Sunday, December 25, 2005

Meditations on the Abyss (*)

Every year at this time, it's the same. Every time the clock marks 00h00 on December 25th, I sit down and think about things.

I wish there would be peace on earth for all the people of good will.
I wish people would have a true chance at happiness.
I wish we would learn to respect the earth and every single lifeform it houses and nurtures.
I wish…far too many things.

And also, I wonder.

I wonder what changed this year. I wonder what happened this year. I wonder what was better this year.

2005 was a year of contrasts. A year of environmental cataclysms, a year of bereavement et death. A year of giving. A year of war. A year of fear.

2005 was a year of death. The tsunami's devastation continued to take its toll in the beginning of the year, reaping hundreds of thousands of lives. The earthquake in Pakistan killed tens of thousands of people, is still killing them, all those who survived and who are now freezing in the terribly cold winter of the mountains. Bereft of everything, cut out from the oh-so-sincere generosity of the West because it's Pakistan, and one of the heart of all evil, according the the US-imposed black and white world. 2005 was a year of death, in the death rows of all the US prisons, in states where the crime they call capital punishments is still applied, where they cultivate hatred, and invite victims' families to relish the spectacle of death.

2005 was a year of fear. Terrorism struck in Europe once again. And it sparked into life our greatest enemy: fear. The fear that will blind us, and make us bow to unacceptable compromises on our essential freedom in the name of "security". Security won new privileges and new acknowledgements. Security became sacro-sanct. Security became the magic word behind which all the would-be authoritarian politicians could hide, and in the name of which they could impose just about any kind of restrictions on our most basic rights to freedom and privacy. Security has become the great threat, the One Truth we're supposed to have to bow to for our own good--or so say people who claim to know better than we do. I deny them that right and that claim.

2005 was another year of kidnappings, murders and slaughter in Irak. It was a year of elections as well. It was another year of denying the obivous and lying through their teeth for the White House people. It was the year when GW Bush decided to spew the word "victory" at every opportunity he got, as if that might be some kind of shield against the truth displayed before the world in all the TV news. The worst of it, is that it seems there are people gullible enough, stupid and brainwashed enough in the US, to believe in the simple uttering of such an empty word.

But, 2005 was a year of elections in Irak. A year when the people of Irak gathered all their strength and crowded the polls. A year when these people who've lost everything showed the world how brave and noble they were, when they went to vote as they did. Perhaps, just perhaps, 2005 will be the year of a beginning of hope for them. I hope it is.

2005 was also the year when the US Senate rebuked the soulless appetites of the oil companies and preserved the natural space of Alaska. A small flame in an ocean of darkness, but still, it was there.

2005 was the year of the Meikai-Hen OVAs debut. A debut in pain, among protests and critics, most of them more than justified, unfortunately. A year of making dreams into reality, botched by the headstrong stupidity of an author who no longer can touch the soul of the magic he once created, 20 years ago. And yet, in spite of all the obstacles thrown in the way of these OVAs, somehow the magic manages to reach out and touch the viewer. In spite of all the flaws, they manage to revive the flames in my heart. Somehow.

2005 was a year of lies. When the US governments told us, hand upon its dead and rotten heart, that there were no secret CIA prisons and that the US had never, ever, never used torture or inhumane methods on its prisoners, or even allowed it to happen...despite everyone knowing how they changed their own laws in order to allow torture. A year of deception, fantastically ended by Poland when it said it wouldn't come public with its results on the inquiry concerning the CIA's secret prison facilities on its land. Funny, if they have agreed to nothing wrong, why should those results remain secret?

2005 was a year of harted and war. A year of foul words spat out by Nicolas Sarkozy. A year when the French right, led by this populist, dirty politician, slowly but certainly slid toward the far right, mesmerized by the promise of power. Hypnotized by the persepective of winning the 2007 presidential elections.

2005... As usual, here I sit, pondering on questions and concepts which have baffled humanity since its very beginning. We haven't changed, we degenerated apes. We haven't evolved. All we have won in millions of years is a layer of varnish, nothing more.

Why are we here? What are we living for? What is our place in the order of things?

The questions are the same. The answers, still illusions taunting us from beyond a mist of our own making.

2005 is nearing its end, and as always, here I sit, and wonder. Tonight, I'll gladly throw a log in the fire. It's an old, ancient custom, a true one which somehow managed to survive the purge of judeo-christianism. One of the few traditions we haven't been robbed of by the Catholic church. Yes, I'll throw a log of wood into the fire. A log of a tree cut out under the beautiful Summer sun. A log that will crackle in the hearth and give birth to flames, give birth to the sun anew, in the heart of Winter, and send back the abyss of the night.

When we celebrate the Winter solstice.

(*) My humblest apologies to Michael J. Straczinski, who made really too appealing episodes titles for me to resist using them when he gave us this greatest of gifts named "Babylon 5".

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Mrs Rice... You're Kidding, Right ?

Big title in the Observer today : Rice rejects EU protests over secret terror prisons

(...)[Mrs. Rice] is expected to make a public statement today stressing that the US does not violate allies' sovereignty or break international law.

No, of course the US isn't doing anything wrong. There's no secret arrests of people who're never been charged with anything, flown away to prisons where they can be tortured, where they can be "dealt with" without ever respecting the most basic of their rights to a lawyer, a defense, and a trial. Nah, all that is bullshit. We all know there's nothing resembling extraordinary rendition, nothing at all!

The Observer adds: Irish Foreign Minister Dermot Ahern said Rice told him in Washington she expected allies to trust that America does not allow rights abuses.

But of course, we do trust America, we do trust the US government. Our faith in Georges W. Bush is absolute! Never, ever would the US wander astray from all the international conventions on torture. Geneva, anyone? Remember Mr. Rumsfeld and his undying love and respect for the Geneva Conventions?

Oh, and if this wasn't enough, I advise you to go read the following paper in today's edition of the Washington Post: Wrongful Imprisonment: Anatomy of a CIA Mistake. You will learn a few interesting things.

Coats [the U.S. ambassador in Germany] informed the German minister that the CIA had wrongfully imprisoned one of its citizens, Khaled Masri, for five months, and would soon release him, the sources said. There was also a request: that the German government not disclose what it had been told even if Masri went public.

In case anyone doubted it: (...) there is no tribunal or judge to check the evidence against those picked up by the CIA.

Wait, it gets better:
The CIA inspector general is investigating a growing number of what it calls "erroneous renditions," (...)
"They picked up the wrong people, who had no information. In many, many cases there was only some vague association" with terrorism, one CIA officer said. (...)
Masri was held for five months largely because the head of the CIA's Counterterrorist Center's al Qaeda unit "believed he was someone else," one former CIA official said. "She didn't really know. She just had a hunch."

Wow! You kidnap a man, whisk him away god knows where, interrogate him, torture him for five months on a hunch! But of course, in the same time you're upholding all the Geneva conventions, respecting all the aspects of human rights, and you're the most trustworthy US government the wolrd has ever seen.


Who do you think you're kidding, Mrs Rice?

In front of declarations like this: "It was the Camelot of counterterrorism," a former counterterrorism official said. "We didn't have to mess with others -- and it was fun.", What kind of moral high ground do you think you're standing upon, you and the US?


How will you ever dare tell anyone who holds your own citizens prisoners without a trial and who tortures them that they're vilains? They're just the same as you! You hide behind a veneer of dignity that's crackling and crumbling to pieces a bit more each day.


Stay where you are, Mrs Rice, and keep your mouth shut. Europe has no need for your lessons, your ethics and morals are more than flawed or askew. They no longer have any value.

As for us, I dearly hope the EU will deal with the collaborators of torturers. I hope the EU will show them all the love and mercy they deserve.

Any country which knowingly, at any level of power, participated in helping the CIA in those renditions should be expelled from the EU.


Sunday, November 27, 2005

Mr Bush's Fiasco

Sometimes there is no joy in being right, in having predicted what was most likely to happen.

This is such a time.

From today's edition of the Observer: Human rights abuses in Iraq are now as bad as they were under Saddam Hussein and are even in danger of eclipsing his record, according to the country's first Prime Minister (a strong ally of the US-led coalition forces and prime minister of Irak until this April, ndlr) after the fall of Saddam's regime.
"We are hearing about secret police, secret bunkers where people are being interrogated," he added. "A lot of Iraqis are being tortured or killed in the course of interrogations. We are even witnessing Sharia courts based on Islamic law that are trying people and executing them."

The chaos, the sinking into the darkness of radical Islam and use of the Sharia law to beat and stone women back to the stone age, back into slavery, the assassination and torture as under Saddam Hussein...tell me, what have you won, Mr Bush?

Please, tell us, tell the world what it is you've won, except contracts for Haliburton and vaults of money and oil for your nice pro-torture vice-president!

Tell us what you've won for the US, except for disgust and dislike, even hatred from many parts of the world?

All you've done is fuel anger and hatred, and give more grounds for attacks by terrorists, not to mention offer a land that nurtured a secular society to the worst kind of religious fanatics! Ah, but then, perhaps this suits you fine. After all, in your own country you're doing all you can to ridicule America in the eyes of the world and lift ignorance and ludicrous superstitions to the rank of sanctioned scientific theories to be taught in school. True enough. So, maybe you reached one of your goals, I have to be fair here.

But for the rest?

As stated before: "told you so."

I'm sure the citizens of Irak thank you...well, the learned people, the women, all the people who had a grasp of culture and education don't thank you. But then, certainly the mollahs, and the terrorists do.

Isn't that what matters to you?

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Franco mi Amor: the Nostalgia of the Righteous

They're standing with their right arm raised to the sky in salute. They're not saying "heil!" but they might as well be.

