Friday, December 19, 2008

Bread and Circuses

I've just heard that Rome intends to bring back the Gladiatorial games at the Colosseum (or more correctly at the Flavian Amphitheater) next year. Sure, they will be watered down. But still. Gladiator combat IN THE COLOSSEUM! If the Romans were smart they would contract with the UFC and turn this into a money making machine for the city.

I would truly dig getting to fight here even if it's a demo or with non-lethal weapons. To stand where so many stood before you, being cheered by the crazed citizens of a bloodthirsty expansionist empire. Of wait, we have that already with Monday night football. And for real violence catch a Manchester United game in Spain.

As an aside, there are some Christian fundies that I'd love to toss in for authenticity purposes...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Whale Wars

If you've not heard of this show I urge you to seek it out. It's pretty cool. The 7 part show follows the Sea Sheppard's as they attempt to locate and disrupt the Japanese whaling fleet in Antarctica. In short, the Japanese can hunt down and perform "research" on a limited number of whales every year and then sell off the 'specimens' for a whacking profit. There are laws protecting the whales, but there is a grey area that no country seems willing to deal with. Unlike Greenpeace, the Sea Shepperd's believe in direct action/confrontation. Take a look at this trailer. You have to admit, it looks pretty badass.

But watching this group of seasoned veterans and mostly young volunteers is a little painful. They SO remind me of the kids I met down in New Orleans in the 9th ward. These were people who were driven. They were 100% dedicated. They were willing to risk life and limb for what they believe in. But they are also terribly unprepared for the task. Most of the volunteers have almost no training and as a result their very lives are at serious risk as they ply the Antarctic. Several people are injured as a result of stupid mistakes. Simple safety procedures are not followed resulting in near disaster.

They are also media whores. Which is important because they want to bring attention to their cause. They actually have two people board a Japanese ship, and then tell the press that they have been 'kidnapped'. They throw stink bombs and deploy prop fouler lines. All in the name of their cause. Which they are very dedicated to. They aren't taking pictures or writing letters. They are taking the fight to the enemy. They are brave and they are foolish and I hope they make a difference.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

An attack on the President

I haven't checked the tv to see how this is playing out, but today a journalist threw his shoes at Bush.

At first this might sound simply strange. Something for the "Wacky but true" section of the newspapers. But it is far more meaningful than that. The reporter was an Iraqi, and throwing a shoe at someone is really a VERY big sign of disrespect. You have to hate someone to throw your shoes at them.

Remember when the statue of Saddam was pulled down? Go back and look at the tape of it, you'll see Iraqi man beating the head of the statue with their shoes. Now Bush is getting the same treatment.   Heckava job Bush.

Doing something like this takes balls of fucking steel. Would YOU make any kind of aggressive move toward the President of the United States? The guy who basically destroyed your country? Hell no! But this guy did.

Bush did his best to spin this as "Freedom of Speech" though I doubt the journalist in question will be heard from much again, at least in a professional sense. Sure, adults and especially journalists should show more maturity and professionalism that this. Despite everything that Bush has done over the past 8 years we still treat him with civility. Reporters still dutufully write down his words and repeat them knowing full well most of them are either empty or at worst lies. So how angry did this guy have to be to actuall lash out the way he did?