Say it loud - I'm elitist and proud

Saturday, September 14, 2002

SOME PERSPECTIVE ON 'PERSPECTIVE'. Tony Stephens in the SMH calls for us to 'put the coverage of the New York disaster into perspective, with some help from the Crusaders':

Well, Western civilisation produced people like Hitler, who was responsible for the deaths of six million Jews in the Holocaust, and Stalin, whose purges in the 1930s took an estimated 20 million lives.

The year 1099 provides another perspective: Christian Crusaders took Jerusalem, slaughtering every Muslim and Jew. One Crusader wrote of walking knee-deep through corpses in the streets. When the Muslim Saladin took Jerusalem in 1187, he spared everyone and allowed the people to worship where they liked.

My response in today's SMH Letters:
Like many who are appalled that people actually care about September 11, Tony Stephens ("Here's the view from the World Trade Centre to Bhuj", Heckler, September 13) calls for us to put it into "perspective".

Very well, here's some perspective: in 1996, just 35 people were murdered at Port Arthur. You might say, with the benefit of perspective, that our reaction was completely over the top. Why were we so shocked? After all, more people die on Australia's roads every fortnight or so. It's also interesting that in order to make an anti-Western, pro-Islamic point, he has to go back 800 years to the time of Saladin.

As Janet Jackson might say: 'What has Saladin done for me lately'?