It goes almost without saying that the bombing of the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester on Monday was a terrible thing. But not quite without saying, so I’ll repeat it: it was a terrible thing. While I always wonder at the targets of civilian bombing campaigns, rather than targeting military installations, targeting the audience that is predominantly teenaged girls with a chunk of gay men seems like a strike guaranteed to cause maximum outrage and pain for little gain beyond that.
The coverage here has, as usual, touched many heartstrings: two homeless men who were interviewed on the news because they dived into the heart of the explosion and provided first aid and care before the ambulances arrived. When asked why they replied “Just because we’re homeless doesn’t mean we’re not human, we couldn’t watch those children suffer and do nothing.” Another story that touched my heart. Typically you would imagine the cross-over between Iron Maiden and Ariana Grande fans would be small, except maybe for the children of Iron Maiden fans going to see Ariana Grande. At a concert in Cardiff last night, after one song finished Bruce Dickinson asked the fans to show their support and love for those affected by the bombing and the entire concert hall gave them a long standing ovation and cheered for them. I’m willing to bet it’s the only time Iron Maiden fans have ever cheered en masse for a teeny-bop performer, and her fans, like that.
Finally, Manchester seems to have adopted one of its own bands hits as their anthem as how to cope with the tragedy. Manchester has many dark songs, suicidal band leaders and the like. But they haven’t gone there.
The song might surprise many but it is summing up the attitude of the city - I rather suspect the opposite of what the bomber wanted to achieve.
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