Olympic obsenities – rolling updates #3

August 22, 2008

I’ve had a great Olympics so far. I’ve managed to avoid all but the most incidental coverage of the actual “games”; though it hasn’t been easy.  I’ve refrained from getting into arguments with patriotic and even downright chauvinist Kiwis about the “funtastic” effort from “our” chaps and chapettes. I’ve even managed to catch up on some classic Star Trek thanks to Moac’s buddy who’s kindly loaned us his prize collector’s edition DVD boxed set.

But it hasn’t been so much fun for the blessed Chinese who thought they were going to get an opportunity to have their complaints heard by a sympathetic and “modernizing” regime. I read today of two grandmothers who’ve been sentenced to “re-education through labour” just for even daring to take the dictators at their word and apply for a protest permit.

The isolent cheek of these two old ladies; don’t they know what’s best for the nation is also best for them.

To top off my week of hilarity, the story of the underage Chinese gymnast is finally getting some well-deserved attention. He Kexin is a plucky young lass who serves as an object lesson to the gruntled grannies. She knows what’s best for everyone is to shut up and play along with the charade.

Ah, the scandal. Gotta love these games.

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Georgia on my mind – gangsters, oil and blood

August 16, 2008

Warning: this post contains some AO language and is not really about taxi drivers at all.

I have a lot of respect for cab drivers. Most of the time they’re really well-educated and they’re all very, very  street-smart. Last night I got a ride home with Ahmad. He’s from Afghanistan and he was listening to the BBC World Service.

There were items about the conflict in Georgia and so we got to talking. It was quite funny to realise that my chat with Ahmad was the perfect dessert to my main course argument with my colleague Wayne at the Brooklyn.

Wayne and I had been talking about Russia, Georgia, gangster capitalism, transnationals and failed or failing states. Ahmad segued straight into that line of thinking off the back of the World Service reports from Georgia. Ahmad has been all over the world. He thinks the Russians are crazy and hates the American presence in his homeland. There’s a nice, balanced logic to his position and I’m instantly drawn to a stranger who’s making my journey smooth on a soggy Auckland night.

My conversations with Wayne and Ahmad  led to this little tome: gangster capitalism, the looming resource wars and ‘regime change’.

What happens when you give gangsters access to new-killer weapons of mass distraction?

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Insulted by Facebook – another Olympic Obscenity

August 16, 2008

I have a Facebook profile. I hang out there sometimes and it’s been a really cool way of finding former colleagues and old friends that I’ve lost touch with. When I go to London in a couple of weeks I’ll be catching up with people I haven’t seen for years, but I know they’re in London and expecting to see me because we found each other on Facebook.

Social networking is here to stay, but you know, it’s still a fairly conservative space.

I saw a great New Zealand comedy act on TV last night. They’re called the Lonesome Buckwhips and they did a most excellent pisstake anthem for the Olympics. I tried to find it on Farcebuerk to add it to my music profile because I want you all to hear it.

But look what came up when I did a Facebook search:

Not only was I challenged to find out if Tom Cruise is smarter than me – he’s not, by the way. This is just more Scientology advertising on Facebook, I have no doubt.

The Loneseome Buckwhips’ song [Olympic Anthem]  I was looking for is not there, instead I was invited to download the Goo Goo Dolls track recorded to support A T&T Team USA at the Olympics. The last thing I’d ever want to do.

Get fucked Farcebuerk, get the fucking Olympics Obscenity out of my face and Tom Cruise and the Goo Goo Dolls; that’s not what I signed up for.