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Monday, May 31, 2010

On Outrageous Displays of Cultural Genocide

In our new series Daily Outrage, we bring two facts we find repugnant and deserving of our severest condemnation.

The first, this being World No Tobacco Day, the video below shows what a long row we have to hoe as regards awareness. Awareness in the West is one thing. Quite another here:


Two-Year Old Toddler Smokes Cigarettes - Watch more Funny Videos

There is no excuse for this outrage. No matter whether it is caused by agressive advertising by the tobacco industry in those shores or whether it is by sheer...
by the parents who...

Go to CNN for more on this barbarous story.

The second, and this is really sensitive stuff, has to do with Israel preemptively raiding, in international waters, a ship in an aid flotilla en route to Palestine and, responding to attack, left a few (how many?) dead in their tracks sparking global outrage.

While Israel's concern is absolutely legitimate, make no mistake, to our minds the end result was disproportionate in that, with all their security apparatus, they could have waited for the vessels to dock (?) and then proceed with due inspections.

Now, we know missiles raining down on Israeli neighborhoods is also deplorable. People are people. Terror is terror.

From our ivory tower, when we hear of such news, we are just left with a feeling that this is never-ending. We feel for those involved.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Malawi Men Pardoned. About Time

Malawi men pardoned. It was about time.

From the Advocate

See post On Draconian....on this blog for more background.

Obviously, we are to congratulate authorities in the African nation for a job well done.

It seems to us that the couple in question has been pardoned due to external pressure and not by good will alone. Even so, that is highly laudable.

Let us join those who wish the couple a very nice life together and that things work out for them.

Let us be straight to the point and not ramble far too much or we will lose the thread. Everybody in the know is up to here with what most of us consider backwardness and retroguardism.

Hopefully that will shed some light in and clear out some musty mentalities.

Light!

Brazil's World Cup: Everything is Good to Go

Brazil's World Cup: The Worrying Starts Early

Time


From the text: "Everybody wants to go to the party but no one wants to pay for it."


I shouldn't be writing about things i don't understand or know very little about, especially as it concerns the inner workings of corporate decisions and constructions plans.

Also, fyi, people writing in Brazil may not enjoy the say freedoms of expression as, say, our fellow bloggers do in the U.S., for example. Extreme diplomacy is called for when criticizing this, that, or the other.

However, i do think the Andrew is right in that, no, i have not seen anything remotely conducive to bigging up the conditions of those 12 stadiums slated to host the games.

Neither have i seen anything, in my hometown, so far, remotely suggestive that this is going to happen in the next 24 hours.

As much as i hate to see the fact that the authorities are depicted as inept in the article, i think there is something to be said about the lethary with which things are accomplished in our beloved neck of the woods.

But then again, when they happen, they happen with a bang! So, i will keep you posted. It should interest you if you're remotely keen on football (soccer).

Meanwhile, check out the video below: a theme song for Brazil for this year's World Cup.



Translate? No. I'm thoroughly hopeless at translation.

Friday, May 28, 2010

On Plugging and Capping and Top Killing

Top kill, cap, dome, plugging, mushrooming environmental crisis, oil gushing from ruptured pipes...The semantic brainwashing goes on...

Incredible what we can do with words. The media has a soft spot for them. Especially in English-speaking countries.

Meanwhile, (un-)bothered and unchecked, Mother Nature exacts her revenge. Unleashing her indescribable chthonian fury. There is no stopping Her.

Dear Mother, if You should exact Your revenge anymore systematically than You have been doing, why are You allowing the weakest in the link, namely: wildlife and coastal communities, all very dependent on Your bounties, to bear the brunt of it all?

It is unfathomable, Mother - pardon our boldness in addressing You, and we do so with a certain degree of trepidation - but when are You going to put a cap on all this fecality?

If anything, You should set Your omniscience on the culprits, i.e. those you-know-who with a dark and slick agenda bent exclusively on plundering Your resources which, by the way, belong to all.

Mystified.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Yes, baby, drill, baby drill, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yeessssssssssssss!

Who's to Blame for the Gulf Oil Spill?

From Newsweek:

The blame game? We've already covered this in a previous post and this is a mere rehash, via Newsweek, of the central thesis of our own view in the whole affair.

It has to do with the culture of greed and wanton neglect bestowed on the environment by predatory business practices. As our cynicism has waxed to the max, there is very little we can add to the chorus of protest going on chiefly in the United states.

