On 20 October 2011, I wrote a blog post entitled Stopped by an airplane [display] concerning the death of Muammar Gaddafi. As the title suggests, I was fascinated by the fact that an awesome French jet fighter had apparently appeared in the sky and inflicted a minimum of damage upon a suspicious convoy of vehicles that was moving away from Sirte: just enough damage to let them know that it would be a good idea, from a survival point of view, to halt. The Mirage 2000 airplane may have killed people in the leading vehicle, but it certainly didn't harm Gaddafi himself.
The world will probably never know the exact circumstances in which the Libyan dictator, forced to flee from the doomed convoy, was quickly captured and assassinated. Frankly, I believe that the world at large is not likely to lose sleep in an absurd quest for the missing facts. Everybody's happy to realize that the masquerade has been ended by the death of the mad clown. The Libyans themselves didn't even ask for an autopsy of Gaddafi's dead body. Instead, they put it on show for the general public, in a cold chamber designed for storing onions, and they only brought the curtain down when the corpse started to effuse nauseous odors. Then they buried it, this morning, at a secret spot. Good riddance to bad rubbish.
In the initial version of my rapidly-written blog post, I had inserted one of the photos of a blood-smeared Gaddafi, somewhere between life and death, that had been circulating all day in the French media.
This image irritated me, in that I had the impression (false) that Gaddafi's head was posed against the right knee of the guy behind him. I simply couldn't understand why this fellow in the background might be straddling Gaddafi, as it were. Later on, I realized that the white blood-stained fabric on the left of the photo was not at all a trouser leg of the guy in the background. It was a corner of some kind of mattress upon which Gaddafi had been placed.
A little later, by which time it was known that Gaddafi was dead, I came upon a startling photo in the French press that showed the upper half of his half-naked blood-stained corpse laid out on a bed mattress.
In my blog post, I immediately substituted this new image for the old one. As usual, in the typical spirit of a small-time private blogger such as myself, I didn't worry too much about indicating the precise origins and ownership of the image that I had borrowed for my blog post. That's to say, I've ceased to imagine (if ever I did) the likelihood of a major press group attacking me and claiming: "William, in your Antipodes blog, you stole one of our images without acknowledging its source." Frankly, if ever this were to happen (unlikely), I would bow down instantly, remove the offending image, and accept the consequences for my Antipodes blog. To my naive blogger's mind, it's a question of practicality rather than morality.
Today, thanks to the image of Gaddafi's corpse, I'm amused to discover that hordes of internauts are being directed to the Antipodes blog. Thanks a lot, Muammar.
POST SCRIPTUM: I'm astonished, almost alarmed, by the fact that so many blog visitors are dropping in on my Antipodes because they've used the keywords "gaddafi corpse". The current cadaver-induced success of my blog has a lot to do with the fact that I've been respecting the standard English spelling "Gaddafi". Internauts find me easily. This has been a constant incitation ever since my starting to blog about Gaddafi, since spellings of the dead dictator's name are prolific.