Saturday, June 22, 2002
Still, it's not been a bad few weeks. Beating Argentina, a good win against Denmark, leading Brazil. All good stuff. Lennox beating Tyson, wonderful to watch. England beating Sri Lanka twice in tests, both times through out-batting and out-bowling them on good batting surfaces. And Vaughn and Trescothick getting 50 off 25 balls to win that last game. England beating the Barbarians at rugby, with cracking tries from Simpson-Daniel and Forrester, both beating Lomu.
And hopefully, it will continue with an England win against Argentina in the rugby tonight.
Oh, and come on South Korea.
Anyway, I don't want to pose as an expert on Canadian queer culture*, but figured I should react to this:
"I've got no problem with QueerTelevision, as long as it's not deemed 'too important' by the CRTC to have to stand on its own and becomes a free rider on basic digital cable packages. If the material is really compelling to gays and lesbians, the channel will survive on its own. But if gay people would rather watch "Law and Order" instead of yet another boring, low production-value crappy show that just happens to feature gay characters, then it will fail miserably."
Now, back in October I went visiting a friend of mine over in Winnipeg. I didn't get to attend the Lesbian Camp-out Thanksgiving I was promised (unfortunately, people were busy). But I did spend most of my time in her social circles. And the late-night consensus in a "women's bar" in Winnipeg is that Law and Order is the X (where "X" is whatever is the latest "cool" phrase for something that's good). Sure, they'd buy into L&O spin-off shows too, but the original's still the thing.
Maybe there was some deep yearning for "QTV". But I think they'd like it most if it had Law and Order reruns on. And films with Queen Latifah in.
* OK, on one thing I'll claim some knowledge: I reckon I've just about gotten my head around the concept of "two spirit". This is apparently a sexual orientation that is (presumably) unique to Canada, and that isn't bisexuality. It's a Canadian Indian thing, with an odd both/neither gender thing going on. And politically active "progressives" in Winnipeg, at least, basically can't make head or tail of exactly what it is. This knowledge is, of course, useless on this side of the Atlantic.
Thursday, June 20, 2002
(best with sound)
Sunday, June 16, 2002
Now, I may be misunderstanding things. This may represent a nuanced political stance about Israel's attitude towards the occupied territories (as if...). However, it looks a lot like me to a suggestion that the state of Israel is itself a "cancer" on world. And we all know what connotations cancer carries with it.
I'm endlessly puzzled as to why people of goodwill think that the problem is just Israel's behaviour in the occupied territories. They only became occupied as a consequence on on-going conflict. And there's no reason to think that the worst of Israel's opponents would settle for less than its total destruction. Perhaps they might find it harder to recruit (though that seems unlikely - 1949 to 1967 weren't that peaceful). But it wouldn't stop attacks.
It would reduce Israel's overall security. And, to be frank, it seems incumbent on those teaching three year-olds to hate (scroll down a post or two) and preaching destruction to make the earlier moves towards peace.
There was a letter the other day in the Times, suggesting that the West should meet with al-Quaeda to find out what they want, and look for some sort of accomodation. I wouldn't be totally against the meeting - it would be a chance to catch a few of them. However, they've already given at least an ostensible list of demands.
Non-Muslims off the Arab peninsula, the destruction of Israel, the emergence of a shariah state, the return of Andalucia (how crazy are they?), etc, etc, etc. Muslimpundit has done a great job of skewering the pretensions of some of these wack-jobs.
As I say, perhaps cutting off some of their routes of appeal would reduce their recruitment rate. But the September 11th attacks took nineteen men. Each suicide bombing requires, in the end, just one recruit. Terrorist campaigns in Europe have been waged by less than a hundred active members of groups. And there's nothing we can give that would let them declare victory and go home.
And even if some of the organisations acting against Israel might be satisfied with the 1967 borders, why should we believe that that's true of everyone? It's not true of al-Quaeda, e.g. Their attacks on the West, and perhaps on Israel as well, would not be stopped by such a concession. The Palestinians should receive a state of their own, and it should be hewn out of the occupied territories, occupying (geddit?) most if not all of their extent. But this should be done because it's right, not because it will solve things. If you'd just gotten back half of your homeland (per PLO anthems, popular mythos and your declared aims (etc)), wouldn't that spur you on? Wouldn't you want to rid yourself of the cancer?
Nope. Who's there to negotiate with? A strategy of making a terrorist the voice of reason, with the suggestion that anything else would be worse, just means you shouldn't get anything you want until you change strategies. Few people have a problem with a Palestinian state. But they were offered one fifty years ago. They can, at any point, take the beginnings of one and negotiate for more. But in a world with cartoons like this, Israel will progressively be willing and able to offer less and less freedom to that state. And economic salvation, in the form of cross-border trade, is becoming pretty much a no-go area from here on in. And whenever I see stuff like this, I can no longer care less.
[Update - some rejigging of the text has been deemed necessary by the editor]
"This week the stock market has dived six per cent.
Yesterday alone the FTSE100 index fell another 141.1 points.
And the situation on Wall Street is just as bad.
There are many factors at play here — but one is the fact consumer prices are so LOW.
Things may not seem cheap, but they are cheaper.
It’s not JUST that inflation is low, either.
There is growing evidence that the internet has competed down prices in many markets.
In the car market for example, second-hand prices can now be seen nationally on various websites. New prices CERTAINLY are.
The Del Boy days are over . . . we are now nearing that theoretical paradise for consumers — “perfect competition” — when everybody in the market knows every option.
The effect of this is that company profits have been driven down.
As Ian King points out on this page, Tesco’s profit margin is now down to three per cent.
All this might explain why the real economy FEELS fine, but the stock markets are in freefall. "