Friday, June 29, 2007

No-sweat terrorism

I've begun to read my seventh or eighth David Lodge novel in the past two or three months. (I've lost count.) This one's Paradise News, and it's set in Hawaii. But I'm still in the airport in London watching the passengers board:
"What do they see in it, eh? What do they see in it?"
      Leslie Pearson, Senior Representative (Airport Reception) of Travelwise Tours plc, surveys the passengers swarming in the Departures Concourse of Heathrow's Terminal Four with an expression of mingled pity and contempt. It is mid-morning in the high summer season and, adding to the normal congestion, there is a security alert in operation, because of a recent plane crash thought to have been caused by sabotage. (Three different terrorist organizations have claimed responsibility, which means that at least two of them are trying to obtain a reputation for indiscriminate murder without exerting themselves....) [emphasis of classic David Lodge wit mine; p. 3]
Paradise News was published in 1991, not that terrorism (and lazy terrorists) haven't been with us a whole lot longer than ten years before 9-11-2001.

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