Thursday, July 13, 2006

Retributive Violence

I suppose you have to be French to be both very sorry and ne regret rien.

Zidane's response reflects a fault-line in our culture I first became painfully aware of when, many years ago, I went to see Harrison Ford in Witness with a Swiss girl I was very smitten with at the time.

There's a scene where some rednecks start baiting a carriage-load of Amesh, including bogus bible-basher John Book, Ford's character. It is their normal practice to turn the other cheek to such provocation, but not for the red-blooded mainstream American male. Book swings a punch and a redneck hits the dirt with a broken nose. Some of the audience in the cinema duly applauded. Not my Swiss friend though. She fumed.

I can't recall having vocally supported Book's manly approach to wind-up merchants, but somehow this on-screen incident soured the mood of the evening, opening up an un-spoken rift between me and the embodiment of patient neutrality at my side!

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