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November 24, 2008
sympathy for the devils: I am pro–pirate.
Maybe I'm not the best person to talk about this. Every time I try to, people tell me not to romanticise the Somalian pirates.
Personally, I romanticise everything in my life without hesitation. So I am probably not the best person to talk about this. But you know... the whole point of blogs is to say the stupid things because there is most likely nobody listening... And when I romanticise this situation, I don't imagine moustachioed villains with cutlasses swinging from ropes. I imagine miniature anarchist utopias that spring up out of war and horror. I imagine reactionaries in the process of reacting.
I dig you if you say that's unrealistic. What am I meant to say, though? This isn't crime as we know it. Nor is it terrorism. It is deeply political in its own way, but I suppose it's basically a business, one with only minimal corruption and sleeze.
So yeah. I think the pirates should get vast ransom money given to them. They just seem like reasonable people. They have excellent PR, would be another way of phrasing that. Their statements are amazing. Such apparent mansuetude. Daybad said that thing the other day, about trawler fishing around Somalia and how it has put indigenous fishermen out of work:
Our fish were all eradicated so... we're going to fish whatever passes through our sea
Not only is that a stark reminder of the cost of international business on local communities, it is also an eloquently put way of saying, "you thought we wouldn't put up a fight when you stole from us, but you were wrong." It reminds me a little of something from that awful (brilliant) TV show Firefly, where the tough guy Jayne finds himself giving a speech to an impoverished community who believe him to be a revolutionary:
you people been given the shortest end of the stick ever been offered a human soul in this crap-heel 'Verse. But you took that end, and you... Well, you took it. And that's - Well, I guess that's somethin'.
I'm a literary guy. I really should've quoted a book just then. O well.
We surely all know, all of us who read/watch the news, the cost of oil. The oil industry has become a synonym for corruption, violence and environmental atrocity. When you see a newspaper article with the word oil tanker in the heading, you can't help but imagine hundreds of animals perishing, beaches destroyed, oceans on fire. Then you look again and you see hijacked by pirates. And then you read that the company Intertanko, whose name seriously sounds like that of an evil sci-fi empire, wants to put a blockade on Somalia.
What the fuck.
Better yet, their spokesman is called Peter Swift. I can pretty much see the headline now: Peter Swift versus Jack Sparrow.
I wrote this listening to Miami Beach by Sordid Humor
October 03, 2008
the war on words
Writing about web page http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/article4799560.ece
The following words are due to be removed from the Collins dictionary, according to a an article in the Times:
Abstergent Cleansing or scouring
Agrestic Rural; rustic; unpolished; uncouth
Apodeictic Unquestionably true by virtue of demonstration
Caducity Perishableness; senility
Caliginosity Dimness; darkness
Compossible Possible in coexistence with something else
Embrangle To confuse or entangle
Exuviate To shed (a skin or similar outer covering)
Fubsy Short and stout; squat
Griseous Streaked or mixed with grey; somewhat grey
Malison A curse
Mansuetude Gentleness or mildness
Muliebrity The condition of being a woman
Nitid Bright; glistening
Oppugnant Combative, antagonistic or contrary
Periapt A charm or amulet
Recrement Waste matter; refuse; dross
Roborant Tending to fortify or increase strength
Skirr A whirring or grating sound, as of the wings of birds in flight
Vaticinate To foretell; prophesy
Vilipend To treat or regard with contempt
"Endangered words must appear at least six times in Collins’s corpus, a database that records word usage in printed, broadcast and online media," says Mr. Malvern, but "compilers will discount any references to words if they appear in articles about the campaign to save them."
Is it worth trying to save this words? Give an artificial boost to unpopular obscurities in thislanguage? I have to say, as a would-be writer, that I think that it is. I also think writers should actively try to make up their own words withou explaining what they mean. They should go so far as to criticise their readers for mispronouncing them; fans HP Lovecraft's Cthulhu will surely back me up on this.
I henceforth vow to villipend all those writers who do not actively seek out obscure, ugly, and embrangling words and render them apodeictic in their works.
Who will join me? I do understand that this is pretty much almost definitely a publicity stunt, but as publicity stunts go, only this one beats it.
Respect to qwantz dinosaur comics for getting there first.