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Bankers Under Your Bed

July 3, 2012

Years ago, parents would tell their children that unless they behaved, the boogeyman would get them. Then it was Michael Jackson. That one proved a little short-lived, though, as his death resulted in a huge retroactive change in opinion, the most widespread and insincere change of allegiance since Germany lost the war. Now it seems, at some point in the not-to-distant future, that when parents want to terrify their children into obedience, they will warn them that if they don’t obey, a banker will get them.

Bankers are quickly becoming perceived as the most hideous, inhuman collection of beings to prowl the earth. And for a very simple reason: they just may be. They have usurped lawyers as the Most Hated and Distrusted profession, the only difference being that where lawyers gained that crown by strict adherence to the rules, bankers are winning it through the more appropriate route of breaking them, consistently and thoroughly.

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Ten Years Til Platinum

June 24, 2012

It must be a hard time to be a critic of the Queen. She celebrated her Diamond Jubilee a few weeks ago, and although most of the events put on in celebration for her were for the more financially fortunate, people turned out in their thousands to watch her boat join 1000 others in a float down the Thames, through the centre of London, for free. This was despite the weather which at the time I thought was ridiculous for summer, but am slowly realising is rather par for the course around these parts. At least we weren’t the floating choir, who had to stand in the rain with electronics wrapped around their faces, cheerfully belting out patriotic songs for several hours.

From the BBC

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The Gods Must Be Crazy

April 25, 2012

“El Grimlock” has some cool Deviant Art

My friends and I used to joke that God must have it in for me, as my best-laid plans would always go awry, travel would never go as it should, and bursts of rain would always seem to coincide with my being outdoors. But if any anthropomorphic entity has a right to feel persecuted by the big man these days, it has got to be Japan. While struggling under massive national debt about 200% their GDP, Mother Nature went and slammed them with the fifth-biggest earthquake ever recorded. Followed by a devastating tsunami. Which wiped out a nuclear power station. As well as a nuclear explosion which will taint the ground for centuries to come, staple foods such as rice inland and fish in the ocean were irradiated, simultaneously vanquishing both food supplies and several exports. Exports were also destroyed due to factories being demolished, and those that remained having reduced power thanks to the lack of nuclear reactors. Speaking of power, the whole country had to deal with reduced power, or in the case of those further north, no power, in the middle of a biting winter. Tourists and expats fled, and tourism in general took a massive dive. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands dead or freshly homeless. Read more…

The Breivik Bluff

April 21, 2012

The trial of Anders Behring Breivik is taking a rest after five days of testimony from the man who set off a bomb near the government before heading to the island of Utoya and going on a shooting spree which left 69 people dead.

The last few days have focused on hearing his side of what he did, why he did it, and what kind of person he is. Camera has not been allowed in the courtroom so as to not allow Breivik to have a direct platform to air his views, but there have been plenty of reporters in attendance who have been sending out information on what is happening within.

Ostensibly, Breivik’s reasoning for the attacks were that they were in protest against the spread of ‘multiculturalism’ in Europe. The term itself is a little vague, and what exactly that means in Breivik’s head is even less clear, but it seems to be primarily concerned with the increase in Muslim presence in the area. He has stated numerous times that Islam is taking over the area, and that legitimate concerns of the local people are being suppressed in the name of advancing the politically correct agenda of multiculturalism. Read more…

Spanish Warzone

March 24, 2012
As Spring spreads its wings across Europe, festivals start to spring up all around. Spain takes this opportunity to host another amazing festival, the Las Fallas festival in Valencia.
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As the days got longer and warmer, craftsmen would pile up all the things which they would no longer need throughout the summer, and set them alight in celebration. Time went by, the fires became more celebratory, and started taking more defined shapes, often with the age-old theme of poking subtle fun at the governmental forces pressing down on them. Then the Church came along, and the festival it had become was aligned with St Joseph’s day, March 19.
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These days, Valencia, is, I hear, quite a pleasant little city. Wide streets, beautiful weather, a gorgeous beach and relaxed attitudes all make for a nice, humble place to live. But I wouldn’t know about that because over the last week the city was totally transformed into a bustling madhouse of fire and noise.
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The KONY 2012 Fad

March 11, 2012

Peacemongers

Over the last week or so, the internet has been lit up by this KONY 2012 campaign. In case you’ve managed to miss it, a group called Invisible Children has made a promotional video calling for the capture of a man called Joseph Kony in Uganda, largely for his abduction and brainwashing of child soldiers.

Now, while the prevention of child soldiers is a hard thing to argue against, there are plenty of reasons why this particular method is not the way to go. I’m a bit late to the party here, and in the week I have been intending to post this, a bunch of other articles have sprung up, so rather than go into a tirade of unnecessary repetition, I will just point you in the direction of a couple of other websites which can present some of the arguments against this latest fad.  Read more…

Carnevale di Venezia

February 26, 2012

There is something quite satisfying about following through on a promise you make to yourself. About four years ago, I visited Venice for a few days (apologies for the layout of that link, it was an entry written on a different blogging platform in another life, and has gotten a little jumbled on reincarnation). As I said at the time, the famous city of water and glass was pleasant to walk around, and a very unique experience, but I felt it was kind of run down, and poorly maintained. One thing which really got my attention, however, were the masks. In so many of the stores, masks were being made and sold in all kinds of shapes and sizes. They ranged from relatively simple domino or masquerade-style masks, through to highly decorative full-face masks with all sorts of feathers, flowers and appendages bursting out of them.

One thing which all the masks seemed to carry was an air of elegance and mystique. They almost never carried any form of expression, and when I realised that their main function was in the annual February Carnevale, I decided it was something I would definitely have to come back and experience one day. Read more…