I read yesterday about the 20-something student from Iraq whose blog was short-listed for the prestigious Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction. One of the entries in her blog really struck a cord. It brought home the fact that many Iraqis have a lot more in common with me than I would have thought. I would, for example, not have guessed that they would be sufficiently “Westernized” to appreciate Pink Floyd (she quotes a few very apt lines from “Blue Sky”). I know, it’s just a band, but it's a powerful symbol of the fact that their culture is not as far removed from ours as we might like to think. They're merely in the wrong place, at the wrong time. On the 7th of January she ("Riverbend") heard on the news that US journalist Jill Carrol was kidnapped and her Iraqi translator killed. Only days later (on the 10th of January) would she find out that the translator was a very dear friend of hers.
She describes their time together and you soon start to realize that he was a special, standup guy. The same man who was shot in cold blood and died slowly enough to tell the police what happened, "loved Pink Floyd".
I happened to read just now on News24 that Carrol had been found, and released into US custody. This event brings this little chapter of her story full circle, and seems to justify a mention of her blog here.
Anyway, I think Riverbend is worth a look, and as I mentioned, the 12th of January 2006 entry was especially poignant to me. Despite knowing and reading about all the thousands of lives that have been lost in this war, yesterday, for the first time, I could actually relate somewhat to the whole ordeal and feel an unforced, even involuntary empathy for the people of Iraq. Her blog effortlessly penetrates that formidable human defence mechanism called desensitisation.
I'm sorry, but these guys fascinate me. Some of you have seen the email, but for the benefit of all the many readers of a pattern tub:
A while ago I completed the "Personality Test*" on the Scientology website. When they receive your answers via email, they send you a message that they have marked it, that you can come in, and that they will evaluate you. The whole thing is, of course, just a device to get you to come to their “church”. Then they tell you you're crazy and need to pay them lots of money or else risk depression and ultimately suicide. I heard a story from someone (only once removed from the victim) of how they blackmailed and threatended the then 15-year old after he had completed the test. (For more on their evil practices, read this fascinating if scary exposé that appeared in Time Magazine)
In any case (I digress), not long after they tried to lure me in, I get this message below (complete with typo's and spelling errors). The nitwits apparently thought that copying me in on this gibberish would enhance the chances of my coming to see them...
Wow, the building belongs to us!! How many of you ever thought that would ever manifest it the MEST universe, well it's OURS.
So now, what's next? In the LRH ED 102 INT, 'THE IDEAL ORG', LRH explains the Ideal Org. If you would care to read the LRH ED you will see that yes the building ia a major part of the whole idea, but frankly, t is what is occuring INSIDE the building that attracts most of LRH's attention. Read the LRH ED (we have copies in the Org) and decide for yourself exactly what it that an Ideal Org means for you. I know what it means for me...
Right now, Cape Town Org has 4 people on tech training at Flag, 1 more about to go, 2 training right here in our Academy 1 at the CTO (Continental Training Org) in Johanesburg and 1 more about to go. Now, you just add this Power to the Tech direction being provided by our Flag trained Snr C/S (whom some of you have had the pleasure to meet) and you beigin to see the whole Ideal Org manifesting right here in Cape Town.And if you don't believe me, you should see the stats at a Friday morning staff meeting, with many of our key stats doubling over the past 6 months!! So, what's next?
Step 4 of the Affluence formula is 'Discover what caused the condition of Affluence and strengthen it'; well in Cape Townh it was getting people to and back from Flag. In this light, we are arranging for 3 more qualified TTCers to be sent for Flag training to boom their dynamics. If you qualify, or want to find out what the qualifications are contact Josh on 072-149-6433 or Dave on 083-291-2954.
*The test in itself is quite weird. For example, the word "consider" is repeatedly used when the word "think" would be more appropriate. For example, "Do you consider more money should be spent on social security?".
The origin of religion is ignorance. Just look at these idiots.
To wit (from news24):
"Abuja - Against the backdrop of dangerous superstitious beliefs, the Nigerian government has embarked on massive public enlightenment on radio and television to educate Nigerians about the upcoming solar eclipse.
