All 4 entries tagged Rant
May 02, 2005
You absolute git.
I can't stand this room any more… ARGH ARGH ARGH ARGH… WHO THE FLIP DESIGNS A ROOM WHERE THE NETWORK PORTS AND PLUG SOCKETS ARE LOCATED UNDERNEATH THE BED?
There's one extra socket "kindly" located on top of our desk… but the problem is we can't put it to full bloody use because guess what the smacktards did… they FIXED THE TABLE FIRMLY TO THE WALL…
Now, you can imagine that if people who know the first thing about construction or furnishing came to Tocil they would have been able to work out a nice logical train of thought:
1) "Oh we're making these rooms for students."
2) "Oh look a lovely big table."
3) "Students clearly never use PCs or anything that might sit on a floor and require power why bother jigsawing a small semi-circle into the desk to cater for that complete uneventuality (yay, neologism!)!"
4) "I know, let's stick these sockets right behind the bed, so whenever the poor tits even so much as moves, the socket switch will flip and everything will go dead!"
5) "Oh yes and for the beautiful icing on the cake, let's whack the network ports under the bed too! Because as we all know, students like to keep PCs and laptops UNDER THEIR DAMNED BEDs."
Listen, you ABSOLUTE assmonkeys… next time you design a room KEEP YOUR DAMNED RESIDENT IN MIND.
April 28, 2005
Writing about an entry you don't have permission to view
Tom has written a great piece her and I just thought I'd follow it up with a few comments of my own.
There's someone who I consider to be a good friend, but let's not mention any names. We've only just now finished one of our many small arguments. And what was it over? The issue of fox-hunting.
This person is a campaigner. A lefty campaigner (a label not intended her to be used as a slur). She is campaigning against the BNP, against tuition fees and other such campaigny issues.
I am not a campaigner. I campaign on issues which really really strike me and which have a chance of making a difference. I was happy taking part in the two-million man march in London to protest the approaching war in Iraq (in my First year). It was something that really struck me as an issue. I was happy lending moral support (although I couldn't make it on the large protesting day due to prior commitments) to the tuition fees issue. I don't believe that people who can't afford an education yet are meritous of one should be forced to pay through the nose for it. With this recent BNP issue I haven't really done anything because I think the students here are essentially making it a non-issue. I don't think a few students campaigning this close to the election will make any difference when the people who will vote for the BNP will tend to continue to vote for the BNP.
She was stunned at this and hat a little whinge at me and complained about how I don't care about anything. And I replied "Well sure I do, the fox-hunting issue for one… I think it's disgusting that animals are shredded for mere sport. There's no real use to it. If you do have to kill an animal for a good reason, then kill it. Shoot it, make its death instantaneous. Don't chase it for "sport" and then go and tell us that it;s the humane thing to do."
Well she went on to counter me by essentially repeating the pro-campaign mantras:
1) It's a good idea. I don't care about foxes. They're overrunning the countryside. I actually live there. (she later added, after I questioned her humanity)Have you ever seen a diseased fox die? It's horrible. This way is much more humane.
2) I don't care about foxes. I'd prefer to focus my time on human beings. I can't believe you care more about animals than human beings!
Well I responded:
1) What the hell kind of excuse is that? It doesn't actually help to control the fox population (cheers Tom! ;))... and if you want to bloody control the fox population then cull them properly and humanely. Don't go set them running to be chased by dogs for the fun of it.
2) These are animals! What do you mean you don't care? The game serves no purpose except to amuse a few jumped-up smacktards in hilarious uniforms. And just because I care that animals are being abused does not mean that I place them above humans in some way.
She has a dog. So I asked her "Would you recommend some kind of prison term for a human who beat or ruthlessly and visciously killed a pet, like your dog?" She replied with a yes and I chased her up on it. "So you would be prepared to ruin the career and perhaps the life of a man for an animal? Does that mean that you put animals above humans?"
