on honouring the dead

I was watching City of Life and Death recently, a rather grim movie about the Nanjing Massacre. It’s a powerful piece, shot entirely in black and white, like an old set of photos come to life. One particularly disturbing scene has one of the protagonists, a Japanese soldier, march a group of Chinese POWs to their deaths, and as they trudge along the man watches in increasingly numbed horror as his comrades unleash absolute evil on civilians in the streets: firing squads, severed heads hanging from trees, young girls tied up and frogmarched by rough soldiers, a dead young woman sprawled on the ground, naked and bruised, with a noose around her neck. Continue reading “on honouring the dead”

on acts of kindness

I’ve been in a melancholic mood lately. Mostly boredom I figure, but also this particular thought that I have been shown such kindness in my life, and yet I have done very poorly in repaying it, both to my benefactors but also my neighbours.

Then it hit me – many of these acts of kindness are slipping from my memory. And there will be a day when I’m old and grey when I will have forgotten most of them. Or just grumpy, jaded and apathetic enough to not care. Continue reading “on acts of kindness”

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