A partial eclipse in 1989 led to massive demonstrations and violence in the country's predominantly Muslim north, where churches and hotels were set ablaze by fanatics to "atone for the sins of infidels."
A total of 28 persons were killed in the mayhem during the religious "cleansing" of the region. "
And every time it rains I beat my child, because God is obviously angry at the kid.
Barabados - The 2007 Cricket World Cup ended with a bang yesterday, as surprise package Bangladesh won the final in dramatic fashion. Bangladesh, who were extremely lucky to get to the final, posted a modest 190 all out in their allotted 50 overs. The Australians were unlucky on countless occasions as the umpires made several blunders. Umpire Vrishjjhjhkilani adjudged several convincing LBW shouts to be not out, and called countless No Balls where the bowler clearly did not step over the line. Two of those deliveries clean bowled Bangladeshi batsmen. Replays also showed that two Bangladeshi batsmen nicked deliveries to Gilchrist at wicketkeeper. They were given not out and went on to score 79 and 64 respectively.
In the 45th over Australia were well on their way to surpass the Bangladesh total, despite more poor decisions against them. The overwhelming tournament favourites, visibly shook by some of the officals' decisions, opted to bat slowly and with circumspection to ensure ultimate victory. At 170/6, umpire Singh adjudged Ricky Ponting out LBW from Remniranoijan’s bowling. One subsequent replay was enough to show that the ball would have missed off stump by a full set of wickets. It also appeared that the ball had pitched outside leg stump. Shane Warne’s wicket fell next, when he was bowled by Kurali. The side-cam revealed that the bowler stepped slightly over the line during his delivery. At 180 for the loss of eight wickets, Clarke was caught on the boundary from a delivery that seemed to reach higher than his shoulders at contact with the bat. A replay confirmed this. The Australians fought valiantly against the odds, and reached 189 for 9, when Glen McGrath seemed to nick a delivery straight to the wicket keeper. Again, a single replay was enough to ascertain that the ball had in fact come from his back leg. The umpire did not hesitate in giving him out.
The Australians, although disappointed, were gracious in defeat. “Yeah, there were some poor decisions. But that’s a part of cricket. That human element makes things so much more interesting. Sure, it has led to the worst team in the world winning the World Cup, but that’s cricket. I love this game.”
Fans interviewed after the game agreed. “We all know the players are great at what they do. But personally, I come to the cricket for that human element.” Asked to define the “human element”, the fan replied: “Well, what else can it refer to than MISTAKES made by umpires? They are the only humans involved, aren’t they? You have to love those mistakes. A Herchelle Gibbs cover drive? Nice. An umpire screw-up? Brilliant! The best team losing? Priceless!”
When asked about some of the “human” decisions made by the umpires, another fan said: “The World Cup will come again in only 4 years and the Australians can make amends. Why should we waste a full 3-4 seconds between deliveries just to check a replay that would kill the “human element”? There’s no time to waste in cricket. It’s too fast paced. Fans won’t stand for it if 3-4 seconds are wasted every 2 overs just to get the right decision and let the best team win a tournament that’s played every four years? That's crazy.”
After game analysis also revealed that Bangladesh, who won by 1 run, bowled 16 No Balls that were not called by the umpires. The match referee, when asked for comment, said that this was “pretty much standard” for a One Day International. “The important thing is that spectators saw that old human element in action.” - Reuters
Give the guy a break!
This table comes from a book called IQ and the Wealth of Nations (2002), and seems to be completely credible.
IQ by Country
Czech Republic 97
Great Britain 100
Ivory Coast 71
South Africa 72
South Korea 106
As you can see, the average South African is borderline retarded, which is defined as having an IQ between 70 and 79. So finally there is proof that when meeting a stranger it makes sense to assume he or she is a complete idiot. Once again science has come to the rescue of my unfocused misanthropy.
O now I sure that they are all actually really nice people and its not their fault and they shouldn't by judged on it and whatever, but...Actually consider that previous sentence a disclaimer. I'll leave it there.
Or so sings the man who can make smoking a cigarette look so cool, he's personally responsible for a measurable percentage of smoking related mortalities since 1996. Who am I referring to? Well, here's another clue:
What do Bart Simpson, Beck, Van Morrison and Leonard Cohen have in common?