She quickly digressed moving on to the economic issues of farmers who are subsidised by hunts and the humane issues concerning the culling of all the hunting dogs. And then tried to stop the discussion by going back to writing her essay.
We've since continued the discussion and she tried to compare it to the killing of animals for food. Which I didn't agree with. Argh now I need to get back to my reading.
April 24, 2005
I'll start this rant off by pointing out that I am very much a Sinophile. I love China's history, language and culture and I'd like to imagine that I retain some sort of objectivity in this but feel free to challenge any of my opinions.
If any of you've been monitoring the news these past couple of months, you'll have probably noticed that, aside from the death of the Pope and the rather mundane royal wedding, there's been a focus upon demonstrations against Japan in China and South Korea. Western Media seems to be united in its coverage of events which have generally been reported in the following sequence:
*Japan removes a few words from text books.
*Chinese government is a bit miffed.
*Chinese government complains.
*Japanese government doesn't do anything.
*Chinese people complain by protesting on the streets and throwing eggs at the Japanese embassy, beating up a couple of Japanese passer-bys and by tearing down Sony posters…
Now for the media's interpretation:
*The Chinese are only protesting out of some kind of misplaced nationalism.
*The Chinese are protesting against the Japanese because the evil government won't let them protest the Chinese government!
*The Evil Government is scared of these protests.
*The Evil Government is encouraging these protests.
*How can The Evil Government complain when its own text books gloss over history?
*Why can't we all just get along?
ARGH…. The Japanese killed (read "murdered") around 20,000,000 Chinese people during the Second Sino-Japanese war, which essentially began with the Japanese invasion of Manchuria (or with the invasion of the rest of the mainland, depending on how you read it). Only 3,000,000 odd of those killed were soldiers (many extra-judicially executed and dumped into pits). The rest were civilians massacred or indirectly killed by the Japanese armed forces.
Let that figure sit in your head for a moment. 20,000,000. You hear 6,000,000 and you'll automatically think of the horrors of the holocaust. 20,000,000 might remind you of how much the Russians suffered. You won't generally think of the Chinese… why is that? Because Western Historical Writing tends to forget about Asia. You'll find some limited yet excellent coverage of the Second-Sino Japanese war but it's not something widely taught or recognised over here.
So now you've given that figure a little consideration (and, like most of the quoted figures, it's not absolute – go to www.wikipedia.org and search for the Second Sino-Japanese War for a little bit more info), think about how you'd react if the Holocaust was being belittled in German text books. Well no need to imagine how the media would react… We saw the outrage in the press when "only" 50% of Brits knew the word "Auschwitz".
How about if "Auschwitz" was never talked about in Germany? If German historians referred to the Holocaust as an "incident". If German historians disputed the holocaust (which they can't legally do in Germany)? If German people claimed that it doesn't matter what their schoolbooks say, because Israeli schoolbooks gloss over crimes against the Palestinians?
No need to continue the analogies. The point is, if the above situation existed within Germany or even began to look as though it might exist, Europeans would, on the whole, be (rightfully so) outraged and horrified. Japan needs to take lessons from Post-War Germany. In what ways?
1) They need to educate the coming generations about the crimes committed during the war. Museums? Days of Commiseration?
2) An increase in the intellectual honesty of Japanese Historians and a desire to create a widespread investigative discourse akin to Holocaust Writing (Mention the holocaust and Joe Average can come up with at least a dozen titles. Mention the crimes against the Chinese people and Joe Average might have heard of "The Rape of Nanjing").
3) To truly show remorse for their crimes against the Chinese people instead of offering the odd apology and then having top officials visit shrines dedicated to war criminals (amongst others).
4) To foster an intercommunal dialogue between Japanese and Chinese writers (outside of the economic and industrial writing).
Perhaps then the Chinese people might be able to form some kind of reconciliation with the Japanese government and people. To belive that $28 billion in Industrial aid is all that is needed to forgive, then the Japanese government seriously underestimates the Chinese people.
