shows that we do really seem to care about each other, whether or not we have actually met, and the interweb is awash with empathy. You are the sort of people I like to hang around with.
I have never found the sight of someone falling over in the street at all amusing - schadenfreude does not make me feel any better about myself, and slapstick does not make me laugh. If anyone gets physically hurt, then all I feel is instant empathy. Why do people want to watch all those videos on You Tube which have titles like, "This is going to hurt!" or "Wing-Suit failure ends up with broken leg!"?
I may display a lot of negative tendencies, but psychopathy isn't one of them. Whilst sitting in Paddington Station waiting for the train home, I watched the last few seconds of Saddam Hussein's life on a giant screen, when a bunch of blokes in trainers and baseball caps slung an inappropriately thick and coarse, hemp rope around his neck as he spent his last words on haranguing an opponent, calling him a 'coward'.
Say what you like about Saddam Hussein, he was brave to the end and never missed an opportunity to get his point across. I felt a strong wave of sympathy for the old tyrant as the screen went blank for the actual drop, temporarily forgetting the surviving Marsh Arabs left high and dry in one corner of Iraq.
Somehow, the fall of the mighty is sadder than the demise of a gentle giant, and I have often morosely wondered how a disgraced politician is getting on during his first night in prison, away from his family in their luxury home. As I turn the light out in our compact but adorable city apartment, I go to sleep worrying about a millionaire villain, also trying to sleep on a small cot in a confined space.
If I were an actor and needed to be able to produce tears at will without resorting to glycerine eyedrops, then there is one mental image which would work every time. It is of an obesely fat man, locked in a room and quietly sobbing because he is hungry.