Thursday, December 07, 2006

Watch out here I come

All right all you dirty Anglo-Saxons out there, who think that France is still full of garlic-munching, beret-wearing, baguette-bearing French people, get ready for the uniquely French view of the world: France 24. Launching tonight at 20:30 local time, Jacques Chirac's pet riposte to CNN and BBC World goes live. In a nod to the fact that there are some people who still speak English, the channel is to be broadcast in French and English.

All the journos have apparently been indoctrinated in "French Values", which presumably entails lengthy lectures on "Liberte, Egalite et Fraternite" and how France is a country that is founded on Human Rights. I guess they won't be reporting much on the annual figures of French arms sales to war-torn regions around the world. Oh well.

Still it will be nice to have something else to watch, other than the crud dished out by BBCNN.

OK Now.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

My Holy War – Dispatches from the home front

My Holy War – Dispatches from the home front By Jonathan Raban
Reviewed by Sean Badal

Dear reader, once in a while a writer comes along that fits you like a comfortable, worn-out old pair of shoes. Now I wouldn’t like to compare Jonathan Raban to an old pair of shoes, but that’s more or less how I feel about his books, you kind of slip into them, and before you know it, you’re transported and transfixed.

Raban has been a fixture in my life for a very long time, ever since I was a teenager, and it’s oddly comforting to know that he’s still around and in full possession of all his faculties, unlike the dead white males I usually read. There’s always the anticipation of something new from his pen (I think he does actually write with a pen).

His travel books were more or less solely responsible for awakening my own travel desires. That’s the thing about Raban, he has a way of making you long for stuff that you never knew you could long for in the first place, if you get my drift. His book Arabia: A Journey Through the Labyrinth, which came out in 1979, was more or less single-handedly responsible for stirring up my own obsessive interest in the Middle East (okay there was Burton, but crikey, he was indigestible).



Raban’s new publication is not much of a book. It’s a flimsy collection of material culled from various lefty publications (mostly the Guardian) that he’s written for over the last couple of years.

If the book does have a leitmotiv, it’s in the author’s unrelenting attacks on the quackery of George Bush and his pet Chihuahua, Tony Blair. Both in the run-up to the war and its aftermath, the author has been one of the few elegant voices consistently speaking out against the obscene actions of these two war criminals. All the essays are presented here in a neat chronological package and the author’s integrity and single-minded consistency come shining through.

There are a couple of endearingly discursive pieces in the book. One of them, an essay titled termina camino rural , charts a road journey from Seattle to Baja, California, that he took with his eleven year-old daughter Julia, who is intent on improving her Spanish. It is warm-hearted and evocative, and recalls Raban’s last travel book. Passage to Juneau, where the author finds out during his sea trip that his wife is leaving him, and taking their four year old daughter.


Picador: 2006
www.jonathanraban.com

Make love during War

As most of you probably know by now, I'm pretty sex-starved, but that is going to have to change, as I am fully behind the Global Orgasm initiative, and want to give it my full support.

The mission of the Global Orgasm is to effect change in the energy field of the Earth through input of the largest possible surge of human energy. Now that there are two more US fleets heading for the Persian Gulf with anti- submarine equipment that can only be for use against Iran, the time to change Earth’s energy is NOW!

The intent is that the participants concentrate any thoughts during and after orgasm on peace. The combination of high- energy orgasmic energy combined with mindful intention may have a much greater effect than previous mass meditations and prayers.

The goal is to add so much concentrated and high-energy positive input into the energy field of the Earth that it will reduce the current dangerous levels of aggression and violence throughout the world.

Global Orgasm is an experiment open to everyone in the world.

We hope the results will register on the worldwide monitor system of the Global Consciousness Project.

This is the First Annual Solstice Synchronized Global Orgasm for Peace, leading up to the December Solstice of 2012, when the Mayan Calendar ends with a new beginning.


Visit www.globalorgasm.org for more info.

Now all I have to do is find someone willing to share my desire for world peace...