They're not saluting Hitler, but they might as well be.

They're saluting Franco. The butcher, murderer, tormentor, bloody dictator who smothered Spain under a blanket of terror during more than 30 years in the 20th century. During one of the blackest pages of Spanish history.

They're celebrating the anniversary of his death, they're mourning the butcher.


The righteous. The nice, good society, the one that goes to church on sunday, the one that teaches the "true values" of society. Those who condemn any kind of modernism, those who are against the right not to have to study religion at school.


The nice people. The well-behaved, well-bred people of the higher classes.

They send nausea raking my stomach.

They're the shame of their country, the shame of Europe. The shame of democracy. Abusing a freedom of speech they so loved trampling, they glorify, they worship a mass murderer, a criminal. They gather, their right arms lifted in salute and their sick nostalgia for an era of blood and dread, and the absolute rule of their caste.


In Germany, nobody would have dared leave a statue of Hitler standing. In Italy, nobody would have dared leave a statue of Mussolini standing. In Romania, nobody would have dared leave a statue of Caucescu standing.

In Spain, there are still statues of Franco standing.

In Spain, the good and the righteous have the gall to commemorate that filthy butcher's death with right arms lifted to the sky. Mocking the survivors of the years of terror, mocking the victims of torture, deportation, they dare display their nostalgia for those years of hell.

Why Spanish laws allow this, I cannot even begin to understand. Shit, I don't even want to understand. Doing this, is like planting the seeds that will in the end destroy their democracy. If democracy doesn't protect itself, doesn't prevent by law the expressions of hatred, of ideologies that aim only at its destruction, then it cannot help but fall in the long run.

The statues of Franco should be hacked to pieces.

And the righteous should be arrested, tried, and convicted.

The righteous, they who believe themselves above the populace, are a cancer. They are filth Spanish society should deal with.

Once and for all.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Smoked Brain

...Must taste really awful (not that I'd ever want to eat brain, no matter what kind of animal it came from anyway)

Journalists can be tiresome. Journalists should sometimes use their brains. The UNO is holding a summit on the technologies of information (and their sharing around the world), in short, about the internet and the freedom of accessing it throughout the world. This summit is taking place in Tunisia, which happens to be an authoritarian dictatorship where freedom of expression and so on are not exactly a given.

And, lo, comes our journalist turned white knight of the night, denouncing the dubious choice of location of the UNO, and of Mr Annan. and, said journalist continues his rant claiming that Mr Annan made a show of saying a few words against the current abuses of the Tunisian government, which would be a hypocrisy in our dear journalist's eye, since the Tunisian TV immediately censored the words of Mr Annan. And so, our brave journalists smites down the evil UNO.

Please, give me a break.

If the summit had taken place elsewhere, dear mr. journalist, you would NEVER have bothered to waste a second on the situation of people in Tunisia. Thanks to the summit taking place there, you and other TV media, felt obliged to take a look around the corner and denounce wha'ts happening. If it wasn't for that choice of location you call dubious, you would never waste a shred of prime time to talk about it. So, if you're willing to be logicial and fair, you should thank Mr Annan for choosing to hold the summit in Tunisia. In doing so, he gave you the opportunity to see the awful reality there, and to reveal it to our bored selves (not to worry, two minutes after the end of the news, once the commercial break has sucked our brains dry, we'll have all forgotten about it and will only be concerned by how we can spend money on things we have no real need for).

So, instead of accusing, thank Mr Annan for having shown the intelligence to hold a summit there. Thank him for giving you an opportunity to denounce the abuses committed there.

And get a brain. They're cheap these days, nobody wants them anymore. They make you think. Yuck. While we think, we can't chew junk food in front of junk TV shows (anyone for Star Academy?) like the good, brainless cows that we are...oh, sorry, I meant consumers.

Good night.

Monday, November 14, 2005

USA : Welcome to the land of the Free^H^H^H^H Oooops, wrong word, sorry!

I wonder if the US government ever intends to learn from the numerous (and grievous) mistakes of its predecessors (and its own, Mr Georges W Bush kindly having seen to adding up to the piles of tragedies labelled “courtesy of the USA” since 1776). Well, all right, I’m not wondering. They’re learning.

They’re learning how to repeat them over and over again.

Now, they’re busy hacking down the fundamentals of law. The very core of what makes a country democratic. The core of what sets it apart from a dictatorship (hello, Mr Pinochet!). Hacking down the Habeas Corpus rule, they’re contemplating the arbitrary detention of innocent people in charming locations like Guantanamo Bay, where every single sort of comfort is offered to the lucky residents. Even night games, stripping games, and all those things.

I was always of the opinion that detainees, no matter what the crime, deserve a trial. They deserve to know what they’re accused of, and they deserve the right to a lawyer and to a fair trial. The fact that we offer this to everyone, even to the foulest criminals, is the one thing that makes us who we are, that labels us as civilized people, who live in a democracy.

Well, not in the eyes of Mr Bush’s governement it seems, but then, are you really surprised?

The media are busy using lofty words like Habeas Corpus that very few people understand, but the truth, the down to earth, simple truth can be summarized this way: Habeas corpus is older than even our Constitution. It is the right to compel the executive to justify itself when it imprisons people.

As the writer of the Washington Post column says:
In a wiser past, we tried Nazi war criminals in the sunlight. Summing up for the prosecution at Nuremberg, Robert Jackson said that "the future will never have to ask, with misgiving: 'What could the Nazis have said in their favor?' History will know that whatever could be said, they were allowed to say. . . . The extraordinary fairness of these hearings is an attribute of our strength."
The world has never doubted the judgment at Nuremberg. But no one will trust the work of these secret tribunals.

Read the column here, and learn how fair-minded the US government aims to be.
Lofty moral highground is shrinking, and writhing away from the United States of America in a great hurry. Soon, any US official trying to tell anyone in the world they should abide by the Geneva Conventions, or the Human Rights, will see the audience laugh in his face.

With good reason.

Source: one of today’s editorials of the Washington Post.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Sarko Rhymes with Low

The UMP, Mr Sarkozy's political party (yes, mr Sarkozy is a gluttonous, greedy man who needs a lot of power and a lot of mandates, he's busy being Minister of Interior, number 2 of the French cabinet, boss of the UMP and also full-time candidate for the next presidential elections), has been busy adapting to the new information technologies and putting them to good use:

Mr Sarkozy's staff has discovered google, and the google-sponsored links. Wow.

And so, being people with quite a bit of money to spend (better to spend it there than to spend it trying to help the real problems in the French society, isn'it Mr Sarkozy?), they've bidded and thrown enough money in the system of google sponsored links to be the ones who appear first whenever you type a search on "suburbs", "scum", "violence", "burnt cars", etc.

Ah, it's so smart, so cool to exploit a dramatic problem for your own personal agenda, isn't it, Mr Sarkozy? Anyone who'll make a search on those terms will be nicely find a link toward a petition of support for your humble person. I think it's so moving, so touching! My heart flutters at the thought of it.

While police officers are trying to contain violence, while the people of the suburbs confront the coming night with dread, wondering if they'll still have a car and their job come morning, while the mayors and the social workers are putting their reputations on the line, while everyone is trying to solve the problem and restore security, what are you busy doing, Mr Sarkozy?

Why, using the events and the distress of people who suffer in order to serve your own petty interests and your own political career, of course!

Wow, what a figure of stature! What a presidential candidate!

No, really, who are we kidding?

Just how low are you willing to get in order to win the 2007 presidential elections, Mr Sarkozy?

Apparently, as low as it takes, below the lower abysses known to this world. At least, I suppose you deserve points for sticking to the end to the "the ends justify the means" motto.

I can only hope people use their brains, and that this latest thing blows back in your face.


Sunday, November 06, 2005

Saint Seiya Meikai-hen, or the Sundering of a Dream

Errrm, yeah, this is going to be about anime. Who promised I'd stick to politics and my undying love for neo-liberals, neo-cons and Georges W Bush forever? :P


Those for whom the title "Saint Seiya" evokes more than a vague "duh?" will know what I'm refering to when I say "Meikai-hen".

The 2nd part of the Hades Chapter, the Chapter of Hell is certainly the very best part of Saint Seiya. A chapter that has been left in the shadows for 20 years, an eternity during which fans have dreamed in secret that one day it might avctually be adapted in anime.

Well, the time for this has come. And I'm starting to wonder if that project shouldn't die now, while not a minute of it has been aired. Why?

Well, the heart of Saint Seiya, the anime, beats in four essential elements: the music, by Seiji Yokoyama, the character design of Shingo Araki and Michi Himeno, the direction of animation by Yamauchi, and the voices of the seiyuus which have given a life and a soul to the characters.

Those elements are being eradicated, set aside, by incomprehensible whims of the mangaka, Masami Kurumada, who seems to have lost more than a few neurons between his developping an unhealthy taste for catch fighting and his obsession with his beloved Ring ni Kakero.

Said Masami Kurumada has first fired the animation director, even though Yamauchi Shiegyasu has worked on the whole TV series, has made Saint Seiya the beautiful anime millions of fans love throughout Europe, South America and many other places. No, it doesn't matter that Mr. Yamauchi loves the series, loves the characters, understands them like no one else, and knows how to give them a life on the screen, how to give depth and intensity to the story like nobody can. It doesn't matter, because Mr. Kurumada didn't like the movie Saint Seiya, Tenkai-hen, which is nonetheless the one and only Saint Seiya movie worthy of the name (the previous four being absymally bad parodies of Saint Seiya). Far too complicated for Mr Kurumada, who seems to understand only two things these days: fights (and fights and fights and fights, too much abuse of catch is bad for your mental health) and "youth" (everything must sound young, you know).

