Eagle and serpent

explorations and philosophy: in the world, of the world

Month: January, 2009

New messiah

When navigating the last 20 metres to the gym takes about five minutes, things are just not right. Having to wade through an open-mouthed, dead-silent mass of cult followers with your training bag is an annoying experience. And yes, it was Tuesday, about five o’clock GMT – you know what was on that time. The news of the day…

Fine, I don’t have a problem with people eagerly watching every step of the Rolling Stones or saying their prayers to any of the dead gods. But when my dearly paid gym experience is obstructed by “God bless America” a multitude of times, not to speak of the religious, nationalistic and moralistic messages openly and less so embedded in the liturgy, my patience grew thin.

Luckily I arrived towards the end of the worshipping, so in the end of my session I could lift my weights listening to that normal, shitty techno…


Rugger manliness

A dialogue just took place after a minor mark in my face:

– Here in the UK, is it ok to have bruises in the face? That is, if you’re doing business or something…

– Yea, it’s fine – just say you play rugby! Ruggers are always ok…

– But, at least in Continental Europe, Germany or Italy, it’s a no no to have cuts. Why not here?

– Well, that’s just because they’re gay

Rhetoric and the back office

Just days before Obama’s inauguration, it will be interesting to see what will be the first *official* declaration of the new US regime to the Middle East thing.

Have the – hmm – of Tel Aviv finally reached ‘their objectives’ – a nice round number of 1000 (or more) casualties? Or will the magic number be ten bombarded schools maintained by the UN?

A thought-provoking piece of analysis can be found here.

Could there actually be an aesthetic, mathematical criterion involved, what do you think? And by the way, it must have been a coincidence that the ‘IDF’ was training for the offensive months ahead, along with the Israeli missile strikes in November (when the ceasefire was on)… Oh well, strongest wins.

I would guess one thing, though. The Obama team has given Tel Aviv time to kill until the beginning of their term. First, the burden of reaction is on Bush et al. Second, there’s a golden opportunity for Barack to play the hero. “Can we live in a peaceful ME – YWC…” Or something like that.

Apartheid out loud

For the first time in a long time, someone is calling violent, racist segregation what it is: apartheid. This wonderful Dutch word imported to English (being the only one I know and arguably one of the few) has a multitude of connotations ranging from 1930s Germany to more contemporary South Africa. Interestingly, these kinds of voices emerge only from the ‘leftist’ ranks. Does it mean that the ‘right’ is blind? An alternative explanation is that the more conservatist spheres are fine with the ongoing situation, because it serves their economic interests. Nevertheless, I quote:

“…there are deeply distressing echoes of apartheid in the occupied territories: the colour-coded IDs and travel permits, the bulldozed homes and forced displacement, the settler-only roads. Ronnie Kasrils, a prominent South African politician, said the architecture of segregation he saw in the West Bank and Gaza was “infinitely worse than apartheid”. That was in 2007, before Israel began its full-scale war against the open-air prison that is Gaza.”

Full article here.