Miscellaneous Ramblings by Tony Clegg-Butt

Posted on May 8th, 2012
Categories: News

I was dragged kicking and screaming to the movies the other day. Now don’t get me wrong, I love going to the movies.

This particular movie, the much-hyped and highest grossing in monetary terms in the world ‘The Hunger Games’, I had absolutely no interest in. Zippo!

My eldest said I didn’t understand; she was right, and to be honest I didn’t want to understand. When the plot was explained to me in the hope of convincing me to go, I didn’t get it. Maybe I didn’t want to, but that’s not the point.

Eldest said ‘It’s about young people killing other young people in some futuristic game set in the future’. But then why is it called ‘The Hunger Games’, I asked? ‘Oh, dad, you don’t get it. It’s about food and what it might be like in the future.’

My response was, ‘What about the killing bit?’

With no answer forthcoming and pressure being brought to bear by other young family members, we all trooped off to Westgate to see it. It was almost three hours long. If I’d known that beforehand I might have dug my heels in a little further.

So what did I think?

I didn’t want to think for fear of not getting it. I asked the young what they thought – the answers were inconclusive, other than ‘Wasn’t it great, dad?’  ‘Yes,’ I said, but didn’t really mean it. I didn’t get it, you see.

Killing each other for food is not exactly futuristic and yes, the story was about a game for hungry folk, with the last person standing getting the food. What is it about movies these days – all blood and guts and no credible story line?

The previews for forthcoming attractions were appalling: people again killing people, more blood and guts and the world coming to an end. I don’t know about you but I go to the movies to be entertained – this is not entertainment to my way of thinking.End of story.

My kids tell me there are two more films in The Hunger Games trilogy. What more can it tell, I ask. ‘Oh, dad, you don ‘t get it’.


Moving on. I received a security alert from a foreign government telling me that they knew of advanced plans to bomb locations in and around Nairobi in the coming weeks.

I’d rather, if they knew so much, that they went together with our own security forces and dealt with the miscreants and stop striking fear in those Nairobians who take this sort of thing seriously.

It reminds me of a time when I led a large global tourism and travel industry body. I was in Australia about to deliver a paper on travel advisories and how devastating they are to countries’ economies and to the people’s livelihoods that live in those targeted countries.

And how opinions formed should not be unilaterally broadcast, but rather by a more rounded approach to travel advisories. I’d have preferred, instead of one foreign government’s opinion, to include input from the targeted country as well as input from credible independent sources and any other government agencies before sending any such advisory.

While the global travelling public now pays little attention to most travel advisories, I’d say they would pay more attention say if they were more credible and less alarmist and misleading.

The international media picked up the advisory I referred to initially; the story was stretched to include a similar unilateral warning from another foreign government in January. Quite obviously there wasn’t very much to the story in the first place.

My talk in Australia was sadly over-shadowed by the Bali bombings where numerous Australians lost their lives unnecessarily. Why do I say unnecessarily?

Because incredibly it might have been averted if said foreign governments had exchanged intelligence and worked together in the first place.

I gave my talk, and added that while travel advisories were in place in my country, I did not live in a fortress or drive around in an armoured car; that I felt safe and so did my family and friends.

I still do.

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