Which brings us to the second root of Saint Seiya being swept aside: the seiyuus. The main voices are all being replaced, on another whime of our dear Mr Kurumada, who claims the hyper-famous seiyuus have grown too old and that their voices no longer match the characters. A ludicrous excuse, when we heard them no less than two years ago in the first part of the Hades Chapter, the Juunikyuu-hen. Not to mention that the voice a voice actor uses isn't his true voice, and doesn't change with age since it's a fabricated voice, but Mr. Kurumada isn't shy about displaying his stupidity. The new cast has been tried in radio drama that are a total fiasco. The fans in Japan hate the new cast, but Mr Kurumada, who knows better, has been spending his time saying the fans should behave and repeating ad liitum ad nauseum that the new cast is fantastic. Problem is: no matter how many times you repeat it, no matter that you turnt the sentence into a mantra, it's not going to become any truer...

And let's get to the third: insisting rumors claim that the situaiton with Mr Kurumada has deteriorated so far that Shingo Araki wouldn't continue being on the Saint Seiya staff. This means the death of the series. Of course, the Toei would put someone else in his place if it happened, but then, the replacement would most likely be from the awful Ring ni Kakero staff. Do this, and you kill Saint Seiya as certainly as if you cancelled the production.

Fourth, and final blow: no announce of an OST has made it through, even though the first episodes of the Meikai-hen have been announced for December this year. This means that no contract has been signed with Yokoyama Seiji, and that he's not going to be the creator of the Meikai-hen OST...unless once again the TOEI uses the old musics composed in 1997 when the Hades chapter was a project that died in infancy. It would alsmo mean that another person will compose the OST, again a certainty of failure, and a death warrant for the series.

All this is hard to understand from where the fans stand. Proof has been made with the DVD sales of the Juunikyuu-hen, that the fanbase is enough for the TOEI to make huge profits. There are strong indications that all the changes due to stupid whims of Mr Kurumada will cause a boycott of the DVDs and a complete failure for the Meikai-hen, whereas in keeping the "old" staff, success would be a given. The TOEI being a company which, like all companies, must enjoy profits, why oh why has it decided to yeild to suicidal whims of a man like Mr Kurumada?

I don't think I'll ever understand. I also don't think Mr Kurumada gives a damn about Saint Seiya, contrary to his claims. The fans love Saint Seiya, they've been waiting for 20 years for the Meikai-hen, while Mr Kurumada was busy obsessing about Ring ni Kakero. If someone no longer understands what Saint Seiya is all about, it's not the fans.

Mr Kurumada, your name will soon be on the list of the authors who managed to kill their own characters and series. Congratulations.

(and while I'm busy ranting about my favorite anime title of all times, all is well with the world, Mr Sarkozy keep carvoting and barking and making things worse, the Patriot Act gives license to the FBI to send NSL everywhere in the US so ordinary citizens can be watched as is the custom in all good dictatorships, the CIA goes around torturing or having people tortured, even in our good friends the new European countries, who all protest their innocent, hand over their heart--wait, isn't that where you also put your wallet? etc etc etc.)

Have a nice Sunday :P

Friday, November 04, 2005

Burning Suburbia

(or how to put a ultra-liberal(*), far-right leaning, US-loving, authoritarian, barking bully in power)

It seems the news has even managed to reach beyond the Atlantic ocean (yay--not). Some suburbs of Paris have been plagued by riots for more than a week, ever since two teenager died in circumstances that are more than unclear, and where the police may have had a role to play.

Morons are busy bruning cars, stores, and generally fueling the far-right parties with their fake rebellion against the established order. People who claim they want justice and reject Mr Sarkozy (the neo-liberal, far-right leaning, US-loving, authoritarian bully, remember?) are, through their insane actions, giving him a bit more credit with each car they burn. With each person they frighten. They are busy insuring darling Mr Sarkozy ends up president in 2007, and it makes me mad.

Mad, because those morons are fueling contempt, fury, racism and playing straight in the hands of Mr Le Pen and Mr Sarkozy, whom they hate more than anything.

Mad, because I know the general public will draw the wrong conclusions.

Mr Sarkozy is a failure: he cannot bring order to the suburbs. Every single action he has taken since the tragedy of the two teenagers' death has been to pour more oil on the fire. Mr Sarkozy has done all he could to make things worse, starting with claiming all over the media that the two young people were thieves who died while fleeing the police, which it is now certain they were not.

Mr Sarkozy has made every single mistake possible in this whole mess, he has fueled the fury the rioters use as an excuse to destroy everything around them, and now he's just waiting with open arms and a smile, for more and more votes to come his way for 2007. Make people afraid, and they will vote for whoever barks the loudest. For whoever sends them the most authoritarian message. This is so transparent I could puke. But I know people will not see it. People will flock to the banner of a savior who in fact did his best to fail at calming things down in the first place.

And it makes me mad, because Mr Sarkozy's game is a filthy one. Because innocent people lose their few precious possessions, lose their jobs, are gnawed by dread, all to serve Mr Sarkozy's dirty little games of power. To serve his filthy ambition.

I do not know how this mess can be resolved.

I know one thing: Mr Sarkozy, you're not a part of the solution. You're part of the problem.

(*) no, liberal doesn't mean what you think it does if you're a US citizen.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Let the US torture people in peace!

I think the world is going mad--no, wait, I know it's going mad. But what amazes me is its enthusiasm in getting there, as fast as possible.

Let's not mention hurricanes and the world's environmental unbalance, let's not even mention the self-eating snake called unfettered capitalism (the one that will bear with neither rules, nor regulations, nor the alien concept that human beings are more than just variables or tools in the great economy chain, that human beings are people and that they should be at the top of said chain).

The government of the greatest democracy in the world, the one and only example for us all mere aliens (don't you love being called aliens by people when all you are is in fact a foreigner, another fellow human being and not alien like the little green men in TV series?), well, it's so nice vice-president, is now pushing in the open a motion that would in effect allow the US to torture prisoners.


It's not that I didn't know about the nice things US agencies do to help out the world (like Chile, they hepled Chile so well when they put Pinochet in power), but to now have the While House officially make a bid to obtain a license to torture... Well, it's deliciously refreshing.

At least, now I suppose we won't hear arrogant lectures on freedom, human rights and democracy coming from the blessed mouth of Mr Bush.

It'll be one damn good thing in all that mess.

If it wasn't horrible beyond belief, I think I'd be laughing myself to death right now.

Source: Today's editorial of the Washington Post.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Women of Iraq Thank Mr G.W. Bush and the US Government (not)

Extracts from the text of the proposed Iraq Constitution :

Islam is a main source for legislation. No comment.
No law may contradict Islamic standards. I'm sure this has women all over Iraq rejoicing and thanking the US governement for stripping them of their rights and freedoms.
No law may contradict democratic standards. And just how do you reconcile this with the above line, pretty please? I'm sure it's going to entertain judges and lawyers and provide them with endless judicial battles...that only the wealthy and powerful will be able to afford. Meaning all the people who'll need the protection of the constitution will be barred from it.
No law may contradict the essential rights and freedoms mentioned in this constitution. Yeah. Same comment as above.

(...) Iraqis are free to abide in their personal lives according to their religion, sects, beliefs or choice. This should be organized by law.
I'm an agnosticist. Tell me, what is the law applying to me?
Oh, and a law to orgnaize all this. Yeah, sure. Piece of cake. And, by any chance, will women, even those of the poorest regions, be allowed to declare themselves other than enthusiastic followers of the most backward sects of Islam and survive?

Okay, I think there's no need to read this proposed constitution any further. But if you want to read what real US journalists have to say about this, you can find it here.

Thank you, Mr. Bush, you have effectively stripped the women of Iraq of what rights and freedoms they enjoyed, and you have given them the charming prospect of lives much harder and painful than under Saddam Hussein.

I'm sure they'll remember this and you with love.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Welcome to the Islamic Theocracy of Iraq (courtesy of the US Government)

Sometimes I think I should stop trying to keep myself informed on what's happening in the world. Lately, it has made me want to puke much too often.

The whole world knows how the Bush government boasted it would liberate Iraq from its dictator, and how the Iraqi people would flock around the US banner and embrace the coalition forces as liberators. Iraq would become a great democracy in a matter of a few months, and be a flame of hope for the whole Middle-East. The whole world also knows how it turned out :



Deaths and abductions by the thousands, numbers nobody wants to admit to in the Iraqi population. Iraq has in effect been completely destroyed. Shattered. There is nothing left: no law, no order, no security, no electricity to make a fridge work (much less an air-conditioning system, in one of the hottest countries in the world), and let's not even go into the matter of jobs and having a merely decent life. Let's not go into what is happening to the women of Iraq either.

The women of Iraq. 50% of the Iraqi population, who had rights under Saddam Hussein, guarantees of equality unheard of in the Middle-East.

The women of Iraq. 50% of the Iraqi population, who lose their rights a bit more every day. Who are now forced to wear veils or burkhas in order not to attract attention and get into serious problems. Who no longer dare drive a car, work, or display any sign of independence or equality lest they be severely repressed by the oh-so-nice zealous men liberated by the US coalition in the Shiite-dominated south of Iraq.

The women of Iraq, 50% of the Iraqi population that the US government, the self-proclaimed "liberators", are busy selling out to the Shiite clerics and to all those in Iraq who are within the reach of gaining the Islamic Republic they dream about.

Let me quote from today's edition of the Washington Post (you'll find the source of this here) :

Kurdish politicians negotiating a draft constitution criticized the U.S. ambassador to Iraq on Saturday for allegedly pushing them to accept too great a role for Islamic law in his drive to complete the charter on time. Although a Sunni delegate made similar charges, U.S. officials declined to comment publicly while they worked with politicians as a Monday deadline loomed.

