Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Being a heroine might not be enough

Besides a few fake stories Facebook can also be used to spread some interesting bits of news. Most important, true ones. The following one for instance.
During WWII a Polish lady, Irena Sendler, saved 2500 Jewish children from certain death at the hand of the Nazis by sneaking them out of the Warsaw ghetto in small groups. Eventually she was caught, tortured and sentenced to death. Fortunately somehow she managed to survive. In 2007 she was among the nominees for the Noble Peace Prize, with the official support of the Polish and Israeli governments. She didn't win: the 2500 innocent lives she saved, the risk she took, her courage, the tortures she suffered, the death sentence she escaped and the illustrious sponsors did not prove to be enough. As far as the awarding commission was concerned there was a worthier candidate that year: the former vice-president of the US, Al Gore. Oh yes, I didn't write the wrong name, you got it right. The 2007 Nobel Peace Prize was not awarded to Irena Sendler, but to Al Gore instead. The guy who managed to squander the great advantage that the Democratic party was enjoying at the end of Bill Clinton's presidency and let the ordinary George W Bush win the elections and play the bully guy around the world for eight years. And then moved on to shooting movies.
I already explained why I thought the prize had lost a big share of its credibility when it was awarded to Barak Obama. Fortunately the application for Silvio Berlusconi's nomination was not successful, if not at stirring up lots of irony and loud laughs (including mine). Al Gore instead of Irena Sendler, though, is unsettling. If this is how the commission selects the award winners then that prize is just a huge pile of rubbish.

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