Pity upon the world outside America and Western Europe that we think they’re lawless, brutish savages. After all, as a general rule, the only time they make the news is if A) the Olympics are going on or, more likely, B) something has exploded or broken and a whole lot of people just died.
So when Indonesia, only the fourth most populous country on the planet, finally made some headlines last week, it’s frankly no surprise that it’s because a hotel was bombed. With that, Manchester United cancelled a date to play an exhibition match in Jakarta, seeing as how it was their hotel that got bombed just a week before they arrived and all. But Indonesian government officials were undeterred, to their credit, and continued to extend an invitation to ManU to play down there. So did the famed squad thumb its nose in front of terrorism and strike a blow for sanity over fear?
Um, no, they didn’t. C’mon, what world do you think we live in? Of course they wimped out. CNN:
Manchester United have scheduled a second match in Malaysia after rejecting a request from the Indonesian government to fulfil a fixture canceled as a result of bomb attacks in Jakarta.
“The presidential office made a plea for us to go but, after discussions with the tour organizers and the Foreign Office, we decided it was not appropriate,” [ManU chief executive David] Gill told the UK Press Association.
“We had to make a decision very quickly and it wasn’t easy, but we feel this was the right one. We have a lot of talented footballers at Manchester United and we have to make sure they are safe, but that goes for everyone associated with the club.
Don’t you get it, Indonesia? They’re too good and too important to be in your untamed, violent country so soon after a bombing. Oh, they really want to come back one day, don’t you know, but their powers of clairvoyance (you get them when you turn rich) tell them that they’re more likely to be bombed and killed now than three months from now. That’s what makes terrorism so effective: it’s so predictable!
Look, security is a real thing and a real concern and nine real people are dead now after that bombing, nine people worth a sliver of what, say, Wayne Rooney might draw for ransom.
But that’s beyond even speculation; that’s just plain imagination. And as the people of Jakarta try to return to a sense of normality after the bombing, something like the most famous soccer club in the world coming by for a friendly would be perfect. But maybe they should have thought of that before they went and got bombed.