The Game of Thrones Around Us

We are in Sagaponack, NY. Nina, Leo and Mia went to see the Southampton 4th of July parade. I am sick in bed with a bad summer flu. I stayed in bed watching a Game of Thrones marathon. I am on Season 2, Episode 4. I almost never watch TV but I do enjoy TV series. I watch them mostly during flights, on my iPad. And now because I am sick and can't stop coughing, I am watching them in bed. By now, I have probably watched over 10 hours of Game of Thrones over the last three days.

Game of Thrones has a great deal of sex and people talk about that, but the sex is nothing compared to the amount of violence it depicts -- a violence almost at the limit of what I can stomach, such as when they kill a baby off a woman's arm. But the story is good and I am hooked. At this point, anything that makes me forget my flu is welcome. Still, I suffer as I watch the most violent scenes. When I watch these horrors, I remember the child in myself saying, this is just a movie, this is just a movie. But then, during a break I read the news. The real news. And I see this. A very Game of Thrones real life story going on right now in Syria as Bashar Al Assad tries to stay on his throne and goes on a killing rampage. Reuters reports.

Video clips showed rotting corpses lying in dried pools of blood in dark hallways, their faces covered with flies. One showed a woman and her child prone in a living room. The activist narrating the video said they had been stabbed.

A third video displayed pieces of charred flesh which activists said were severed genitals.

"There was more here yesterday," said a man wearing plastic gloves." "But the dogs were taking them."

So now my defenses stopped working. I think about what is going on in Syria, a country I visited in 2003 and found quite attractive. Here are my pictures from that trip. I can't imagine how those who appear in them are doing now in this horrible civil war. Why would Bashar al Assad, a man who trained to be an ophtalmologist in London and his wife Asma al-Assad who was born and raised in the U.K. and has a degree in computer science go on murder rampages to stay in power?

There is still a lot of Game of Thrones style violence around us. The middle ages are still here.