Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Life Imitating Art?

Rediscovered an oldish DVD of 'Schlindler's List' the other day. Put it in and watched it again. Must be the fifth or sixth time that I had seen it.

I do have a passion for war films ever since I first saw 'The Dambusters' and 'Reach for the Sky' many years ago. Coming from military stock also helped.

The main reason that I watch them is not to do a body count or see people killed on screen but sometimes we need reminding that we are here because a lot of people died for our right of freedom in selfless acts of bravery that I cant even imagine. The opening scene of 'Saving Private Ryan' chokes me up because it reminds me that that in a few hours on 6th June 1944, thousands died so we could have an opinion.

I digress but you get the point here.

At the beginning of 'Schlindler's List' there is a scene where the tables are put out, smart and efficient Nazi's say down and the selection starts of the Jewish population. Brutal and unforgiving, the process continues with no consideration of the people that they were instantly judging. Scenes like this remind us all of how nasty we can be to one another. Let it never happen again and lets protest should we see or know about, such things happening again.

However, I had occasion to visit my local council offices on a matter of missing council tax.

Behind already laid out tables, sat the unkempt officers of the council. Their approach was brutal and unforgiving, rude to me as the 'customer' and totally impersonal. I had gone to them to sort the matter out and yet I received a lecture from a Mr Dxxxxxxx. I was receiving the standard response. I was a naughty boy according to the attitude that I got, I was not a 'person' but a 'wallet' to pay the council tax. If I did not pay promptly, then legal action would ensue. That was made very clear to me. Yet there I was offering to pay the costly and unforgiving tax!

Now I am not saying that the untidy people behind the desks are Nazi's. But I am saying that they are rude, impersonal and without understanding of their 'customers'. The personal touch that we as normal people expect as one human being to another has been lost in their training. It was as if their God was the doctrine of the Council Tax.

By the way, this was not the first time that I had seen the some of the people working behind the desks. On previous occasions, I was insulted by a larger blonde lady. She was there on my last visit and I witnessed, again, a brutish approach to her work. I was also rudely treated by a shorter and younger guy. However, there was one guy that had not lost his perspective on life and I salute him though I only ever saw him once behind the desks.

I have held back on my fury here and chosen my words carefully here for I still have to deal further with the council on various matters.

Am I in a Catch 22?

...which incidentally is one war film that I have not seen! And that's where I came in

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