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.