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Dilemma

March 17, 2015

Starting with a digression – there’s a local hairdressers called Dial Emma’s which I can’t help thinking is a pun too far in the whole Curl Up and Dye style. Wouldn’t that name put you off? Not just on aesthetic grounds but on a practical level too – I don’t want dilemmas with my hair, I want solutions, that’s why I go to the hairdresser in the first place. Obviously this has nothing to do with my dilemma, I just feel compelled to share it with you. No, my dilemma is to do with blog content. Because I am excessively garrulous you might want to skip to the last paragraph in the hope I do a brief summary there (I’m hoping so too) because this might take some time.

My dilemma is that in conversation with Jon about many and varied things (admittedly mostly cake and sport) he suggested blogging about the threatened destruction of Nimrud and I began thinking about the topics I think this blog should cover. As I’ve mentioned, I promised Kate and Ulf I wouldn’t write any posts about my cats, cooking or knitting, although we have agreed that mine and Ulf’s cats and Kate’s dog are of paramount importance to the smooth running of HARN and I have mentioned the cats and indeed food and will undoubtedly work knitting into a post eventually. But my nonsense aside, I don’t think this blog is a place for me to express dogmatic opinions. Do I discuss events occurring around the globe or do I keep to neutral and/or informative subjects? I think it’s my role to inform you of various events around the world of potential interest to HARN members, to review some books and to keep the blog active with regular posts – to present, in effect, a human voice for HARN. This is not to say I expect you all to agree with my opinions about books and archaeology, but I hope my views are expressed in an acceptable and inoffensive style. Guest bloggers are welcome to talk about world events, to be as controversial as they choose – that’s a whole different matter.

Obviously the destruction of any cultural site is to be deplored, but my concern is that if I blog about Nimrud I will stray into contentious areas. I will gladly stray there when I’m talking to you in person because boy am I opinionated! I’m a pacifist, feminist,  atheist socialist with firm views about the return of cultural property and how human lives are far more important than artefacts. I believe that the West continues to be culpable of colonial and racist thinking and that this thinking is, at least, partially responsible for the rise of the Islamic State and terrorism generally. I don’t think it’s helpful to demonise any group of people and ignore the atrocities that have been committed by the other side(s) just because it’s politically profitable to do so. And, most importantly, I think we should assist each other in whatever ways we can because that’s my definition of humanity. That’s a lot of opinions to hold and I have many more! But those views, I think, are irrelevant here, they’re important to me, but this is not a personal blog. Obviously they colour how I see and understand the world and that will inevitably be reflected in what I write and how I write it, but I’m trying to keep them to a pastel rather than a primary colour.

So, not really a dilemma, more an explanation? And, unless you as members decree otherwise, I will continue to blog about non-contentious subjects, or subjects I think are non-contentious. However, I will continue to direct you to people like Sam Hardy whose knowledge, experience and contacts mean he is the person I read to try to understand what’s really going on in Syria etc. And, I’ll continue to invite members to write about their work regardless of their political, ethical and religious stance.

I hope you all agree.

Also, I hope you all had a fine weekend – mine was spent helping my son do a school project on the history of our street, I think I enjoyed it more than he did!

Julia

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. harngroup permalink*
    March 27, 2015 10:43 pm

    Also I’ll direct you to this http://www.the-tls.co.uk/tls/public/article1535646.ece

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  1. In Which I Contradict Myself (again) | HARN Weblog

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