RIP Kenneth Bigley

One of my old friends on LiveJournal had a comment in her LJ journal about Bigley. In a comment, I went into a complete rant, which was of course not my right at all.

But I can't help but thinking...

I spent most of the evening tonight with the Liverpool press community. A community who are likely to have followed the whole Bigley debackle the closest. I talked to many journalists and reporters who probably followed this case closer than anyone in the world. As you are probably aware, Bigley was from Liverpool. My housemate, a journalist with a prominent news agency in Liverpool, met his mother and his family on several occations, and I met the community he lives in, as part of my job as a photographer.

It is all a tragedy of absolute epic dimentions.

At the same time, I can't help but thinking how he went to Iraq voluntarily. Let me repeat that: Kenneth Bigley went to Iraq voluntarily, as a civil engineer, to re-build the country.

He was pulling in insane amounts of money, and was perfectly aware of the risks he was taking. Hell - that was why he got paid so much in the first place - or otherwise the people like Bigley wouldn't set foot in Iraq at all.

Of course it is sad for his family, his community, and the people who knew him - but these are the people who travel to Iraq on huge amounts of money, knowing that they run the risk of being attacked. The risk of death. A risk they are paid for.

Of course, it is a tragedy that he died less than two months from when he was planning to retire. It isn't fair.

But war isn't fair. And if it hadn't been for us going into Iraq in the first place, there would not have been a need to re-build Iraq in the first place.

I just can't work myself up to feel empathy with the whole situation.

There is no doubt in the world that Bigley was a great guy, who didn't deserve this. But he took a gamble by travelling to Iraq, and lost. Bigley was a gambler. Most people never have sympathy with gamblers. The fact that everybody suddenly does now is a mystery to me...

It is a fact of life: Gamblers sometimes lose. It can't be helped.

R.I.P. Jacques Derrida, 1930-2004

I'm actually bummed out by this. I never thought I would be, really; however, I have to admit that I'm saddened by the passing of someone who I feel was a kindred spirit. I'm well aware of people believing Derrida to be a pompous, pretentious, buffonish joke - but as I've always said: fuck 'em. I still like Douglas Adams even if his fans and derivatives drive me absolutely insane, know what I mean? Derrida, to me, saw the necessity of fighting back against the sterility and deathly self-absorption of philosophy - much as Deleuze and Foucault did. To open a philosophy book and see the words "Your Oedipus is a fucking drag", or to feel the impish humour leaping off the page in Derrida's wry deflections does something for me that all the G.E. Moore or Theodor Adorno or Simone Weil (or whatever) in the world could never do: it gives me hope. Destruction is certain, but hope is important. To that end: tonight when I drink, I'll be drinking to Professor Derrida. Thanks for everything. Here are some Derrida related writeups:

This is a reminder of the truth that we all face

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