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Friday, December 10, 2004

Frustration and humiliation: The "feel" of peaceful times

I think my feelings about Belfast and Northern Ireland are obvious to all my friends and acquaintances -- I love the place and the people, and the entire Ireland scene, both north and south, is fascinating.

Emotions, in short, play a critical role in how I feel about this place. And that is probably because emotions and 'feelings' -- including a widespread and pervasive social and political passion -- seems to provide the dynamics for daily life around here.

That is nowhere more evident than in how the locals react to the ongoing attempts to formalize the de facto 'peace' that already exists. The issue that holds things up at the moment is rooted in one emotion, "humiliation": one side wants to impose it, the other wants to avoid it. The reaction from just about everyone else is another emotion: frustration. I think the Guardian article in Thursday's edition captured it best....
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