(...) The Kurds said current language in the draft would subject Iraqis to extreme interpretations of Islamic law.

(...) Kurds also contend that provisions in the draft would allow Islamic clerics to serve on the high court, which would interpret the constitution. That would potentially subject marriage, divorce, inheritance and other civil matters to religious law and could harm women's rights, according to the Kurdish negotiators and some women's groups.

Khalilzad [the US ambassador to Iraq] supported those provisions and urged other groups to accept them, according to Kurds involved in the talks.

"Really, we are disappointed with that. It seems like the Americans want to have a constitution at any cost," said Mahmoud Othman, a Kurdish member of the constitutional committee. "These things are not good -- giving the constitution an Islamic face.

"It is not good to have a constitution that would limit the liberties of people, the human rights, the freedoms," Othman said.

So, now, even the Kurds, "natural allies" of the US, come forward with fears of what's going to happen in Iraq. The picture they paint is a frightening one: in order not to lose face, the US government is ready to accept anything, even to turn Iraq into something far worse than what it was, into an Islamic theocracy that will enslave women (50% of the population that the US boasted they would liberate...) and be a bitter enemy to every western country.

Even today, the state of Iraq is such that the living conditions for people are worse than when they were suffering under Saddam Hussein.

Instead of frantically trying to find a way to get out of Iraq while deluding yourselves you can still save face, dear members of the US governement, sweet neo-cons, now TAKE REPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR MADNESS, DAMN YOU! Stay, as long as it takes, the full generation it will take, the 20 or more long years of hardship and losses and deaths of American soldiers, and keep your fucking word! You came to Iraq even though the old Europe you hold in contempt (but then fools will do that and go crying in a corner that nobody likes them afterwards, it happens when you play at kindergaten level) told you how it would turn out.

Endure it. Lose popularity back home. Take it like the alpha males you boast you are in friendly media...or prove to the world that you are just theoricians, ideologists who have no grasp of reality, and neither the will nor the strength to shoulder your responsibilities, cowards who'll abandon the people you put into this horrible mess they call Iraq.

Friday, July 29, 2005

They've Seen the Light!

Oh_my_god (or: goddesses and gods, above and below, named and unnamed, real and imaginary), someone in the US has seen the light.

An earnest columnist has written an article for a US newspaper in which he actually makes a _F_A_I_R_ report concerning the choices of our European welfare states, instead of simply belittling them with a dismissive wave of the hand. And not just anyone, Paul Krugman, who happens to be an acknowledged economist and who writes a regular op/ed column in the New York Times.

In this article (read it here ), Paul Krugman actually uses intellectual honesty in explaining the differences between US and European systems, and in explaining that differences result from different choices for one's life on both sides of the Atlantic.

More than that, Paul Krugman also explains that choices are simply what they are: choices, and that one isn't above the other. One isn't "the one and only choice" and the other "stupidity". The US citizens choose some things above others, the European citizens choose other things above others. We have different priorities. It's our problem, our right, and nobody can scorn the other because of those sets of priorities. Hence the conclusion that there may be more than one way to lead one's life, more than one view on work, work conditions, health care systems, and, lo!, it follows that more than one kind society is possible. Almighty ultra-liberalism isn't the One Truth its supporters boast it is.

I am amazed.

So, Mr. Krugman, all my thanks and gratitude for your honesty and your courage in publishing such a column.

Maybe there's a chance for us, after all...

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Spoilers Deserve to Die.

And a slow, painful death at that.

I hate self-important fools who blurt spoilers around and take all the pleasure out of watching or reading something. I'm a regular poster in a French usenet anime and manga group. Been there for ages. There have been morons along the years, less than on web forums (whose sole existence is the proof that humanity is coming to an end, by the way), but this time it beats all I've ever encountered.

A thread on an anime title. Contains spoilers for the anime. And one fucking moron stumbles upon the thread and spits out a spoiler of galactic proportions for Harry Potter 6 there. And justifies himself saying there was a spoiler tag...

Of course, I will still read the book I had carefully packed away for my September holidays in order not to yield to temptation and read it then and there, but much of the surprise, of the pleasure of the book will be just gone. Thanks to one frigging brainless MORON. Shit!

Someone, give me an axe. A dull-edged one.


(and, yeah, I'm ususally against any form of capital punishment :P)

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Shoot To Kill! Great. Now, What?

From Friday's edition of the Guardian:

As he got on to the train I looked at his face. He looked sort of left and right, but he basically looked like a cornered rabbit, a cornered fox. He looked absolutely petrified and then as I say he sort of tripped, but they were hotly pursuing him.

They couldn't have been no more than two or three feet behind him at this time and he half tripped and was half pushed to the floor and the policeman nearest to me had a black automatic pistol in his left hand. He held it down to the guy and unloaded five shots into him.

An innocent man was murdered in London on Friday morning.

Shot five times in the head while he was lying on the floor, far from being a threat to anyone.

Shot by police officers.

His crime? To have been mistaken for someone else. To have been frightened and subsequently to have run away when he was chased by people in plain clothes, people he didn't know. To have been hounded and herded to the underground coach. To have tripped and fallen to the floor where he lay helpless.

Where he lay helpless until the police officers reached him and shot him in the head five times.

A tragedy, some will say, a necessary evil, others will contend, a regrettable sacrifice to methods that insure the safety of the public, a good portion of people in official positions are likely to support. If you've read previous rants of mine, you know how I feel about so-called necessary sacrifices: bullshit. You CANNOT weigh the worth of lives against life. To do so is repellant. Revolting.

The method of shooting to kill comes, unsurprisingly enough, from Israel. Okay, regardless of what I think of Israelian methods, importing this to Europe is plain madness. Are police officers now instructed to shoot to kill anyone suspect? Is the definition of "suspect" wearing a coat and having a backpack? Great. Guess what?

Whenever I travel, I'm a potential suicide bomber. Well, yeah, I do have a backpack, and I usually have a coat or a jacket on my back, even in Summer, because I always travel with one, and having it on me saves place inside my luggage or my backpack!

And, guess another thing: if a group of officers in civvies start chasing me, I WILL RUN. No, I won't let myself be grabbed and manhandled by people who wear no uniform and whom I can't identify as proper agents of the law.

It gets better: imagine for a moment that a petty thief is chased down by those officers. He has a backpack where he stores his catch of the day, and he has good reason not to want to be apprehended. Yet, does this thief deserve to be shot in the head? I would think not. Of course, I'm not a raving tabloid op/ed columnist demanding "shoot them all". Another bit of niceness, that one. And just WHERE do you think calls to hatred and murder will lead? To peace and happiness ever after?


A man is dead.

An innocent has been murdered.

Nothing will ever undo that evil.

Nothing will ever help the terror that crushed that poor man, or his pain upon being murdered.

Nothing will ever help the loss of his family and friends.

At least, the British police has publicly recognized this tragic misconduct. Now, it's time to rethink methods and tactics, and to stop with the cowboy, shoot-to-kill attitude. The last thing to do is to strive for justification and go about claiming it's all the terrorists' fault. No, sir. No way. Far too easy.

We show our metal, we show our ethics and our values when we decide on investigation methods, on instructions and procedures. We are responsible for the way in which we, as an embodiment of the law or the state, choose to react to threats such as terrorism. If we can't find the strength to remain ourselves, to hang on to who we are, to what has always defined us, then we will inevitably lose ourselves in the long run. If we allow a shoot-to-kill policy, then we deny the most basic of the principles upholding our societies: due process. Anyone is innocent until proven guilty. That requires arrest, charges, and a trial. Nobody is guilty by default, or deserving of death by default. If we find that shooting mere suspects in the head is acceptable, then the terrorists have already won.

So, no.

No, you don't instruct police officers to aim for the head, get the suspect dead and ask questions later.

Not in Europe.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Greatest Democracy in the World? Yeah, sure.

I don't know. Sometimes I think I'm hallucinating when I read articles in the US newspapers (Source: today's edition of the Washington Post).

So, now, the White House--the center, the heart of the US, the self-proclaimed Best Democracy Of All Times (not to mention best judicial system--and everyone knows the rightness of that fact), great defender of freedom, of human rights (that's a joke, right? Tell me that's a joke, please)--is now lobbying to prevent a law from being voted in the US Senate.

But, what law?

Why, a law presented by none other than Republican Senators (you know, the ones who are in the same political party as the specters haunting the White House)!

So, why would Dick Cheney, Vice-President of the US, second in command to the president leading the greatest, best, fantasticest, most democratic, most you-name-it country in this world work like crazy to prevent a law presented by his own camp to pass?

It must be a terrible, terribly evil law.

Lemme see...

The Bush administration in recent days has been lobbying to block legislation supported by Republican senators that would bar the U.S. military from engaging in "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" of detainees, from hiding prisoners from the Red Cross, and from using interrogation methods not authorized by a new Army field manual.

So, in short, the White House is fighting to prevent the passing of a law that would insure the US behaves like a civilized country, a country that respects the most basic of war conventions (Geneva anyone?) and human rights. Anyone care to tell me how that's a bad thing that should be avoided at all costs?

Ah, but in the words of the White House Officials, this law would interfere with the president's ability "to protect Americans effectively from terrorist attack."

Oh, so torture is no longer evil. The US president must use torture to defend the US citizens? He must be above conventions against torture that his country signed in the United Nations?


We can all see how abuses and torture have helped all of us in the recent days and months. We can see how it helped out London and Madrid, how it's helped out Sharm el-Sheikh. How it's helping out Irak. And Afghanistan, where women are being stoned again. We can see it, all right.

