Those pesky muslims, I mean terrorists, I mean muslims…

I suppose those words are almost interchangeable now. The synonymity between any action taken in opposition to the United States of America by any self-proffessed muslim is accepted as terrorism, regardless of context or understanding. When Tsarnaev strapped an improvised explosive onto his back and left it in congress to the international stage of the Boston Marathon, there was categorical understanding that this was an action to cause inexorable devastation and hence a truly reprehensible act. What marked this event as unique, or perhaps not, was the pondering melodrama of whether this represented an attack by an organised Islamofascist group, perhaps Al-Qaeda? Subsequently, as the once Chechan origins of the brothers came to light, the world immediately sought deep inside for that word they had used with such cavalier fashion and labelled the act as one of terrorism; in one swift action revealing their embarrassing and bigoted political lexicon.

Let us be clear, America is a stormfront. The apparently serious “One nation under God…with liberty and justice” and “Have a nice day‘ attitude, stifle essentially what represents a disturbed society with aggressive and violent intentions towards one another and indeed the American opposition in general. Consider the following. In 2012, a gunman walked into a cinema in Aurora, Colorado and shot 12 people dead, injuring 58 others. In 2011, another 6 people were killed and 18 others injured in a shooting carried out in Tucson, Arizona. Again in 2012, 20 children and 6 adults no less, were shot dead in Sandy Hook Elementary School.

I am generally of sound and clear mind and correct me if I am wrong, but I cannot recall a single occasion where the word terrorism was offered, let alone used in the above contexts. The reason is clear – it was politically redundant. Americans are not terrorists by context of definition. What we are looking at is a word which is dangerously loaded with emotive capacity. Terrorism has come to mean any crime committed against the nation of America, when performed by a muslim. It is an ominously vague word which has achieved broad application both in politics and the press in making us feel a certain way about muslims. I should make clear that of course, a muslim can commit terrorism, but this does not hold connotation that this act is incontrovertibly associated to faith. It simply serves the American narrative and justifies savage and brutal overseas subjugations. Boston may yet prove to be a terrorist act but as confessed by one Phillip Mudd, CIA Deputy Director, the act has yet to demonstrate politically driven or funded extremism.

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One of the greatest social commentators of our time, George Orwell made an observation on the term, fascism.

“It will be seen that, as used, the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley’s broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else.”

We are of course in a similar zeitgeist. Terrorism is what Fascism was to Orwell. The original meaning has become so distorted, it is beyond recognition, rendering it perfect for indiscriminate use, wherever possible. It is not however entirely forthcoming and often tends to represent a very establishment agenda, conveniently escaping the truth.

What terrorism represents essentially is American discourse. It represents the justification of aggressive expansionist American foreign policies and repeated and un-opposed ignorance of international law. It represents the unsaid understanding of the western world to stand by whilst drones circle above the heads of children whilst they sleep in their bed at night. The act of bombing a marathon itself was terrifying, but that does not make it terrorism. Someone needs to tell Obama that however, since he feels:

“Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it’s an act of terror.”

I won’t bother to correct his terrible English, but regarding the above statement, I guess he is the expert.

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in·ter·view /ˈintərˌvyo͞o/ Noun A meeting of people face to face, esp. for consultation.

I saw my registrar with cocaine did I? What do I do? Well of course this is a delicate situation and requires the utmost of tact and so initially, I would do would want to seek more information and… WHAT THE FUCK? WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU EVEN TALKING ABOUT?? IS THAT EVEN A FUCKING THING? DOES THIS EVER EVEN REALLY HAPPEN??

Interview are the worst aren’t they? Sat in some pretentious hotel in Leeds, which thinks it’s in London, but is actually in Leeds and where the hell is that anyway (doesn’t the world stop north of Birmingham?) is one of the most artificial situations we can put ourselves through in life and is only compounded when Mr Nose Hair (does he know what nose hair clippers are?) who is barely registering the words coming out of your mouth, asks you what you would do if you found your registrar with cocaine?

You mean besides asking him to share it with me? You mean besides thinking about what sort of moron brings class A substances into the Doctor’s Mess and sits them up alongside a homemade ham and cheese sandwich? You mean besides wondering what kind of idiot is caught by me, hardly Colombo, who is more likely to be caught startled under the sudden revelation that he has fingers, than notice his registrar is carrying more talcum powder than usual? What would I do?

I know, I know, that this is an exercise in principles and not product. I understand we are being assessed on our cognitive process as opposed to what ever contextual rubbish that happens to tumble out of our mouths. Of course I would act professionally and appropriately, but what importance does that carry in an interview situation? Do you think my ability to phrase answers coherently, in a systematic manner reflects my ability to think in the same way and simultaneously remove your tonsils? Of course not. This is simply a game, an act, and I am left wondering who has actually being fooled. Us, the interviewees for playing the mindless dirge or the interviewers for tapping their feet along so tunelessly.

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Good interviews do not always reflect good doctors. Good doctors do not always give good interviews. Perhaps I am being shortsighted and don’t know of any statistics to say otherwise, but I feel the selection process has been incontrovertibly tainted by awarding marks for whatever clown gives the best performance on the night. I cannot be the only one who feels that surgical aptitude should be based upon a subjective review over time and not over 6 stations in the city of Leeds, who do not even have a premiership football team and who’s greatest output has been an ENT registrar who spent most of his first year, on the phone, simultaneously walking and talking into a wall with genuine zeal. Seriously, I know that guy.

frus·trat·ed /ˈfrəsˌtrātid/ Adjective Feeling or expressing distress and annoyance, esp. because of inability to change or achieve something. (of a person) Unable to follow or be successful in a particular career.

Is about how I feel at the moment. I have not run in what seems and on closer inspection, is close to two months; a result of some dynamic right sided knee pain which manifests itself in a variety of different forms. Today I can barely sit, the numbness taunting me from within my buttocks. It is literally a pain in the arse.

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To be honest, I should probably begin running again, in some form or other, dragging myself around the cemented streets of West London. The reason for my abstinence is due to an impending application for an ever elusive Ears, Nose and Throat Surgical Training job. This has been on my mind for some time now. And honey roasted cashews. In equal quotients.

Let me elaborate. Surgical training in the UK is a convoluted affair, where after acknowledging the ability to drink till one is suitably blind, one leaps from medical school into the wretched arms of foundation training, extending a misery of two years until some doting bastard with a pen in his hand puts a mark next to your name suggesting you might be good for something other than auditing how many patients are using newspapers to wipe their collective arses with and offers you a basic surgical training position where you spend a further two years emailing pointless forms to each and every one of your colleagues until either they, or you or both are wailing in a corner rocking back and forth under the impending administrative assault on your souls and/or Islam and at some point, round about now, you apply for what is called National Selection, the holiest of grails in the surgical training calendar.

Last year, I came within touching distance of this job, falling just short of requirement, but not of expectation – being the suitably inept human I am. I like to think of myself as the anti-Indiana Jones. You remember where he’s being chased by an Arab (they’re always Arabs) through some evil ancient erection (snigger) and he’s approaching a closing trap door and every single part of you wants to see him fail just so you can see the look on his face as his body is crushed into a smug little mess in Arabia (is that a place?) but he doesn’t because he’s Harrison Ford and he has a deal with Spielberg over 3 films and his hat comes off and just in the dying seconds of the scene, he steals it from a likely lonely existence, in the cave with Omid Djalili? You remember?

In my scene, I am cut down where I stand. As the scene closes, my arm is left convulsing in a darkened pit where it has been amputated. The interviewers reach down and pick up the hat marked “ENT ST3” on it and walk off into a refrain with Beelzebub laughing. Bastards.