November 19, 2004
Recent actions on the part of the Union Sabbatical team have left me in despair. Yesterday the Sabbs held an emergency vote with regards to a Friends of Palestine debate which has been in the pipeline for over a month now and decided to block this academic free-for-all… Why? Because apparently it would serve to increase racial tensions on campus! Now, it's OK to have an Israeli society (bearing in mind Israel was created atop the blood and soil of the Palestinian people) and have them advertising "Holiday in Israel!" at the Socs fair and thus spitting in the faces of all Palestinians who have family in the West Bank, yet if you try to have an academic discussion, which involves respected Jewish academics and a member of the Zionist council of great Britain, on the subject of apartheid, then it is offensive.
FOPAL has taken great lengths to make sure this debate is free and fair. There are Jewish intellectuals on both sides of the debate, as well as an English MP. The issue is over whether or not Israel is now an apartheid state. This is most certainly a legitimate question. Why?
- Israel is currently composed of about 80% Jews, 20% Arabs (not including the West Bank and Ghaza).
- Israel, by law, reserves 93% of Israeli land only for Jews.
- Apartheid South Africa, by law, reserved 83% of land only for whites.
- Palestinians who are not Israeli, but who are occupied, must identify themselves with a green number plate.
- Palestinians are not allowed to drive on the same roads as Israeli settlers.
- Israeli Arabs must carry identification distinguishing themselves as non-Jews.
- Schools and hospitals in Arab districts in Israel are vastly underfunded when compared to the funding poured into schools and hospitals in primarily Jewish sectors.
- Arabs are not given the fundamental right to serve in the national army (and thereby are not allowed to receive any of the benefits of service).
- Arabs do not have the automatic right to engage in government-funded religious education and remain ascetic with government subsidies for their lives. Jews in Israel have the automatic right to attend government-funded Yeshivas and, should they wish, become Orthodox/Rabbis and receive government funding.
- Israel gives the automatic right to Jews from all over the world to immigrate to Israel. She gives no such rights to Arabs, nor will she even allow Arabs to bring Arab spouses or family members into Israel.
- Israel is currently building a wall surrounding the West Bank, to accompany the one surrounding Ghaza, creating the world's largest contemporary ghetto.
- In building this apartheid wall Israel is seizing vast swathes of Palestinian land.
- Palestinians in the West Bank and Ghaza, receive 1/7th the water of illegal Israeli settlers in the West Bank and Ghaza (about 6,000 in Ghaza and a few hundred thousand in the West Bank).
- Ariel Sharon said of Jerusalem "It is reserved for Jewish Kings, not Arab terrorists".
- Ehud Barak called the Palestinians "crocodiles" and, Arabs as a whole "liars".
- The Israeli Knesset website claims "The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel."
- The government also states "The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river". In essence, the Palestinian land is for further settlement of Jewish civilians and the remaining Arabs should be left in various Bantustans, just like in South Africa.
These are just a few of the conditions under which Israel can be termed an apartheid state.
There are, of course, counter-arguments. And these would have been presented at the FOPAL debate. The basis of free and fair academic discussion is the very essence of the Friends of Palestine Society. In attempting to silence the voices of academics and intellectuals, the Union has committed one of the worst acts of censorship in Warwick's history. In attempting to block this debate, the Union has not only spat in the face of ALL Palestinian, Arab, Muslim and Jewish (at least those interested in free and fair discussion) students and also told each and every one of those who are Palestinians "You are persona non grata".
I don't think censoring this talk will limit racial tension on campus, but increase it. I think the Union should seriously reconsider its policy on this issue.
If you wish to learn more about Friends of Palestine, then visit the society at: www.sunion.warwick.ac.uk/Palestine.
If you wish to share in my disgust at this disgraceful case of wanton censorship then please send an e-mail to these three members of the Executive council:
Let your voice be heard. Never let it be silenced.