When I look at the terrorists that bomb London, that slaughter innocent civilians, I know what I see: evil barbarians, cowards, raving fanatics, murderers--the enemy.

When I look at the people owning the White House, leading the self-proclaimed greatest democratic country in the world, I find myself feeling sick. And I fond myself having more and more difficulty understanding what I see.

On a scale of "Enemy" to "Friend" going through "Neutral" in the middle, I fear the US governement is dangerously slipping toward the "Enemy" side.

Oh, and think about this, think long and hard: if the US feels it can torture "enemies", then just how can it ever again express outrage if its own end up being tortured by the other side?

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Kill Moronic Summer Parties. NOW.


It's 22:34. Tomorrow I'm working, as are many other people. That means I have to get up EARLY. A fucking moron is having himself a little fiesta down the street. A giant karaoke thing, and its shitty music MUST be on a maximum volume so it can gloriously resound through the whole quarter. The WHOLE quarter just MUST listen to pathetic voices attempting to sing ages-old sappy tunes.

I wish I knew the phone number of these people. I wish I had a nuclear missile at hand. I wish I had a machine gun, a B52, a rifle, a knife (the butcher kind, preferably). Anything.

I HATE morons who will bug a whole lot of people just because they have to have their fun and damn the rest of the world.

I hate Summer Parties.

I hate self-centered party-loving moronic fools.

I guess that means I hate most of humanity.

Fine with me.

Now, does anyone have a spare nuclear warhead close by? I promise, I'll give it back. Promise.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Hell on Earth and Below

There are many things I could say, like "told you so", "bound to happen", but... In the end, it doesn't matter. The two things that matter are all the people who were the victims of the cowardly, despicable terrorist attacks in London today--the people who will keep terrible scars in their flesh and in their hearts for as long as they live.

Them, and the descpicable cowards who targetted innocent civilians.

It's easy to take on innocent people, is it not? So much easier than to take on trained soldiers and on the real people responsible for whatever wrong you claim was done to you. It takes guts and courage, it takes balls to take on a true enemy who can fight back. But then, everyone knows terrorists don't have balls.

And they have the gall to call themselves warriors of god?

Hello, darling terrorists, here's a newsflash for you: you're mere warriors of shit and sewers.

No more and no less.



You're no men. There's no bravery in you, nothing noble or strong. You're weak. You're cowards. You're so low, despicable and worthless that you're not worth spitting on.

Come to think of it, you're not dogs, not even worms. I think they haven't yet invented the right qualificative for soulless emasculated beasts like you. One thing is sure, though:

No matter how you go carvotting about your so-called courage, you have less balls than gelded animals.

You think you'll spark terror across the democratic countries of the world? You think people will be so afraid they'll be paralyzed? But, darlings, you simply delude yourself, like all the addle-brained, foaming-at-the-mouth raving religious fanatics all around the world.

The one thing you inspire in people is not fear. It's contempt-dripping scorn.

It has been said before today, but still I'll repeat it: we're all Londoners.

Monday, June 06, 2005

American Nightmare

I'm sick and tired of condescending columnists in the US newspapers (the Washington Post and the New York Times come to mind) who go around claiming Europe must bow to the One Truth and give up its ludicrous, obsolete social system.

I'm fed up with those same columnists dripping self-proclaimed compassion on how hard the path of Europe toward righteous respect of the One Truth of ultraliberalism is bound to be.

We have no need for your pity. No need for your compassion.

Do you want me to describe exactly what you can do with them? No, I didn't think you did, anyway. Wouldn't be politically correct.

I wish those same columnists would STOP spewing their worthless brainwashing propaganda. The only people they can fool are the poor deluded souls who believe in the myth called the "American Dream." Oh, yes, economy is flourishing in the US. Yes, the very rich get much richer, very fast. That is true. Now, tell me how the numbers of a healthy economy help the millions of poor people in the US, those who are homeless, who have nothing left? Tell me how it's all helping a disintegrating middle class in the US?

I think that what gets to me the most is how those columnists, those thinktanks and all keep at it. It's how they won't leave us the hell alone. For all their claims of belonging to a great country which respects all the political opinions, all the religions (they take that so far that they support sects like the church of scientology), they display a rather blatant lack of overture on the social and economic aspects of life. I'm not spending my time telling the US people to stop being morons who have a heart attack at the single mention of the words "left" or "socialism", am I? I'm not telling the US to give up its inhuman model, am I?

What right do those columnists have, telling us we must bow down to THEIR views?


Why am I ranting on this all of a sudden? Well, it's been bugging me for years, how people in the US dare passing judgements on systems they neither live in, nor understand. Nobody has ever demanded they give up their system to live in ours. Yet, from their self-proclaimed position of superiority, they have tthe gall of telling us we must bow to their One Truth. And they do this, in spite of all the signs that demonstrate that economic good health serves none other than the very rich people in the US, while impoverishing the middle class. That, and I read this column in the New York Times today.

Ever noticed how One Truth rhymes with One Ring?

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Apocalypse Knight

On the morrow of the French "no" to the project for a European Constitution, the French president has reshuffled his whole cabinet. Months too late, he has sent his former prime minister back to his countryside. To lead the government until the next presidential elections, he has called Dominique de Villepin. It could have been far worse.

It could have been Nicolas Sarkozy.

It could have been I-know-it-all-the-social-model-of-Europe-is-doomed, ultra-liberalist, pro-US, populist, authoritarian Nicolas Sarkozy.

Nicolas Sarkozy would have been the daring, bright, extremely dangerous choice. Naming him prime minister might have weakened him, unmade him for the presidential election, but only if Jacques chirac could give him free reign to lead his destructive policies, and force him to remain as prime minister until the time of the election--to remain until his politics had time to show their terrible effects and the character of Sarkozy lost his hold on people held in thrall by the honeyed words of the populist he is. I doubt Jacques Chirac would have managed to force him to keep his post until the election. And if Nicolas Sarkozty had been allowed to leave his position of prime minister a year before the election, claiming he had no means to lead his policies, the situation would have left him a winner, and a virtual president for France.

The gods and goddesses know I NEVER want to see Nicolas Sarkozy in power. The man is everything I reject, all that revolts me. He would destroy our social model--or give anything to do it anyway.

But the dice have rolled, the advisors have spoken, and Dominique de Villepin is the new French prime minister.

A Knight in Shining Armor.



A striking figure, Dominique de Villepin is a perfect hero of shoujo manga. Slim and tall, eloquent, with a beautiful deep voice, he's also smart and the ideal herald for Europe. All of us felt our hearts beating with pride on the day he spoke out at the UN stronghold in New York city, refusing to go to war in Irak.

Of course, if Jacques Chirac had really wanted to show he understood the significance of his failure to get a "yes" in the referendum, he's simply have resigned from his post and called for presidential elections on the spot. Or he'd have dismissed the parliament and called for legislative elections on the spot. But then, he could hardly do that. No matter how he's been trying to say Europe is of the utmost importance, still Jacques Chirac, his party and others are just as bad as some voters: in truth they only focus on the domestic issues. Europe is a simple tool, a convenient scapegoat when things go wrong.

Sick of the unemployment rates?

Sick of taxes?

Sick of companies closing down and leaving for Poland or Roumania so they can hire wrokers for virtually nothing and quarduple their profits?

Well, blame Europe, of course. It's not their fault--no, how could it be? After all, they're the ones sitting at Europe's negociations tables, they're the ones bowing down to ultra-liberalist policies, or they're the one shaping them!

I find myself in a weird position right now. I am a left-wing union representative, and yet here I am, watching Dominique de Villepin, and dreaming of Knights in Shining Armor.

Of nobles in castles of old.

Of kings and princes of long ago.

I find myself hoping this brilliant figure can somehow stand strong and steady, and resist the irrepressible assaults that Nicolas Sarkozy is bound to make on his government. Nicolas Sarkozy, named minister of Interior and number two in the government, a virtual prime minister in the shadows.

A bitter enemy of Dominique de Villepin, who will stop to nothing to thwart whatever attempt Dominique de Villepin to salvage a hopeless situation. For, make no mistake, Nicolas Sarkozy will move, he will act and if he can, he will destroy everything we stand for.

Nicolas Sarkozy cares nothing for us, the only thing driving him is his all-devouring ambition. He will stoop as low as it takes, he will betray anyone and anything for power. In contrast, Dominique de Villepin has accepted the mission to lead a doomed government, a fact that will certainly bar him from the possibility of competing during the next presidential race.

So, while the political elite indeed seems oblivious to the landslide that had triggered the massive "no" to the project of European Constitution, while they seem oblivious to the primeval importance of that result and its significance--while they seem oblivious that this time it's not governments, prime ministers or presidents who say "no" to Europe but whole populations

Well, at least the proud silouhette of Dominique de Villepin is now leading the French government.

A Knight of Ancient Times...sigh.

I've always had a weak spot for noble figures, for kings and princes and knights. So I wish you good luck, Mr. De Villepin. May you stand steady and strong in the storm. May you find success on your path of opposition to Nicolas Sarkozy's rise in power.

I find some consolation in the knoweldge that Dominique de Villepin is fiercely attached to the European model and values. Some hate him because he belongs to the great, ancient families of France and to the intellectual elite, but I say enough with this stupid low-level thinking. Why hate and brand people as elite? Those who do so only need to work for it, to reach out. No, you can't become a billionaire with simple effort, but you can learn, and become a member of any intellectual elite, if only you condescend to use your mind and make it work.

Then, I find some measure of comfort and amusement at the thought of the temper tantrums and outbursts that must have taken place at the White House upon the nomination of Dominique de Villepin as prime minister. My, poor Bush administration, how that must rankle. I think I can even find a bit of compassion for you...

