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Friday, 30 July 2010

When on August 31, 2005 about 1 million Iraqis crossed Al-Aaimmah Bridge, to reach a ‎‎1400-year-old tomb to beseech terrestrial prosperity and a good abode in next life with ‎pretty women, roughly 1000 of them lost their lives in an stampede.‎

Naturally, there was a mixed feeling: sympathy and jealousy on the part of coreligionists ‎who envied the martyrs that had so sure footedly reached paradise. ‎

However, when on 24 July 2010, 20 people were killed in a stampede in a tunnel at Love ‎Parade, Germany, nobody envied them at all, but the feeling was again mixed: sympathy ‎and outrage. ‎

The question is why such an incidence would happen to the civilized nation of Germany: ‎a nation that cherishes art and music, a nation that follows the foot prints of Plato who ‎said: "We do not want a nation of prize-fighters and weight lifters. Perhaps music solves ‎our problem: through music the soul learns harmony and rhythm and even a disposition ‎to justice, for can he who is harmoniously constituted ever be unjust?"‎

On the other hand, the Iraqis and their coreligionists are canonically banned to listen to ‎music. The only noise they are allowed to listen is war drums and battle cries.‎

A bridge constructed by German engineers 80 years ago, after being washed away by ‎flood was easily restored just like before, AEG wash machines, after 40 years, are still ‎operational, maintenance free; the 64-pound Olympia typewriter, the Mercedes Benz of ‎typewriters, carried by lovely German typists, as of 1933, like a feather, are still as ‎operational as the time of manufacture.‎

What really happened at the Love Parade? The 1.4 million Germans were there simply ‎for a limited freedom of expression.‎

John Galsworthy (1867-1933), English writer, in his essay or rather short story 'Quality' ‎demonstrated the commendable characteristic of a German shoemaker, Gessler. Quote: ‎‎"I remember well my shy remark, one day, while stretching out to him my youthful foot: ‎‎"Isn't it awfully hard to do, Mr. Gessler?" And his answer, given with a sudden smile from ‎out of the sardonic redness of his beard: "Id is an Ardt" … ‎

‎"Once (once only) I went absent-mindedly into his shop in a pair of boots bought in an ‎emergency at some large firm's, (Wonder if Maoist China had exported trash shoes to ‎England.) He took my order without showing me any leather, and I could feel his eyes ‎penetrating the inferior integument of my foot. At last he said: "Dose are nod my ‎boods."…‎

‎""Id 'urds you dere," he said."Dose big virms 'ave no self-respect. Drash!" And then, as if ‎something had given way within him, he spoke long and bitterly. It was the only time I ‎ever heard him discuss the conditions and hardships of his trade…‎

‎"A week later, passing the little street… "Yes, Yes," I said; "but Mr. Gessler?" "Oh!" he ‎answered; "dead." "Dead! But I only received these boots from him last Wednesday ‎week." "Ah!" he said; "a shockin' go. Poor old man starved 'imself." "Good God!"‎

‎"Slow starvation … Would keep the shop on; wouldn't have a soul touch his boots ‎except himself. When he got an order, it took him such a time. People won't wait. He lost ‎everybody. And there he'd sit, goin' on and on--I will say that for him--not a man in ‎London made a better boot! But look at the competition! He never advertised! Would ‎‎'ave the best leather, too, and do it all 'imself. Well, there it is. What could you expect ‎with his ideas?"…‎

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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