Monthly Archives: October 2007

Recycled Post of the Week: Laziness

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After spending my entire Saturday without leaving the house and without producing any positive benefit to society other than a humorless digression about vegetables, I think that an appropriate Recycled Post of the Week is the one that I wrote in May 2006, called “It’s Not Laziness, It’s Intense Contemplation“. If you have time to get off your sofa and turn on your computer, then take a look.

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Stop Vegecide!

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The other day I was watching a cooking show, and the chef was brutally dissecting the most innocent of vegetables with the utmost speed, dexterity, and with the least sign of remorse. This got me to thinking how I am increasingly concerned about what I perceive to be a widespread and socially acceptable cruelty towards plants in general and vegetables in particular. Continue reading

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Home Alone! My Generous Soul

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For the past week I have had house guests and the last one finally left yesterday. Now that it’s just me, myself, and I, and I am home all alone on a Friday night, I have finally realized something important about myself.

During the week, I am a total bastard. I am mean spirited, short-tempered, unwavering, confrontational, ill-mannered, aggressive, two-faced, both hypercritical and hypocritical, synical and sarcastic, disingenuous, ungenerous, deaf to others, self-centered and conceited, narrow-minded, anti-social, obsessive-compulsive, bureaucratic, and a horder of cookies. But when I arrive back to my empty house on a Friday night with the prospect of being all alone all weekend long, I go through a profound metamorphosis and let my “True Colors” shine through. Continue reading

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Safety Dance in the Twilight Zone

The last couple of days, I have had the song “Safety Dance” in my head. Of course you know what song I am talking about. “S-A-F-E-T-Y” Dance, the 80s, Men Without Hats, MTV! Yeps, everyone knows that song, right?

Well, apparently not. Continue reading

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Stop the Bullets, Kill the Gun

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Recycled Post of the Week: Meandering

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So here is my first Recycled Post of the Week: “Time to Meander“. I wrote the post in November 2006 and then followed it up with “Meandering” about how I had searched for the proper Spanish translation of the word.

Previously, I used to have smaller thumbnail images that went with each post and if you clicked them, you’d land on a page where I’d put a quote that went along with the image and the post. The “Time to Meander” post’s image had the following quote from Michael Ondaatje:

The first sentence of every novel should be: ‘Trust me, this will take time but there is order here, very faint, very human.’ Meander if you want to get to town.

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Recycling and Sustainable Posting

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Recently, many of my posts have been rather too politically-centric and simply less “fun”. Last night I decided to run through some of my older Digressions and found that I used to write funny and interesting stuff that some of my more recent readers (both of them) probably have never gotten to.

Next, I got to thinking about the environment and what I could do to help. So I put two and two together and thought that it would be nice to start recycling and move towards a more sustainable world of blog posts. With all of this in mind, I have decided to run a weekly sustainable “Recycled” post series — kind of a “Do you remember” / “Nostalgia” thing for the Grave Error Tree Huggers out there. Yes, I know what you are all thinking, Continue reading

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Genocide and Politics All Around

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First the American House of Representatives, against the wishes of President Bush and the urgrings of eight former secretaries of state, has decided to push for legislation calling the 1915 mass murders of Armenians a “Genocide”. This has gotten the Turks up in arms and ready to retaliate. The Turks have now passed legislation to allow its country’s military forces to enter into Iraq and attack Kurds.

In a post on the book The Bastard of Istanbul, I referenced the whole Turkey/Armenian Genocide controversy. And in a more recent post on the War in Iraq, I discussed Kurdish/Turkey tensions and their effect on U.S. policy in Iraq.

Genocide is a “hot word” for many reasons, and Turkey is in a “hot spot” for American interests. It was during the Balkans in the 1990s and is now with Iraq. Furthermore, there are hundreds of thousands of Armenian Americans lobbying for the Congress to act, and yet the Congress acting is contrary to the U.S.’s interests in the region. For a pretty good summary of the issues involved, check out this week’s The Economist article on the subject.

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Palestinian Refugees Suffer in Lebanon

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Amnesty International has just published a series of reports on the living conditions of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon since 1948. There is an argument that if Lebanon and other neigbhoring countries provide better conditions for the refugees, then Israel will ultimately benefit because the refugees will no longer need a home called Palestine to return to. Another recent Amnesty International story covers the predicament of Palestinian refugees in Iraq.

Unfortunately as things stand, the Palestinians really don’t have any friends or enemies to turn to. Here is the summary of the reports: Continue reading

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Funny or Offensive?

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One thing that is continuously becoming more and more disturbing to me is how the West has become increasingly anti-Islam and anti-Arab based on the stereotype that all Arabs and Muslims are potential suicide bombers, national security threats, and/or backwards. Similar stereotypes of other classes of people would not pass the hyper-sensitive PC culture in the United States and would be considered offensive. Nevertheless, this does not stop popular culture and politics in the U.S. and the West from classifying everything Arab and Muslim as threatening and immune from cultural senstivity.

Now, I am not arguing that certain religious or societal practices can never be criticized. They can and should be. My concern simply deals with blind and broad generalizations that do not coincide with reality, and I believe this is the case with the new anti-Arab fascism prevailing in the media and culture today.

My question here is whether this image is offensive or funny. Does it make a difference that it was sent to me by Arab friends?

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