At least, Dominique de Villepin will fight for our values. Even if the question of Europe gets back to the shadows for a time, at least he won't start unmaking everything.

So, yeah, give me Dominique de Villepin. I'll choose him everytime over a greedy minion of the heartless, inhuman financial interests who are busy killing the blue planet we call earth.

Give me a Knight in Shining Armor.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Told You So !

The French voted " no " because the EU Constitution treaty doesn't have enough social aspects and far too many aspects stinking of unfettered market economy--aka ultraliberalsim--to it (that is, if you don't count the racists and nazi nostalgics of the far-right and the deluded fools who believe they're back in the years of Louis XIV)

The Dutch voted "no" because some are deeply xenophobic, and others are greedy rich people who refuse to be a part of the solidarity system that helps poorer countries to catch up with us (well, there were a few "no of the left" lost in that crowd, but they weren't exactly a majority).

The UK is contemplating a totally unsubtle attempt not to go forward with darling Tony Blair's promise to put the project to the vote (but then, if you ask me the UK shouldn't be in the EU to begin with, they hate the EU and everything it represents; over the years they've been nothing but a spoke in our wheels, and a convenient way for non European interests to paralyze Europe's development).

The US thinktanks have seized this too-good-to-be-true opportunity to bash on oursocial model : according to them, the "no" votes are proof that our "welfare" social models have outlived their usefulness and are now obsolete. According to them, the "no" votes are the undeniable proof that we must abandon our welfare system and embrace the so wonderful unfettered concurrency, ultraliberal model.

Better to live in a poor country that's looking forward than to live in a rich country with a full-fledged social system that refuses to yield on the principles that have defined the existence of its population for generations.

Why should we cling to and defend the rights that our parents and grandparents fought so hard to gain?

After all, we're busy voting "no" to Europe, are we not?

It does mean that we've shed our delusions about social security nets and all those hindrances to the free market, that we'd rather live by the so perfect US or UK model, does it not?

You don't believe me? Well read this first, and then come back to me..

This post's title tells it all. The "no of the left" was pure stupidity and madness, and the only thing it could do was backfire. It's just started, and we haven't seen the end of it.

I told you so.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Well, you voted. Now, renegociate !

It's a no.

I know some people who're laughing right now. I don't think they're friends of anyone among the "no of the left". No, no friends at all.

And now, for the great rising tide of the "people of the left"! Oh, yeah! Now, for the renegociation of the text. Sure!

I'll be sitting with the crowd of ultraliberalists laughing at you while you try, and I'll be there with a bucket full of scorn and contempt for the great names among the Socialist party who conveniently ignored the results of the internal polls in the PS. You, who scorned your party's internal democracy to support the "no" despite the votes of your affiliates, you who did so out of pure and simple political opportunism and with the single goal of the presidential election of 2007. Remember this: not only will you lose in 2007, and will Nicolas Sarkozy be elected president thanks to your despicable petty powergames, but what's more you'll fail at renegociating.

Because the other countries which will reject the treaty will do so because they believe it's far too social. Because they don't want this ultraliberalism that you claim to be fighting to be hampered by any rule, however small.

Oh, you will have a new text. And you can be certain, that that new text won't have an ounce of social flavor to it.

Now, excuse me while I go heave out the contents of my stomach, I just heard a far-left defender of the "no" rejoicing at the thought that the UK will reject the treaty as well, and claiming they'll do so because it lacks of social aspects.

Excuse me, while I go and cry over the stupidity and the low-level populism of the far-left.

You voted "no". Well and good. Now, deal with the consequences.

And don't come whining in a year or two.

Oh, I forget, the World Company CEO sends his most sincere thanks between guffaws of laughter at your stupidity.

The only thing you stopped is European integration, more power to the EU to shield us from the consequences of globalization. Don't worry, China is still rising and killing us, the US is sticking to its policies. The globalization of economy and the weakening of our welfare systems continue.

I guess, you can be reaaal proud of yesterday's vote.

Real proud.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

The US is rooting for "no"

One editorial of Today's Washington Post splatters around a web page on how "no" is the right answer to the European Constitution. I'm not surprised.

Now, ladies and gentlemen of the "no of the left", care to reconcile that with your lofty delusions of having the "people of the left rise and demand--not to mention obtain--a more social text" ?

Care to tell me how you can justify your "no" in a realistic manner?

No, of course.

The polls will deliver their verdict tonight. There's still time. Think, and go vote, dagnabit! And if you're still not convinced, if you're so self-centered that you haven't thought of watching the different reactions in Europe and the world concerning the ascent of the "no", if you've been so hard of hearing that you haven't picked up the ultraliberalist and anti-Europe crowd rooting for the "no", then simply go read this.

Yes, there are many in favor of "no", and they're not social-minded people.

They're in favor of a wholly unfettered capitalist world, unbridled competition and the destruction of our social and welfare system. They stand for everything we hate and reject. They stand for the unique, unrivalled power of the US over the world in every domain.

No, they're not people who want a better world with more equality and social justice.

Open your eyes.

Go vote.

There's no such thing as a perfect world.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Enjoy the Silence

Who said there’d be scribblings of mine up this blog every single day of every single week, huh? I don’t remember signing any contract with my blood, so all expectations or expostulations will have to be reported to your mirror, or to the moon, the stars or the clouds.

I guess I’m rather tired at this moment--all right, more like exhausted and in dire need of holidays far, far away from work. That, and the one subject that’s currently being given my undivided attention is the vote in France next Sunday. Yeah, the vote.

Eu-ro-pe-an Cons-ti-tu-tion, remember?

The French will vote yes or no on Sunday. In Germany, Shroder announces early elections for next Fall, elections in which the social-democrats look like they might have to yield power over to the christian-democrats. And THAT is yet another sign that screams at me there will NOT be a way to renegociate a better compromise for the constitution.


Well, let me be honest : of course if the result of the polls is a no, and if enough countries reject the text, there will be new talks, and new negociations. And, yes, a new compromise will emerge. A better one.

But a better one for whom?

Facts: the current compromise was reached when the EU was made of 15 countries, most of those with social-democrats in power. If a new compromise must be reached, it will have to be done between 25 countries, 10 of whom belong to the newly integrated countries. Countries governed by people who believe in the lawless rule of ultra-liberal economy. And, to crown it all, in all likelihood, in case of new negociations, the Germany that would sit down at the negociations table would then be a CDU Germany, not a SPD-Grune Germany.

So, be honest. Use your brain, and tell me: what are the odds of getting these countries to agree on a text with a much more social flavor? Zero, or close to zero.

So move your asses, people, and go vote yes. You don’t have to like it, you don’t have to start raving over how great it is, or over the fact that it’s so easy to read and understand. It’s not. It’s far from perfect, it’s far from containing all the essential social principles and defenses that we need as a European people. It’s far from going far enough in uniting the policies of all our countries, but it contains steps in the right direction, however small.

Precious glimmers of hope.

Small, but primeval steps. We must have them if Europe is to survive, if Europe is to be given if only the beginnings of a chance to stand for what its people believe in, to stand for our rights, for everything our parents and grandparents fought for--then we must have this text. Now, before it’s too late. Before there’s nothing left to save.

Come on, comrades (yes, I get to say that, I'm a union representative, so I get to say it :P), a constitution where there's not a single mention of God or Christianity? We MUST have it! You can be sure that with Poland now an active member, and with our dear Panzer Pope fuming at the lack of G word in the constitution, any new text would include the G word. I don't know about you, but I know I don't want to see the smallest mention of a god or a religion in the European Constitution. Europe must remain a secular zone.

A God-free zone.

We're not the US where they use the G word at every opportunity they get, and are about to bar evolution from their biology courses in school. No. No obscurantism here, no religious zealots and religious dogma. No, thank you very much. We want to be miscreants, sinners, unbelievers, heathens, you name it. We want to remain god-free.

The Constitution’s text can be perfected. It can be reviewed, and the odds of managing that are way higher than the odds of managing to renegociate a more social text. I think that what enfuriates me the most when I listen to the people who support the “no of the left”, is their argument according to which it will be easy to renegociate a much more social text on the morrow of the victory of the “no”. It’s self-delusion at best, bullshit at worst. I can only hope the people who go around claiming that renegociations will do the trick are just sincere fools, and not lying bastards.

The French people will give their verdict on Sunday. I can only hope they will think long and hard before going to the polls. I can only hope they will focus on the actual question they’re being asked, and not on all the domestic issues that rightfully anger them.

We’ll see.

… Okay, I said I was tired, and here I wrote this long post on the European Constitution. Hm. Well, I’m still tired. I think I'm going to fling myself in the arms of Morpheus for a time. So, enjoy the silence.

Enjoy it while it lasts. :P

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


It’s grey. All around. Grey and cold.

This time of the year is traditionnally known as the “Saints of Ice”, and it’s always cold like this. It doesn’t have to be rainy and windy, though. But it is. Maybe to spite this little portion of the world, or just maybe because this is Belgium and that Belgian weather is ruled by the whims of clouds. It doesn’t help one to feel enthusiastic about things.

Say, I’m not even happy that it’s likely Belgium will survive this day and that it looks like we won’t have to go to the polls before summer. The government may well not fall upon its failure to resolve the ridiculous issue of BHV (no, this isn’t the name of a supermarket company, it’s the nickname of the Brussels-Hal-Vilvoorde issue). I think the far right, fascist and racist party called Vlaam Belang (by the way, nice usurpating of a concept which means “Flemish Interests”, call your party like that, and the unfortunately-not-giffted-with-the-minimums-of-a-brain-who-are-more-numerous-than-you-might-think will automatically listen when you start spewing your hatred and your racism and your lies, just because they hear the magic words) must be fuming. Not to mention the CD&V, our so niiiiiice, not greedy, not go-getting AT ALL political party. They must be ready to throw a fit by now.