The answer, as The Guardian writes, is depressing. The Guardian also draws comparisons between bands and sects, with specific reference to The Fall.
PS: Isn't it interesting that Scientology (you've guessed it) got to the two most popular vehicles of satire on TV today, namely South Park (via Isaac Hayes) and The Simpsons (via Nancy Cartwright)? Coincidence? Probably.
Susanna & the Magical Orchestra - Believer
en ‘n kantelende koning
skuif stukkies porselein
om saam te snoer
in ‘n euforiese emosie
deur die onverklaarbaarheid
van die spel
uitgevat in rooi en swart
sien ek jou die eerste keer
glimlag groot oog
skuiwe word gemaak
tussen die rooi en swart
na die prinses
This article just reminded me of the Questions. The other day I read this, which just exhausted me. It is just too much. Too much. I am just so tired of all this. Can somebody please just tell me what happened. Please.
Sorry to have brought it up. Just ignore if it sounds trite.
But that's just it, isn't it. It all sounds too trite. Like violence on tv. It doesn't affect us anymore. It's not interesting or entertaining, so the questions just loose their effect. And in the end we stop caring.
Anyway, I am hammering on. Today I am the model of confusion...
Christian convert faces death
Kabul - An Afghan man is being prosecuted in a Kabul court and could be sentenced to death after being charged with converting from Islam to Christianity, a crime under this country's Islamic shariah laws, a judge said on Sunday.
The trial is believed to be the first of its kind in Afghanistan and highlights a struggle between religious conservatives and reformists about what shape Islam will take here four years after the ousting of the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban regime. The defendant, Abdul Rahman, 41, was arrested last month after his family accused him of becoming a Christian, said Judge Ansarullah Mawlavezada. Rahman was charged with rejecting Islam and his trial started last Thursday. During the one-day hearing, the defendant allegedly confessed that he converted from Islam to Christianity 16 years ago while working as a medical-aid worker for an international Christian group helping Afghan refugees in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, Mawlavezada said.
'An attack on Islam'
The judge said in an interview: "We are not against any particular religion in the world.
"But, in Afghanistan, this sort of thing is against the law. It is an attack on Islam."
Mawlavezada said he would rule on the case within two months. Afghanistan's constitution is based on shariah law, which states that any Muslim who rejects Islam should be sentenced to death, according to Ahmad Fahim Hakim, deputy chair of the state-sponsored Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. The prosecutor, Abdul Wasi, said he had offered to drop the charges if Rahman converted back to Islam, but he refused.
"He would have been forgiven if he changed back. But he said he was a Christian and would always remain one," said Wasi.
"We are Muslims and becoming a Christian is against our laws. He must get the death penalty."
This would be funny were it not true. It's sadly not from the Onion, but straight from News24. Heck, maybe it's still funny.
You might ask why it took me so long to realise this fact. The only excuse I could come up with was that my friends did not EMPHASIZE this band enough. Come on guys, this is what friends are for! Or maybe some of you still find it difficult to differentiate between above average and genius.
Here's my top The Knife tracks (top 3 then my other essential tracks) :
Marble House (from Silent Shout)
Pass This On (from Deep Cuts)
NY Hotel (from The Knife)
Silent Shout (from Silent Shout)
The Captain (from Silent Shout)
From Off To On (from Silent Shout)
Lasagne (from The Knife)
Bird (from The Knife)
I Just Had To Die (from The Knife)
Let me know what you think.
Best album? Close call between The Knife and Silent Shout.
NB. Also make sure you get the Pass This On Remix.
Videos available: Pass This On (my favourite)
You Take My Breath Away
Check out www.youtube.com
The priest had such lovely words for us
What a holy lady lost
She’ll remain in all our thoughts
Her great grandkids run around and play
Remind us how life’s renewed
And I want to play with them too
But I don’t know how to
No, I’m getting older
Getting older too
Grandpa died on Father’s Day ten years ago
We couldn’t remember his funeral
Grandma must have remembered it well
My sisters only remembered one thing
They learned our aunt and her friend were lesbians
I had already known
I dog sat for them
I guess we just choose to forget
So how is this day any different?
