Twenty Twelve: The Absurdity and Joy

It is always the level of absurdity and chaos in human affairs that captures my attention. In 2012 the gold medal for absurdity must go to the Italian judicial system. 

In October 2012 an Italian court convicted seven scientists of manslaughter for failing to adequately warn citizens before the earthquake struck L'Aquila in central Italy in 2009, killing more than 300 people.

The prosecution maintained that the scientists were not convicted for failing to predict the earthquake per se, but because just a week before the quake they had been overly optimistic about the probability that one would not occur! That's beyond absurdity.

While any number of candidates qualify for the bronze medal in absurdity, including the Church of England, the silver medal goes to the French.

Just before Christmas the French courts convicted a psychiatrist of manslaughter because her client had hacked a man to death. The 58-year-old doctor with 30 years experience was given a one-year suspended prison sentence because judges said she had committed the "grave error" of failing to recognize the public danger posed by her patient.

Having worked in that general field myself, the clinician does - to the best of their ability - have a responsibility for taking steps to try and pre-empt patients harming themselves and/or others. But if the above judgements are supposed to be a demonstration of 'Joint Enterprise' justice at work, then the law is bonkers as well as being a bit of an ass.

It's really odd how we tend to blame and punish others for that which we are afraid of or cannot control.

Among my best memories of twenty-twelve is the joy and goodwill that broke out in London when the country hosted the 30th Olympiad. The enthusiasm of the crowd and participants touched even those of us who were 'absent'.  I enjoyed that slightly 'bonkers' and fabulous opening ceremony.
The ‘top of my pops’ event was the men’s 200 metres final. We could almost hear the deafening roar of pride, admiration and appreciation that lifted up from the Caribbean sea, glided across the Atlantic ocean and over to the stadium in the East End of London, where Jamaica had just taken gold, silver and bronze.
At a personal level, after a 5-year struggle – perhaps more of a journey of discovery – I am full of gratitude for my health and being able to come back into the world feeling well and full of joy, having discarded a way of life no longer fit for purpose.

Later on today a section of the population will be celebrating Old Year’s Night (as opposed to New Year’s Eve)  and so shall I.

Here’s to New Beginnings!


  1. Ah - the exquisite elegance of your writing and its multi-layered messages are fabulous and masterly

  2. Lard, as the Jamaicans say " Tank Gard fe Jesus"... The sweetest moments of the Olympiad was the Masai breaking the World record and saying...I'm doing this for my father... and for myself" ...

    1. And Jamaica's 123... Whilst celebrating their 50th year of Independence... Of course:-D


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