Thursday, 8 November 2007

Gales of Laughter:"Why are you laughing?" Because, you're making us laugh, you're funny.

The one thing to do
Is to do nothing. Wait.
You will find that you survive humiliation.
And that’s an experience of incalculable value.
- T.S. Eliot

Why are you laughing?

Crowd: Because you’re from Benidorm, that’s why.

Dickhead (me): Given the current climate with tension growing in relations with both radical Islamism ……….

I think it’s important to follow your instincts, gut feelings whatever you want to call them, like last night. I should NOT have attended the Freedom Association’s event, entitled, "The Munich Pact 1938: Was Appeasing Hitler Sensible?" My gut feeling was telling me to go home and watch my favourite soap, Coronation Street.

At the event, after Graham had finished his talk, the floor was open to questions or comments. I stood up and tried to make a comparison with what Graham was talking about and relate it to some of my experiences in Hackney, where I have witnessed first hand Islamic fundamentalism, in my own classroom in fact. Some of the kids I teach have expressed anti-Semitic, anti-American, anti-British views and I have not really known how to deal with it. They don’t give you training on this at teacher training college. Some of the kids I teach have clearly been indoctrinated by fundamentalist parents, which makes you wonder why on earth their parents have sent them to a Church of England School.

My attempts at articulating my points on this issue were greeted with gales of laughter from the majority of people present, at the event, which I did not appreciate. So I asked them, ‘Why are you all laughing, it’s not funny?’ This was met with further out pours of laughter. I felt like a total dickhead.

I won’t be going back to any further events organised at the Old Bank. I wasn’t drunk and I wasn’t even that inarticulate, I thought I made reasonable and valid points, but everyone else clearly thought that what I was saying was pants.

So, I re-read the invitation I received and this is part of what it said

Our speaker will be Graham Stewart, history columnist on The Times and author of several books regarding historical political figures. Graham's subject will be "The Munich Pact 1938: Was Appeasing Hitler Sensible?"

He will discuss both the diplomatic background and the military situation to assess whether Neville Chamberlain squandered an opportunity to defeat Germany quickly or saved Britain from a sudden but deadly knock-out blow.

Given the current climate with tension growing in relations with both radical Islamism and Russia, it will be a fascinating insight into the most controversial historical instance of appeasement.

So, I was right to talk about my experiences, they were relevant.

You know what, fuck the lot of them. I won't be going back, next time I'll stay at home and watch Coronation Street, it's safer that way.

I was just glad that the doctor turned up at the end. I was burning up inside with anger.

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