Papa hated Grandpa
They were too proud to agree
Mama’s always crying
She’s worried I’m the same
But Mama, I’m determined
I am steadfast, I am certain
I will not be like your lover
I am stronger, more enlightened
Your time will come, and you’ll move on
I’ll try not to forget
When Papa gets his cancer
I’ll stay with him 'til the end
And I will be much better for it
And you will be much better for it
And we will feel much better then
The Seinfeld Story
Thursday, March 16 2006, 22:30
We are really really (really really really) sorry about forgetting your birthday, birthday girl. Although, it's not that I forgot, it's just that yesterday was the 12th and now today is the 14th. My local witchdoctor assures me that this does happen from time to time in certain parts of southern Africa.
Doesn’t matter who or what you are, this guy would probably date you. He'd date the shit out of you. Literally. My guess is that an orifice, any orifice, will do. I imagine 18-year old girls out there will be thrilled with the idea that this “guy” (for lack of a better word) is also intimate with 50-year old men. Theuns thinks that this indiscriminance makes him look open-minded. But, of course, it only makes him look really really desperate, not to mention like an avid pervert.
Theuns is not only “Positive about HIV”, but also happens to be HIV positive. “That’s why”, he quips, “I almost never have unprotected sex!”.
“But seriously, contracting HIV is the best thing that’s ever happened to me”. He explains: “You wouldn’t believe the social and organizational doors it opens for a bloke like me. Besides, our nation’s President is convinced HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, and that’s good enough for me. Who am I to argue, HE’S THE PRESIDENT, for God’s sakes. I’m not poor, so I figure I’ve got nothing to worry about.”
When he’s not hysterically running away from an insect, he’s out sucking some black man’s cock in a railway station urinal. Visit http://www.love2meet.com/ to get in touch with Theuns. But a word of advice: be quick about it. With half the world's population eligible, he’s bound to find true love soon…
I recently saw the documentary "Grizzly Man", directed by Werner Herzog (of famous Herzog/Kinski partnership). It tells the tragic story of Timothy Treadwell, wannabe celebrity (apparently narrowly missed out on the role of Woody in Cheers), bear lover and nutcase. After spending 13 consecutive summers in a bear community in Alaska (living in a tent very close to wild bears), was found killed and eaten by the bears he believed he was protecting. His girlfriend suffered the same fate. Their remains were removed from the bear's stomach after it was found and shot.
The bear conservationists felt that Treadwell was actually doing more damage and on many occasions tried to get rid of him. He also received criticism from people who believed he was only doing this for celebrity status. He recorded hours and hours of footage (used by Herzog to make the documentary) of himself discussing the bears and also talking about his private life. Prior to living with bears he suffered from alcoholism and was probably a manic depressive before finding "a life" with the bears. He had some grandiose ideas believing he was put on earth to save bears and believed that he found ways to communicate with them. He often came dangerously close to the bears. He wasn't like someone you might imagine living with wild animals-he was quite feminine (possibly closet gay), loud, and had a stupid blond Prince Valiant hair style.
He did love the bears, he even slept with teddy bears. Did he have a bear fetish? In one scene he touches steaming female bear shit and seems to get a kick out of it. He didn't make much money but gave talks at schools, published a book and even appeared on The Letterman show. In a clip David Letterman jokingly asks him something like "so, are we going to hear one day that you've been eaten by bears?" little knowing that exactly that would happen.
He managed to last 13 seasons among wild bears until one day the bears probably decided they had had enough of this weirdo. But maybe it wasn't such a sad ending to Treadwell, he did end up inside a bear, unfortunately it wasn't in the way he wanted but as bear shit.
Also see http://outside.away.com/outside/news/200401/200401_blood_brothers_1.html and film review at Rotten Tomatoes.
The Ford Ka
This car is just ridiculous. Whenever I see it on the road I can't help gaping at the driver, thinking what went wrong? What happened?
No, seriously, they could have just completed the word and called it Kak. What name is Ka for a car anyway? That's the sound I make when I beat my wife.
There is even a Ka enthusiasts club, called the Kaklub, which sounds just way too coprophilic.