If you read the article linked in epigraph, you will see that the writer has reached, thankfully, the same ironic, sarcastic conclusion that most of us have. His turn of phrase is to the point and convey to the max what most of us, rational creatures, understand as being the cause of the oil spill.

Party politics, neglectfulness, and perhaps our own lack of interest in the whole matter.

As world citizens, whenever something this important happens to Mother Nature, and it gravitates towards our shores, it suddenly becomes our interest, too. Pardon my naïvité, where is is written that they own the world's resources?


Drill, baby, drill
Spill, baby, spill
And then kill, baby, kill.


A disgruntled Louisianian

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Where Do We Go From Here?



I will go all the lengths necessary to shift the present construct that both black and white children have about race bias.

The video has a chilling message. Despite 60 years of desegregation in the United States, we have a surprising and yet devastating idea of the racial thermometer in the nation to the north of the Rio Grande.

The video speaks volumes. And I fear they will not go anywhere if change and a shift in the current paradigm does not take place right today. I am very much right when I write that there is a lot we have to do concerning racial relations in the world.

A change in mindset is long overdue. It is high time a thorough and firm change in the way racial issues are dealt in the United States so that what we see next, when a more scientific and specialized study is carried out, is a renewed effort at improving what we can only consider a dismal, most heartbreaking misconception of the way people see one another.

Will I rest my case? No, I will keep on writing about it and spreading the word. We have got our work cut out for us.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Open Letter to the Advertising Industry

Dear Advertisers,

I cherish that thought that you are there and your raison d'être. You contribute to the creation of jobs and, quite frankly, I daresay you are a positive force in the world.

How else are people to know of the latest developments in technology and its ever increasing desire to surpass itself in virtually all fields in modern society? Chiefly because of you, we all know.

Upon learning that social networking sites do usually grant access to your prying eyes, I have decided to come clean and bare my chest, so to speak, to let you know that no amount of canvassing my personal information on sites, including this one I am currently using, will be of any benefit to you.

I hereby declare that, at the moment, I am barely eking out a living and find myself scratching and scrimping in order to make my frayed ends meet.

It is not that I do not want to go on shopping sprees and book an elegant room next to a swanky mall, I do too, but because my present circumstances do not allow me to even think about splurging my meagre income.

I sincerely hope I can turn this situation around and make myself readily available to your enticings if that is to bring jobs and make this world a better place. You most obviously know due to your proximity to Wall Street, that it is no fair weather out there.

I take the opportunity, most reasonably under the circumstances, to make myself receptive to any donations you might deem useful for this humble writer from the Third World, and that I am seriously considering opening my hallowed pages to your services. For a fee, logically.

Shall I strive to open that PayPal account? Do let me know.


Sincerely

Yours Truly.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

On Lakeshores and Bike Rides and Other Stuff

I've got to find something nice to write about because my fellow bloggers deserve to have nice things to read on a sunny weekend like this.

It's been wet, wet, wet but now the sun is back. I'm grateful for it.

I should go ride my bike on the lakeshore to see eye-candy and other stuff you can only find in Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil. I have not seen the like in my travels all over and I think I have hit the jackpot and don't know about it.

Furthermore, it should be noted to those who read this blog that nothing is eternal and that everything is subject to the present and that is why we have to seize the day. Platitudes....Clichés...Argh!

Life is a beach and a lake or estuary depending on whom you ask. Have a great day everyone and enjoy yourselves to the max.

Originally, conceived in streamoftheconsciousnessstyle..............

Clickonthephototoenlargeit.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

On African Woes and Colonies Where They are the Majority

Over in Jamaica, a fellow blogger, Corve da Costa, paints a bleak picture of his country at the moment. In it he says that one single individual is responsible for the whole chaotic situation.

Kingston has been on lockdown for quite a few days now all because the U.S. demands the extradition of one Christopher Coke.

This is actually something we (kinda) relate to in our own country, especially in big cities in this vast, almost continental expanse of land...

It goes a bit further and deeper than what we see in the news once we know this wanton neglect towards the poor in this country, and they are invariably Afro-descendants, has been going on for hundreds of years.

What is most intriguing when we read Corve's page is the fact that we see Afro-descendants doing to themselves what "Whites" do here in Brazil. When we say "Whites" we mean the ruling elite. It may not be so in that Caribbean nation.

Luckily, the situation in our disadvantaged areas do not get as critical as in Jamaica because here in Brazil they will send in 'special forces' to do the job...

