...a blog by Richard Flowers

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Day 2552: Benazir Bhutto


Ms Benazir Bhutto, assassinated trying to return Pakistan to democracy.

This was the most shocking news, and it caught us completely by surprise, not hearing it until the headlines after the conclusion of "Extras", and not believing it for several moments after that.

It is, of course, appalling. But also appalling for the inevitable all-crushing on rush of the rolling news cycle. No concessions are made to people only just receiving the next news, and no excuses for not keeping up. The headlines were already taking the horror of assassination AS READ.

By the next day, reports went straight into Ms Bhutto's funeral and never mind if you had no idea that she had even died. By Saturday we were into speculation about the succession and questioning the accounts of what actually happened. By Sunday, a nineteen-year-old Oxford undergraduate had had the title of Mr Number One Target bestowed upon him. I really, really cannot begin to guess how he's going to be able to cope.

This is the modern age: relentless, unstoppable, appalling and no time to BE appalled.

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