dimanche 30 septembre 2012

We don't care! Really?

So there was a post last August where I was told that, generally speaking, Americans couldn’t care less about Bill Clinton entertaining Miss Lewinsky (unless it was the other way round). Ok then, I leave it to people who know better than me.

Let's have another try though... 

The former French president has been married thrice and the current one has been living in sin ever since he lost his pucelage some 40 years ago (I don't know the exact date). After he's lived 30 years with the former Socialist candidate to the presidency 5 years ago, he now is the companion of a twice divorced woman with three children of her own.

Now, next month there will another presidential election in the US. Am I invited to believe that both the GOP and the Dem. one would have without any hesitation picked up a candidate who would have been married thrice (and counting)  and another one with four children out of wedlock? 

Too bad they didn't have anybody filling the requirements then...

samedi 29 septembre 2012

samedi 15 septembre 2012

Get lost, you jerk!

This front page is that of the French daily Libération published in Paris and created by Jean-Paul Sartre in 1973. It is on the left side of the political spectrum and has made a point ever since its first issue to print provocative front pages with word plays and puns, witty and sometimes very elaborate. Readers often have to be in the know to understand them.  

The audience is mainly intellectuals and definitively made of what is called "Parisian bobos". Though a leftist outlet, the working class doesn't read Libé which is far too intellectual and full of cultural references to be understood by people with no or poor education. Would the New-Yorker be an appropriate comparison? 

Now the context needs further explanation.

The man we see is Bernard Arnault, first European fortune and 4th in the world with US$41 billion. He is a close friend to Sarkozy, was his best man when said Sarko married and it has been announced that he has just made an application to be granted the Belgian citizenship. The reason of this move is that Arnault doesn't want to pay the surplus income taxe rate that the socialist government has decided to implement on the super riches. I haven't done any research but the supplement the man would have to pay would be probably in the range of some millions €.

As Ned explains in the comments section, four years ago Sarko retorted a classy « Casse-toi pov’ con » to a man who didn't want to shake hand with him.     

So when Arnault, again a close friend of Sarko, has made it known he will leave France the staff at Libé had the good idea to reuse Sarko's insult but with a small change in the phrasing. It no longer is « Casse-toi pauvre con » but instead « Casse-toi riche con ». A tit for a tat so to say.

Of course it is a good example of why the French generally speaking  (those on the right don't objet even when they're workers or employees, their super egos do the job to maintain them in a state of mental submission) loathe capitalism and its great priests who always play the same old card of threatening to leave the country and let the French fall into poverty. 1789 anyone?

Arnault has made his fortune on high end products of century old French craftship, fashion, perfumes, jewellery etc. He personally is not an artist, hasn't created anything and is just taking advantage of what has been in existence long before his great-great-great-grand-parents were born. He is the very incarnation of the capitalist making a fortune out of other's work and skills.

Now, the interesting part of the story is that Libé reportedly has lost something in the range of 600,000 € of advertisement revenue when luxe companies have cancelled their orders and contracts out of sympathy for Arnault who they deem has been insulted the very same way Sarko insulted a French citizen four years ago.

It is also worth knowing that the major shareholder of Libération is another millionaire (but far from being a billionaire) Edouard de Rotschild, another friend of Sarko and a bi-national French Israeli businessman...

With a millionaire as main financial support, the loss of 500,000 US$ is not the end of the newspaper but it shows what conscience de classe is.

Let me explain: When these companies buy advertisement spaces in the paper, it is not out of generosity for a an outlet that defends values that are opposed to theirs (they have none but making as much money as they can) but more simply because their potential customers read this newspaper. But since their products also are high end ones, the market is limited and the customers don't have much choice if they want to buy Rolex, Mercedes or Christian Lacroix' marvellous jackets.

The companies which have decided to (temporally) boycott Libé run no risk to see theirs benefit be dented in the least, they just want to say to Bernard "We're on your side pal". It's called conscience de classe.Sarko was the embodiment of this world whose envoy he was at the Élysée palace and half the French regret him... 
Are there still some gulags available in Siberia?

samedi 1 septembre 2012

Two slits on my head

Err... Did I mention I underwent surgery last year? Oh no, not the time when my right forearm was on fire, that was in December. In November I also entered the operating theater and it was my eyelids that were very much on the forefront of my concerns.

Like everybody when our eyes are going to experiment some treatment, I assume we all have some qualms and concerns. Won't the surgeon sneeze at an untimely moment?

So when they woke me up I was relieved to perceive the white gleam of... but of what exactly? All - and not everything - was immerged in an indiscernible white fog and a voice told me (probably, I don't exactly remember) not to worry, I just had been blindfolded and it will last until tomorrow. I hadn't been forewarned.

So the funniest part of the intervention was over and I was brought back to my room where I stayed stuck in my bed with a perf on my left forearm for the next 24 hours.

Oh boy, let me tell you that was like a life changing experience. Being blind isn't precisely like closing one's eyes for a few seconds or even a few minutes just to "see" how it feels to walk in one's apartment without seeing anything.

Lying on a bed on which you are blind and tied, you are then not much more than a mere living object relying 100% on others. Of course forget about Sudoku, cross words, Rubik's cube and their likes. Why didn't you listen to the radio some may ask? Just, try to use any smart phone when you can't see the keyboard, the touches and you don't even know whether you're holding it in the right position...

And one has to be very careful with where the few objects you need are positioned since if you let them drop... well you simply can't retrieve them, they're gone and you're more alone that you previously were.

So basically, you're confronted with your inner thoughts and you discover that isn't much really to keep you busy. 

Since I always have tablets of Lexomil with me I took what it takes to sleep as much as I could. Yet, I felt twice like bouts of anxiety which were quickly overcome since I knew I will be freed at 4 pm the day after. It is possible that I asked the nurses three times which time it was

And also, I shouted in the middle of the night because I needed some bodily fluids to be evacuated and I couldn’t reach the alarm device which was gone somewhere along the bed. That is when the nurse, who was just a voice to me, said: “Look, I put it here” (verbatim).  And it was a reminder of how different it is when one is still present to the world whereas the other isn’t. A world of difference indeed, unless it is a different world... 

Speaking of world... This experience led me once again to the conclusion that the world and the universe too only exist as long as they are perceived by a reflecting consciousness. A process that can happen only with light reaching my brain through these two slits on my head. Behind and covered by said slits, are two drops of water which permit opsins to be kept alive and allow light to activate the cells which in the end create in my mind a representation of the world, and not the world itself of course.

The proposition seems paradoxical I know but yet, there's no mountain and no trees to the blind, no Moon and no planets and no galaxies and no black holes, save metaphorically speaking. The very existence of the world depends on the possibility that it may be perceived with light as the ultimate medium that enables the formation of images upon which we accommodate our skills in order to survive.

And every morning when we wake up, we thoughtlessly rub our two drops of water like they weren’t the very condition that permits the world to exist. The universe is so fragile indeed and it is at our command and most of us don’t realize.

…what he knows is not a sun and an earth, but only an eye that sees a sun, a hand that feels an earth; that the world which surrounds him is there only as representation, i.e., only in relation to something else, the consciousness… 

(to be followed here)