Also because there have been attempts at improving the whole social setting. The way the authorities are doing it is through the expansion of "social programs."

It is kinda like, pardon the colloquialism, "they're people, too" kinda thing. It's much better than having to endure black children begging (you NEVER see white ones!) on the streets of the exclusive south side in Rio de Janeiro or any other exclusive neighborhood in big towns dotting the Atlantic coast.

All this rambling to ask one question: why the hell do we, Afro-descendants, do this to ourselves? In Africa, by being subjected to IDEOLOGIES (see previous post, On Draconian...), which is worse than shackles, mind you. And elsewhere, by whatever you have been reading in the news...

All this coming from someone thinking of writing something nice to brighten up their weekend. Pooh!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

On Draconian Laws and Guinea Worms

State Department Condemns Malawi Conviction | News | Advocate.com

Let this be an opportunity for us to use our storehouse of big Latinized words to express most vehemently our stupefaction at this most unconscionable action.

In this day age when in Portugal, just this week, we see signs of vanguardism and evolution in human rights, we hear of such news in the Old Continent from which, scientists tell us, humankind originated, paleoanthropologically speaking.

Granted, most naturally, that they are "a sovereign nation," but for this vast Universe's sake, is it not time we should look forward to a future of equality and human rights for all?

Convicted of "unnatural acts and gross indecency," we read in the news story. We, most of us, could make a list of all the gross indecencies we witness on a daily basis, and how most Africans barely eke out a living in a most indecent of all social settings on the planet.

We hereby add our voices to the American State Department and condemn in the strongest terms what we can only term gross vacuousness and unsighted inanity.







See here for Facebook comments on a BBC post about the sentencing.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Gay Marriage in Portugal? Yes, Haven't You Heard?

It was today...Portugal's conservative president, Anibal Cavaco Silva, says he is now going to ratify a law that allows gay people to wed - legally.

That in a very conservative, catholic country. Praise the Lord! They are now the sixth European country that says that marriage is for all, gay and straight.


He had most everyone's backing, politically. Hooray to the Portuguese!


Feel like using all of my Portuguese surnames, all of a sudden. But halt, they're a mile long...Let's wait for more news.

Argentina, down here, Portugal over there. Next, the U.S.A., and no, I won't mention my own country.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

On Tips for Good Living

We have a lot to learn when it comes to living in community. We often tend to allow our darker side to creep in when no one is looking. Often we are downright disrespectful to other people’s rights.

That way, we can say we are lagging behind on the evolutionary road. There are, thankfully, little things we can do to make our stay on this planet more pleasant to ourselves and to others. A few items to be followed:

- When we’re out walking our dogs, we should always strive to pick up after they’ve done their business. Children coming to play in the park will not be exposed to our pet’s residues.

- When we’re smoking (which we shouldn’t, we all know very well why), we should try and look for an ashtray or a place where we can dispose of the stub safely. I know you want to look cool on school campuses everywhere by puffing (and huffing, believe me, afterwards) and making anecdotal comments on whatever is going on with this professor or that strange co-student with a bit of brain. And never should you, please, toss that stub in dried up parks. We might cause blazes as in California, Greece and Australia.

- That proverbial beer can (beer?) out the car window is a no-no. We’ve got to remember that is beyond the pale.

- Spitting out the bus window – not unless you are choking on your own thoughts or that cookie you should not be eating anyway.

- Littering public places? Jamais. Jahmay. We do it when we know there is nobody around and we say to ourselves: “ah, it’s just this once.” It becomes a habit.

- If we live in a block of flats or condo, we have to always take care of our fellow dwellers by being careful when opening doors to our deliveries and people we do not know or we are about to meet for the first time. Have people call you in advance.

- If we are to spread malicious rumors, let us make sure that they find their deaths at our doors, right after we have ascertained that they are just that - malicious. Of course we are always vigilant to community alerts.

- And the nicest of all, whenever we can, we should look for opportunities to help and serve the wider community by doing charity work or by doing something to ourselves which will reverberate in the greater good.

You are very much welcome to add to the list above and remember that good living begins at home.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What to Write About? A Case of Writer's Block

Nick Clegg and David Cameron, a bizarre coalition or a hot new bromance?
Elena Kagan, an accomplishment of justice?
Underground blind fishes recently discovered in Brazil, ichthyological breakthroughs?

Plane crashings in far-off lands, and a sole survivor, a matter of destiny?
Bombs blowing up people to smithereens in the ancient world, dashing our hopes?
Peace between bitter foes brought about by marriage, pop culture showing its powers?