I don’t know what I despise most: a racist, far right, fascist, nazi-nostalgic party, or a so-called “democratic” and “christian” party that keeps barking as loud as it can, cavorting behind the fascists and racists in order to win more votes and come back to power.

I so enjoy watching these greedy bastards playing with people’s kinder and nicer instincts. Dangling phony messages of doom, threat, unfairness--maybe I should be fair as well, and admit that I also love the people ready to listen to whatever low-level propaganda and follow blindly whoever howls the loudest--and suptters the most, don’t we all love the traces of drool trickling down the chin of a raving extremist?

Perhaps I should also mention my undying admiration for the Flemish media and the rest of the Flemish political parties, which have ALL the same, single voice, which ALL play and push on the button of "we're the Walloons' victims, they're so bad people, they steal from us, and they refuse to assimilate and speak our language." The media, especially, deserve all the praise I'm capable to give for their precious help they're giving to the far-right, racist and facist party with their obsessive need to dangle those issues in front of the public's nose--with their turning insignificant issues into matters of state while the true social and economical problems aren't addressed. It's so easy, so rewarding to contribute to the rise of the far-right. I hope they're all proud. I hope they'll still be proud on the day when a fascist, racist and nazi nostalgic party is in power on the Flemish side. I know I'll be asking for political asylum in France on that day.

One day, maybe, I’ll gather enough energy to review the whys and wherefores of the Flemsih obsessions and fantasies toward the French-speaking part of the country. Maybe I’ll take the time to explain calmly that, while the Flemish people were suffering under the whip of the rich, French-speaking bourgeoisie (we’re talking 19th and early 20th century here), the Walloon people (who at the time were NOT speaking French but the various Walloon dialects, depending on the region where they lived), were ALSO suffering under the whip of a rich, French-speaking bourgeoisie.

Will the Flemish part of Belgium one day realize that its own bourgeoisie used the French language as a way of social distinction between classes, just as it was the case on the Walloon side, and that if the Flemish children of those days were forced to speak French, the ones forcing them to do so were THEIR OWN. Not the Walloon people. As the whims of history go, the Walloon dialects all but disappeared, and French became the unique tongue spoken here.

If I could speak candidly to a Flemish politic or journalist, I would tell him this: really, people, instead of blaming all the suffering of the times, all the feelings of inferiority of the times, the arrogance of the bourgeoisie of the times on the French language, why don’t you get real, get yourselves a brain, think, and place the blame where it should be: on the shoulders of your OWN bourgeoisie, and leave this country alone? And, while you’re at it, please, keep your obsessive needs for revenge for your own companies and bourgeoisie, for your parents and grandparents who punished you and bawled out on you.

The future looks dreary enough as it is, we don’t need to have far-right nationalists and fascists in power to add to the fun.

Friday, May 06, 2005

"Our Economy is the Healthiest." Yeah. So What?

Originally, I wanted to title this post "Shouganai ne", Japanese for "it can't be helped". I also considered "Sigh" and "Yawn" to emphasize the fact that the elections result in the UK are no surprise to me, even if I hoped things would turn out in another fashion--if I hoped that people might open their eyes and see beyond the narrow path that their field of vision is reduced to. But then, watching a debate on TV, I was once more forced to hear that absurd sentence: "and of course one of the strong points of his campaign was centered on the fact that, thanks to his governing the country, its economy is the healthiest, the strongest."

Oh, great.

Companies are well and good, thriving even. That's so nice to hear.

Tell me, how are the real, normal, common people's lives affected by this healthy economy? How have their lives become better?

They have not?

Oh, that's so bad.

How have their jobs become more stable, more secure? How has it become more difficult to fire people? How have those who've lost their jobs been insured that they will keep getting help until they can find a job THAT MATCHES THEIR RESUME and not whatever trash thing that gets tossed their way?

They have not?

Well, really, that's too bad.

How have people's wages and work conditions grown?

Much worse?

Really, really, that's too bad.

How about the essential pillars of society that are Education and Health Care?

They're the worst around? Worse than in all those countries that are belittled because their economic growth is weak, much weaker than the UK's?

Oh, that's so bad.

This is for Mr Blair and all the believers in the almighty supremacy of economy: your mantras and dogmas are no good. Your economy is no good, serves no purpose if people are forgotten and sacrificed on its altar. Economy is useless and worthless when all it does is strengthen the differences between classes.

When it serves only to make the rich richer and the poor poorer.

When people are made to serve it.

When people are dumped and are marked with the label of "drifters".

When men and women are trashed like garbage, flushed out like excrements by a society that rejects them once they've ceased to be useful to it.

So, a healthy economy? Yeah. Sure.

Remind me again, what does it matter to me?

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Go, LibDems! Go!

On Thursday, citizens from all over the UK will go to the polls. I hope they kick Tony Blair’s ass all the way to the Shetland Islands and beyond.

As luck would have it, Thursday is a legal day-off--wait, it’s a day-off here, not in the UK. Ah, that means that getting as many people as possible to take the time to go to the polls and do their duty won’t be as easy as I had first thought. Can anyone tell me why those coutnries that keep bragging that they’re the greatest democracies in the world keep maintaining a system in which voting isn’t compulsory, and in which they organise their election day on a weekday? How can you exepct a big voters' turn-out when you tell people to go vote on a day when they’re supposed to be working, and when their boss isn’t gonna give them the day off or the morning off or two hours off to do it? And just how can you honestly pretend your democracy is the best when it’s based on a system as crappy as that, pray tell?

Ah well, I’m not going to continue along those lines, otherwise this post is going to be miles long, and I’m gonna be whining for hours on end (not to mention make myself a lot of enemies).

The point of this post, as its title so subtly indicates, is to get anyone of British nationality who’d stumble upon it to get themselves moving and voting Liberal Democrat.


You can do it, people! There's a life outside of Labour and the Conservatives! There's more to the political spectrum! The Liberal-Democrats exist, they’re not demons out of limbo--at least they weren't last time I checked (but then, maybe I am a demon out of limbo, and maybe I'm also hell incarnate).

LibDems are the one, real altervnative to dear old lying Tony.

And, once again, yes, you may vote for them. Don’t worry, it’s not dirty, you won’t be sent off into hell once you get out of the polling station. If enough of the british people vote for the Liberal-Democrats, then they will wield enough power to be a major influence, they might even enter a majority and then have a say in decisions. Please, enough with this stupid reflex of thinking there are only two parties. It’s not so.

Government coalitions WORK.

They truly do. Take it form someone living in a country where no single political party has ever been in power alone, where coalitions are a habit as old as the country itself. No, government coalitions don't exist to herald the coming of the next apocalypse, I haven't spotted riders lately, not even around the Vatican. So you're safe. Go ahead! Nothing bad can happen, the Conservatives won't gain power. all that can happen is Labour beinf gorced to build a coalition with the Liberal-Democrats. And that, I swear, would bring a lot of interesting new things in the so well ordered British political life.

Vote for the Liberal-Democrats, and turn them into a power to be reckoned with.

Vote for the Liberal-Democrats, and take your destiny in your own hands, stop bowing to traditions and habits.

Vote for the Liberal-Democrats, and prove that things can change.

Prove that YOU can make things change.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Where Threads of Gold Shine in the Night

It's 20h50, and the phone starts ringing. I hate the phone, I truly do.

Spitting out a curse, I reluctantly go to pick up the fucking thing. In the privacy of my rather pissed-off mind, I wonder who has the gall to call me on a Sunday evening. Just as my dull, reflex welcome sentence fades, the sound of music registers in my mind.
And people's voices.
They're singing.

Two thousand miles away, on a small island of the dodecannese, Easter is being celebrated in the village of Olymbos. The women have donned their most beautiful, colorful dresses--ancient clothes that belong to a centuries-old tradition. Above the dresses and the aprons, they wear coins of pure gold, threaded and woven with the costumes' delicate fabrics.

Night has fallen there.
The moon is glittering over the sea, its white light challenged by the happy fires of a small village set atop the cliff.
Challenged by the warmth of voices singing.
Challenged by glimmers of gold as women dance in the village's central tavern.

It's dad on the phone, and he remains silent, allowing me to listen to the faraway songs and music for a few, infinitely precious moments--allowing me to share the warmth and the celebration, all the way on the other side of Europe. It's magic, a priceless gift.

I listen.
I feel the vibrations of voices and music.
I close my eyes.
I can see the tavern, I remember it from my visit, all those years ago.
I can see the musicians and the dancers at the center of the taproom.
I can see the walls and the windows, and the night outside.
I can see the wood and straw chairs.
The bouzouki resting on the men's thighs.

I'm happy.

It's moments like these that make living a wonderful thing. It's moments like these which warm your soul and allow you to regain strength to face tomorrow.

On a small island of the Dodecannese, they're celebrating Easter. The village's name is Olymbos. The island is Karpathos.

Thank you, Dad. Thank you, Mom. I love you.

In Greece, when a child is baptized, at the heart of the orthodox rite, his godmother presents him to the Four Winds and requests the protection of the Four Elements for her godson. It's Easter in Greece, in Karpathos, and the moon watches over the celebration in Olymbos.

Over the sky and below the Aegean Sea, the ancient gods are smiling.

Friday, April 29, 2005

All Good Things...

Yes, I'm a geek, reread my profile :P

And no, this isn't about TNG. It's about good old dark, angsty and beautiful, aka Angel The Breeding Mar^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hooding Hero.

