... and the beat goes on ....

It’s not being reported. Why America is aligned with ‘moderate’ terrorists. What’s in a word? Rebels, particularly ‘moderate’ rebels, sounds much more acceptable than terrorists. Syria, of course, where masks are ‘the order of the day.’

It’s lamentable and indicative of the times in which we live. Masks and veils. If it’s a choice I’ll take the veil - no pun intended - basically because a veil can be lifted whereas a mask is of a different order, harder to remove and can become so ingrained that the wearer ceases to recall that it is a mask while the reason for it is confused by time.

Having the courage of one’s own convictions is praised but there’s an uncomfortable echo in the word convict, of being imprisoned either literally or within the prison of a personal belief system - convictions.

‘Conflict arises when we know that we are right.’

Years ago, when ISIS, ISIL or whatever name that narrow minded brand of Islamic zealot now chooses, was young and hideous in Western minds, I watched a bearded, young, testosterone driven man extol the virtues of that head to toe covering for women so beloved by that mob.

He talked on and finished with the suggestion that not only should women be covered head to toe but that they should wear mirrored sunglasses because …. ‘the eyes can be used to lure, to seduce.’

He was, of course, serious and I remember it vividly for this reason. In my Western lifetime, coverings of the face are used by robbers, ‘baddies’, those with something to hide.

True - our police forces are now often masked in some fashion, perhaps for their own physical protection, but as a general rule real facial masks of any description are frowned upon, and begs the question – why the need to hide the face?

The Burqa may well hide attractiveness but the original idea for that particular need – if need is what it is – could only have come from a man’s mind. The fact that some women find it gives them some sense of security, to my mind, says more about a male zealous approach to sexuality, possessiveness and a deep male insecurity -  if every problem is a nail then a hammer is always the solution.

It’s not the end of the world that the Burqa exists but it’s yet another  mask and indicates a mindset beset with restriction. I’m not immune to being shaped by culture, early religious upbringing and the things we take for granted as being obviously ‘true.’ … and it doesn’t escape me that others hold contrary views which they also hold to be obviously ‘true.’  It’s a fact of life that some restriction is essential on an individual level so that society can function in a relatively predictable and peaceful manner. Perhaps that’s why mercy is thought a virtue in any religion with substance.

Political masks, religious masks, personal masks, the concept of ‘losing or saving face’ – it doesn’t stop.

‘Put on a happy face’ … ‘Turn that frown upsidedown’

I don’t know where I’m going with this train of thought. Starts with veils and masks and yet it’s the prevalence of mental illness, of anguish, of societies destroyed by wars which have no meaning which rises to the surface of what I loosely call my mind.

Meanwhile Trump boasts and the United Nations laughs with incredulity. Iran gets insults hurled at it by Trump, all of which apply within American domestic and international political life. Talk about ‘the pot calling the kettle black.’

Hmm … how can I think that I have anxieties, real or imagined when power is in such safe, if insane, hands.

Ah – facial recognition technology, the facebook era, selfies, surveillance everywhere. The burqa, in terms of privacy, has an attraction in this - a 1984 Orwellian world.