Wednesday, April 26, 2006
A burning issue...
"The burning of luxury villas, sedan cars, mistresses and other messy sacrificial items... will be investigated and punished"
Quote from the Beijing News,
attributed to Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs Deputy Secretary Mr Dou Yupei.
Got your attention? Yes, you did read that right - including the idea of sacrificially burning your mistress. What this snippet fails to include, however, is context... he was, in fact, talking about paper models of such items.
For many moons the Chinese have honoured their ancestors by burning paper money as a graveside sacrifice but as certain members of the populace become increasingly affluent they are splashing out on more unusual offerings. Sacrificial paper offerings have included models of condoms, Viagra and karaoke hostesses (eh?) but as they are usually rather larger than a crisp note they tend to create a bit more mess, upsetting the tomb-sweepers.
Of course, it is not the feelings of the lowly tomb-sweeper that has caused Chinese authorities to take action against this sort of thing. No, although the new funeral and internment regulations to be issued this week will include fines they are aimed squarely at those who burn items considered not classy enough. As Mr Dou continued "...not only is it [the burning] an indulgence in feudal superstition, but it just appears low and vulgar."
On a lighter note, El B appeared in the comments of the post below to tell me "...you were right you smug cunt." For those wondering what the fuck he meant I am assuming he refers to my suggestion that yesterdays post by Twenty Major was aimed at him. And now it appears he's gone all huffy and erased all his old posts - the miserable twat!
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Across the globe certain nationalities are the focus of derision and scorn, the butt of jokes, regularly accused of all manner of ills. Any one from the UK will know that us Brits like to characterise the Germans as a bunch of anal-retentive fatties who get up early in the morning to put their towels over the sun loungers, which as anyone really knows is a horrendous generalisation. But then again, as everyone also knows, generalisations are often rooted somewhat in the truth (and I've holidayed with enough Germans to know it!).
Despite all that, however, none of us can really claim any kind of 'victory'. You see, despite many nations having an 'idiot-neighbour-country', or an 'irritating-country-we-once-had-a-war-with', there has always been a special reserve in the disgust of the global population for one particular breed. The native English speaker. Aussies? Bad enough in their own country, but abroad? A degenerate bunch of racist piss-heads with barely a braincell between them. South Africans? Arrogant elitist pricks who think they own the place - wherever they are. And the Brits? Violent drunks who just want to shag any young local bird / stud they can lay their hands on. The Irish usually get away with it, simply because they're not British, as do the Kiwis ("at least they're not Aussies") and Canadians, who are often at pains to point out that they are NOT from the US.
Ah yes. Americans. The final and most reviled of the English speaking peoples. I make no apology for that statement, based as it is on complete truth. America is largely hated across the world and not just in those countries labelled as 'evil' by the current administration. Okay, international policy plays a part in the country's perception, but that's not all. Americans travelling abroad are generating a negative image of their country with insensitive and over-bearing attitudes and mannerisms and by failing to respect local cultures. But at least the US State Department has begun to realise that...
A new guide has been comissioned to be issued with every US passport which will give Americans advice on how to behave abroad. This has been put together by non-profit organisation Business for Diplomatic Action (which is spearheading the State Dept. campaign) and contains 16 tips on etiquette which include: don't just talk - listen; discuss, but don't be didactic; don't dress too casually, and; do not foist US world view on others. BDA's head, Keith Reinhard, points out that "Surveys consistently show that Americans are viewed as arrogant, insensitive, over-materialistic and ignorant about local values". But then as I noted earlier these generalisations usually exist because, well, they are largely true... or to put that another way, if the cap fits - wear it!
So the question is, will these handy hint books actually change American attitudes, and even if they do will that change everyone else's perception? As for me I just wish someone had given one to the ignorant cunt I was arguing with on Sunday night... fucking yanks! (mutter, mutter)
Monday, April 17, 2006
The good folk from London's Metropolitan Housing Trust got a bit of a shock earlier this year whilst attempting to collect 3 years of back rent from an errant tenant. Having received no answer at the Wood Green residence they decided to drill the door open, discovering in the process a large pile of unopened mail... you can guess what's coming next, can't you!
Investigating the bedsit the Trust employees discovered the occupant lying on her back, dead. This was no slightly-smelly-yet-reasonably-fresh corpse, however, and nor was it a vomit inducing rotting mess. No, after three years in front of the television (still on) and basking in the helpful-to-decomposition glow of the central heating (also still on) poor Ms Vincent had become little more than a skeleton - so much so that the only way to positively identify her was by matching her dental records with a holiday photograph.
Of course an inquest was launched after she was discovered (in January this year), although the police are so far not speculating anything other than death by natural causes. The scant information that has so far been confirmed to the deceased's sisters and other family members, however, essentially indicate that she died sometime in February 2003.
Whoah there skippy.... back up a little.... Sisters? You mean they hadn't fucking noticed!? No-one had thought, "Oh, haven't seen old Joyce for a while. Wonder what she's up to?". Three days, yeah. Three weeks, sure. Three bloody months, even.... but three whole fucking years! And I thought MY family was close....
Actually, can we back that up even further... Television? Heating? Still on!? For Christ's sake, if I missed a payment for three months I'd be cut off! And I bloody wish my landlord would wait three years before coming around for the rent I owe him...
That not enough for you? Read the report here..., you gossip-greedy bastards!
ps - three years of daytime TV... is that purgatory or simply hell?
Friday, April 14, 2006
Putting the Sin in Singapore.
Have you ever been to Singapore? If you do make sure you take a taxi and ask the driver what the country is like. Chances are that he will sing the praises of the City and its people, and if you tell him you are going anywhere else (ie. Malaysia or Indonesia) his response will almost certainly be "Ohhh... don't talk to anyone there. It's not safe there! Not like Singapore. Singapore is safe. There's no crime in Singapore."
7 months ago in Singapore the body of a maid who had been killed by another was found dismembered and in several sports bags behind a train station. Earlier this year a guy was being tried for killing his wife with an axe. A few weeks back a very young girl went missing for a few days until it eventually transpired that her Step-Father had killed her. And this week we learn that a man who had taken several wives had also forced some of the teenage daughters they had borne him to have sex - often with the mothers assistance.
Details are sketchy, depending on the press you read (local papers cite 5 of the daughters were raped, this report mentions 6), but the solid fact remains that this man perverted the texts of his religion (Islam) to his own devices and utterly convinced his wives that what he was doing, and roping them into, was right in the eyes of God. Shit like this is utterly depressing and heart-breaking, and the scale of it and manner in which it the rapist collaborated with his victims own mothers is, frankly, mind-boggling.
But it's not the first time is it. Remember the Branch Davidians at Waco? David Koresh, their leader, utilised Christian texts to support his 'right' to sleep with the daughters of his parishoners. And many more down the ages have done the same - and many more will undoubtedly try. The thing is, how the fuck do we protect the weak and gullible from this kind of thing?
Just as a last note - in his defence the accused suggested that by having sex with his own daughters to "satisfy them" they would be less likely to look elsewhere for sex, which he viewed as the "lesser of two evils". Less likely to look elsewhere? I would not be surprised if the girls never look toward another man for any kind of relationship after the hell he put them through.