Gender equality in South America, Argentina anyone?
General Elections in Brazil 2010, Serra or Roussef?
Religious ideologies owning up to their failures, a success?

Anti-gay crusaders and, well, their gay escorts, hypocrisy?
Kathryn Bigelow for wanting to film in the Triple Frontier, propaganda?
Oil spills and natural disasters, a blame game?

?-Marks the spot!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

On Integrative Approaches

This is what the video below shows us. The story of two gay ministers given the boot for being open about their sexual orientation as opposed to the hypocrisy we see all around.

We have grown to learn that the Church, regardless of its denomination, will always resort to a separatist, and I say, decentralizing approach, to keep their flock labeled as the "Other."

History, we all know, is full of such examples. The "Other" has chafed under the heavy yoke of separateness and differentness in our own Hemisphere and in Africa with the very blessings of the reigning religious ideologies.

So, while we believe most people are yet unprepared to think for themselves and are still very dependent on some sort of anchor to hold on to when the going gets rough, for this is when we remember we are minuscule compared to the powers of Nature, it is heartwarming to see that some embrace integrative approaches and see the Other as a human being and as deserving of the blessings of Life as the next person.

So, under this light, we are led to believe that there is hope in the world and that there is still a chance that the various religious/philosophical groups in existence will follow suit and grant the "other" their due place in their midst.







Wednesday, May 5, 2010

On Fundamentalist Terrorism

A battle of philosophies (ideologies?) one detects in comments we read on the Internet and the apparent motive for the ill-fated attempt.

It may well be so. This is about the bomb scare in Times Square in New York.

Why are you writing about that? Simply because Times Square is more than a New York location. It is a Treffpunkt for people from all over the world. Anyone we might know could have been maimed and killed had the attempt succeeded. Ourselves even.

Of course we ignore the inner workings of cabals bent on death and destruction, no matter where they originate. We hope to never, never, never even smell the slightest whiff of mischief done in the name of, well, the name of ideologies/philosophies galore as exist out there. We should leave that to specialized agencies and the like. Here, ignorance is bliss.

However, the world will continue producing disgruntled humans on either side of the argument if people do not realize that living together in a world-community will be a challenge if people harbor deep-seated hatred in their hearts, compounded by all the gross inequalities between North and South.

Still, it is most deplorable when people resort to death and destruction to "drive home" a point. Maybe, dialogue and a meeting of enlightened minds would serve to bring about the illusive Peace we have all been writing about and hoping for.




Treffpunkt, German for a "meeting place."

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Great Alignment - December 21, 2012

Earth’s magnetic poles to reverse.

And that has created a lot of noise in the pseudo-scientific community. Will the world come to an end in the Winter Solstice, 2012? We do not know.

However, an event of great cosmic significance is said to be about to happen in our universe. According to ancient texts and folklore – Hopi Indians – Nostradamus – Isaac Newton, and check out the video here, FoxNewsChannel, all refer to this development in our near future.

A book has been written about it. I am not telling you to buy the book but the title is interesting: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to December 2012. Is this all utter nonsense or is there some ring of truth to this? Some people mock the fact and say it is fable.

What if there is something to it and the world does come to an end? What are we to do? What am I going to miss most about this Earth? The least? To whom shall I address my enquiries? My fears?

Will the alignment cause changes on the planet akin to those in the past in which entire species disappeared? Will our self-contained human community be just dig-uppable evidence some millions of years down the road?




Image at the top of the post: Aztec Calendar.
The Aztec calendar was an adaptation of the Mayan calendar.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

On Slick Profits and the Culture of Greed

There's something funnily serious about hypertension and something eerily serious about oil spills.

You see, apparently, Big Oil couldn't care care two smidgens whether there is an accident waiting to happen in their off-shore drilling rigs or if there is wildlife and communities along the shores of their reservoirs.

We have learned by watching American television that there is a blame game going on and that neither party wants to admit guilt. Deplorable!

Reporters inform us that there is a simple safety device, as required in Brazil and Norway, that if installed, would prevent such tragic consequences for those in the receiving end of the slick. Not so. Strong lobbying did the trick and, voilà, the slick is advancing towards the shore as we write.

Meanwhile, in northern shores others campaign for more drilling to go on, with one-liners like: "Drill, baby, drill!" Sounds pornographic.

If that shouldn't add to your stress, what will? There is only so much your heart can take.