Amid the loss of human lives, limbs, homes, in the destruction of such meagre hope as formerly existed, as the huddled Gazan mass flees ululating from smashed pillar to bombed post, shocked, thirsty, hungry and terrified, it seems bizarrely sentimental, anthropomorphic to get worked up about the treatment of a donkey. There was a moment, however, early on in Gaza's internal, circular exodus which made me weep. There was a cartful of refugees, a family, I guess, maybe ten people, with all its junk, being pulled at about two miles an hour by a little donkey, tearing himself to bits.
No, I count thirteen human beings, here, maybe more.
This was a PBC piece and the man driving the cart was looking off-camera, waiting for a cue and when it came he commenced to beating the poor little creature as hard as he could with a wicked looking stick, as if to emphasise the awfulness of his own situation. Look, he seemed to be saying, I need to run away and this fucking animal won't go any faster. After enduring about a dozen furious blows the little beast just turned and shot a glance so pathetic it would have mortified a decent human being.
Here, at the other end of the Earth, I felt as though my heart had been sledgehammered. If this fat idle fuck had had half a brain he would've climbed down and walked, would've been much faster and if I had been there I would have strangled him with my bare hands and then attacked the PBC arse who had orchestrated and rehearsed the shot.
Someone at the PBC must have raised an eyebrow for the beating scene was edited out of later versions of the story; makes you wonder, though, about news reporting
and its place in showbusiness.