Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Why "What Really Annoys Me"?

A good question, I suppose. The short answer would be "most things".

Take your pick; politics, modern society, the so-called Middle East, television etc and each of those has their own sub-categories.

Let's start with something from the previous line; "the so-called Middle East".
Why the "so-called" label? Well, that is easy. When I was a young man, serving in the British Army, the world to the East of London was conveniently divided into the Near, Middle and Far East.
Broadly speaking, the Near East covered the Mediterranean coastal states such as Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Cyprus, Jordan and Israel.
The Middle East was those areas south of this and eastward across the Arabian Gulf (which was the Persian Gulf in those days) and on as far as India.
The Far East began at or around Burma and ranged as far eastwards as China & Japan.

Now the whole lot seems to be the Middle East, so what changed?
I suspect the answer has more to do with the involvement of the U.S. in politics beyond their own shores. Everything was neatly in its box until the U.S. came along and started using terms such as "South West Asia" or "South Central Asia". I suppose they must have then figured out there has to be a Middle East as people wouldn't have a clue what they were talking about so they resurrected that the wrong place!
Even the good old United Nations referred to the area as the Near East (have a look for resolution 234 of 1967).
Anyway, there is just one example of how things can exasperate a grumpy old man.
I shall start dipping into all manner of moans and whinges in the coming weeks. If nothing else, I expect the net outcome for me will be almost therapeutic having had the chance to have a good old shout.