Saturday, January 01, 2005


Never raise your hand to your kids. It leaves your groin unprotected.

Ahh, New Year's Day. Time for maudlin sentimentality and nursing hangovers. We're invited to a dinner party this afternoon, but I'm not really in the mood for making small talk with about a hundred people crowding this friend's house and knowing only about six people there. Given the inevitable firestorm at work on Monday, I cherish the little peace and quiet I have remaining for the weekend. Actually a quiet evening at home last night. The Mrs. had some vague ideas about going out to one of those "family friendly" things mit der kinder, but I really dislike being out and about on Amateur Night (as I refer to New Year's Eve). I can't recall us going out on Amateur Night for at least a decade, and the last time we did, we beat a hasty retreat home out of the party at about 12:40. One event advertised had some country slash southern rock group playing in a family-friendly environment, which intrigued me for a moment, but I then considered that we'd probably be sandwiched between a bunch of suburban professionals looking extremely awkward in cowboy attire attempting line dancing, and a bunch of louts screaming "Free Bird!!!!!!". Relish it, I didn't. (Then again, looking at the description of the thing, it didn't exactly look like there was going to be a lot of Allmans or Skynyrd in the set list. Marshall Tucker, si. No Outlaws.)

Although more than a few bloggers have picked up on this, it warrants reprinting the sanctimonious, smug response of that Secretary General Thief:
Q: Mr. Secretary, picking up on Richard's question, I think a lot of people are asking exactly why you waited three days on vacation in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, before you decided to fly back to New York in the face of this extraordinary crisis. Could you give us a full explanation of your thinking on that? Secondly, what kind of signal does that 72-hour delay send to the nations to which you are now appealing for greater help?
SG: First of all, there was action. It wasn't inaction. We live in a world where you can operate from wherever you are. You know the world we live in now. You don't have to be physically here to be dealing with the leaders and the Governments I have been dealing with. You don't have to be physically here to be discussing with some of the agencies that we have done. I came back here because we have reached a level that I wanted to have meetings with all the people that I have met with today. So, we have taken action. And I don't have to be sitting in my office to take action. I think the same goes for you in your profession.

Arrogant lying bastard. He skis in a chi-chi resort while corpses rot and millions suffer. I suppose those fact-finding missions in the pro shop take precedence. The great "Day By Day" strip neatly summarized this hoodlum in its December 30th strip.

Somewhat related, you might want to check out Krakatoa: The Day The World Exploded by Simon Winchester for a great analysis of the most infamous natural disaster in the region. Interesting take on the cultural cause and effect resulting from the eruption, just on the other side of Sumatra from the earthquake that caused the current suffering. I wonder perhaps whether some of Mr. Winchester's speculation as to the origins of today's political unrest in the region in the Rakata event might not be mirrored in current and near future events.


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