All in all, it was a very nice and enjoyable series--except for season 4, which doesn't exist except as one of those nightmares that fades from your mind even as you get up from your bed in the morning. I expected feeling intense frustration upon reaching the end of the last episode, but I didn't experience that. The ending is, amazingly enough, coherent with the pronouncements made all along the series: the fight never ends. You cannot win, but you keep fighting, again and again, and nevermind the impossible odds. It couldn't end. There could be no victory and living happily everafter. So, the ending as it was suits me fine. As for the few peeves I might entertain toward the series, let me see...

(note for anyone who isn't done watching Angel season 5: you might want to skip the rest, unless you don't mind spoilers...)

Plot holes. Hello, plot holes! The whole series is strewn with them. An example? Oh, gladly! Meet Illyria, Season 5 archdemon, Old One, older than the Wolf, the Ram and the Hart ("they were small"), absolute power, overgod, and so on. Incarnates in a human shell too fragile for it, and lo, all it takes to contain it is some plastic pseudo sci-fi weapon developped in less than an episode by Wesley (not that we get to see him actually _working_ on the thing), who's not exactly an expert in the manufacturing of advanced weaponry... Urgh.

Connor. Ah, no, no Connor, doesn't exist. Impossible, remember. Why did they write Connor? Insufferable character, except for the few scenes he has in season 5, when he's finally gotten a life (litterally).

Season 4--wait, what season? Ah, the thing that could have been written and directed by a 5 year-old kid? The thing during which all the actors suddenly regressed to be really, _really_ bad? Three things save season 4 from the abyss and allow it to hang by a tiny corner of paper on the edge of that veeeeery high cliff: Wesley, Lilah, and the last episode.

Lindsey. Come on, Lindsey is such a fantastic character, why, oh why, did the writers have to bring him back for another round in season 5? Why was it necessary to change that nuanced, grey character into your average middle-level Bad Guy (tm)? How could they throw to the wolves such a superb character? Anyone but Lindsey! Leave Lindsey alone! (perhaps I should create a society for the preservation of Lindseys...)

The fabulous depth and sincerity shining (yep, shine. Shine, shine!) in the so-called romances of our resident dark-and-beautiful-and-tormented Angel such as they're masterfully blundered during season 5--on the other hand, no. Let's not go there, or I will start saying really unflattering things for whoever was in charge of managing that. One word: ludicrous.

Angel killing off Drogyn and feeding from him...okay, I can work with that, but dagnabit, CHARACTER COHERENCE, people! It takes roughly 10 seconds of footing to justify it, a word whispered in an ear. But, nothing. And as a result we get Angel being as un-Angel as you can get. Really, was it too much to ask to get Drogyn to know and accept the reason why he was about to die? With such a scene, all is well. Without it, Angel just goes over to the dark side--not to fool his enemies as is stated in the season, for real. It doesn't fit with the character, it's just plain stupid.

Other than that, as stated before, Angel is a really fine entertainment series. If you don't get sick when you spot plot holes (no matter how huge they can be), if you don't mind the occasional deus ex machina, then you get truly nicely done and developped characters.

And you get Spike. Yes! Spike! More Spike is always good! But then, Spike, simply by being Spike, would turn any series into a worldwide success (and I won't even try claiming a semblance of objectivity here :P)

Wesley is definitely one of the best characters I've ever seen in a TV series, along with Lorne and Lilah. Gunn and Fred come next. Angel is Angel, too much of a cliche and a walking stereotype to be really good, in spite of valiant attempt of gifting (or cursing) the character with a sense of humor. I would mention Andrew, but then he gets so few scenes and is such a Buffy character that I can't decently list him here--wait, isn't that what I just did?

And kudos to Joss Whedon for coming up with the Wolf, the Ram and the Hart. Must be one of the very best depictions of evil I've ever seen or read about.

Before I finish this mind dump on Angel, one last note regarding coincidences: discounting season 5 (which can't compete since it has Spike throughout, and that would be unfair when comparing with seasons which have much less--and sometimes none--of him), my favorite season in Angel is season 2, which matches Buffy season 5, my favorite Buffy season. Chances, chances.

Now, Mr. Whedon, why don't you start working on something that doesn't involve catering to the nostalgics of the American Founding Fathers and the Wild West Pioneers, and get back to something that's also palatable for the rest of the world? I happen to believe you're a man of true talent, and I'd really love to get more of what your mind can create :P

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Of Albatroses and Threads

It flies.

It's big, it's white and blue, it has lots and lots of wheels. It has impossibly long wings. It's so huge and heavy it shouldn't be able to lift from the ground, and yet there's a strange feeling of grace to it. A feeling of reverence as you watch it win free from the runway's asphalt. I watch the pictures and, taking the measure of the quiet awe rising inside me, I find I'm happy there's still so much left of the child within.

The Airbus A380 is a wonderful success, and never mind analysts--astonishingly enough all of them from the US, and all of them speaking only now, when the maiden flight is taking place (no, Boeing doesn't look like the grumpy stepmother frustrated at how well her daughter in law is doing in the world)--claiming the very existence of the A380 is all a strategy mistake on Airbus' part.

What's even better, is that Airbus is European. It's a union of the knowledge, investment, faith and expertise of several countries which made it possible. I find comfort in that fact. Yes, Europe can build things. Beautiful things. I can only hope the range of what Europe can build will expand with time (this is a subtle hint that I'm in favor of the project for a European Constitution, by the way :P)

Threads are another matter, and much less satisfying. China is now free to export fabrics into Europe without any limitation. The consequences of that change have been quick, and deadly: companies are closing everywhere. Fabrics are being imported into Europe at a price impossible to beat--oh, right, let me be fair in this matter: those prices would be beatable, if only European employees accepted to work for wages that wouldn't allow them to even _EAT_ during the month.

Ever heard of social dumping?

I hate the globalization of economy. It serves a single purpose: make the very rich even richer, and never mind the less pleasant consequences of making the poor poorer and the destruction of the middle class. Economy and its "laws" should _SERVE_ humanity, not the other way around. We are no ants. We are people, and we have the most absolute right to decent work conditions, wages and decent lives. This is the first principle those fucking laws of economy should bow to--not the ever increasing short term profit margin of stock holders. Ever noticed how communism and neo-liberalism have so much in common? How both work on the hypothesis that the people who work are just there to serve the system, just tools, just ants?

We're going nowhere with the current model, and we're going there fast. I think about how my grandparents and great-grandparents fought for their social rights, and I feel like vomiting when I listen to people telling us on TV or everywhere that there's only one way: globalization of economy, rule of economy. In a single generation, we're going to destroy what it took centuries to gain. Because we're too selfish, too blind, too bored, too stupid or a bit of all the above to care, to move and to stand up for what was achieved before us. We don't care about politics. We despise politicians. We refuse to move our sorry asses to vote at elections. We bow to the will of lying bastards. We listen to their honeyed words. We give up. We refuse to burden ourselves with taking our fates into our own hands. We can't be bothered, you know. After all, there's something on TV right now, that's way more important--not to mention agonizing over the latest fashion trend.

Yay for us.

But then, who knows? Maybe we'll sink down the abyss of poverty and misery so fast that we'll find ourselves forced to move, to rise and to fight for our rights. Maybe there's hope. Maybe we can one day convince those who win millions of Euros a month to give up a ten of a thousandth of what they win by just exchanging virtual hords of money. Maybe we can convince them to do this greatest of sacrifices for the stability of our world, so that we can remain good consumers who'll still have the means to buy the products they sell, and so allow them to remain the grotesquely rich people they are...

Maybe one day we can denounce the dictates of the allmighty god of Economy.

Maybe someday we can even stop bowing to economical dogma.

Mr. Tobin, where are you?

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

But… Billions of Lives are at Stake !

Everyone, please remain calm. The situation is under control, we just need to sacrifice someone in order to save the world--or maybe even the universe if we're working with an ambitious scenario writer.

Just stop and think for a moment. How many times have you had to bear with that particular plot twist? Okay, stop counting. Too many.

It's not that I don't enjoy good character torturing, I do. I love nothing better than a genuine Cornelian dilemma which sends the characters agonizing over impossible choices--but.

Frankly, I've had enough of having to watch Winston Churchill's decision being revisited in every universe available (but with much sexier characters, true; so there might be some merit in that after all, hmmm...).

There's no choice, no question--not in my book anyway.

To sacrifice a life, no matter how many you save in return, simply invalidates the choice. Comparing the worth of lives versus life is absurd. Every life is unique, and precious beyond what words can describe. There's no calculating the worth of one and weighing it against the worth of the other, for a very simple reason : who are you (who is the hero) to decide such a thing? What places you above the others? Excuse me, are you some kind of god or goddess of old? Unless you just sprung out of a book, a game, a TV series, a movie or the imagination of someone else, that's not bloody likely. There's just one exception I can see, when the life you're willing to sacrifice is YOURS.


Of course, I'm as human as the next girl, I kind of enjoy watching your dark and gorgeous character angsting over the fate of the world, and then whipping himself with guilt. Cross my heart. Still, I don't think I care for writers to overuse the theme, and reach the conclusion that, well, yes, it's painful, but if it's to save the [insert "world", "solar system", "galaxy", "universe", "dimension", "multiverse", etc.] then we'll be brave and do it and agonize lots thereafter. It's not an acceptable choice. You can have characters make it, but then there must be consequences--hell to pay sounds rather nice. A hero who can live with him/herself and live happily everafter once he's made such a choice isn't a hero. Sorry.

Why am I whining about such philosophical questions on a Tuesday afternoon? Boredom or lack of motivation at work might explain a part of it. Watching Angel season 5 might explain another part of it, if only in an indirect fashion. And, at least, you've learnt something about me that's not mentioned in my profile:

You know how I feel about Coventry.