Sunday, 18 May 2008

Martin Amis and The Second Plane: September 11: Terror and Boredom

Yes - it's a bit strange for me to be reading non-fiction, although there are actually a couple of short stories thrown into this collection of Amis' writings in response to September 11 and Islamist terrorism in general. But I can't resist Amis in any form and am finding his arguments interesting.

There have been many sections that I wanted to share on the blog, but I've settled for now on this piece that I found humourous. Amis has described how the Islamic Republic of Iran had after 1979 halved the age requirement for a girl to be married, from eighteen years old to nine, and is describing a scene in which his young nine-year old daughter is being searched before a flight to New York:

"One way of ending the war on terror would be to capitulate and convert. The transitional period would be a humorless one, no doubt, with stern work to be completed in the city squares, the town centers, and on the village greens.
Nevertheless, as the Caliphate is restored in Baghdad, to much joy, the surviving neophytes would soon get used to the voluminous penal code enforced by the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and the Suppression of Vice. It would be a world of perfect terror and perfect boredom, and of nothing else - a world with no games, no arts, and no women, a world where the sole entertainment is the public execution. My middle daughter, now aged nine, still believes in imaginary beings (in her case Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy); so she would have that in common, at least, with her new husband."

Assuming, of course, that you can find humour in such things.

No comments: