HB V

is older than it's ever been and now it's even older

4/11/2001

shenbiao qianyi? feichang baoqian?


As all of you are no doubt aware of by now, the Chinese Hostage crisis is now over. The last eleven days have been tied up in a linguistic tizzy that is bewildering to the mind. Even now the rhetoric still doesn't connect between the two sides, as the Chinese report that we used the term "shenbiao qianyi" in our letter (deep apology or regret) while the letter released by our embassy reports that it was "feichang baoqian" (extremely sorry). As sourced here. Personally, I consider this the crowning chapter in an empty contest of wills. I can't countenance the extreme importance placed on saving face. It seems like such a weak reason for any action. To go along with my previously stated philosophy of life, I have another major pet peeve: pride. I don't use this term as referring to, say, pride in one's accomplishments, but rather as pride in other's perception of you. This is worthless. People will perceive you as a good person or country if you are a good person or country. To actively seek and enforce this "pride," especially as a country, is a recipe to throw away people's lives. Unnecessarily. Now, before someone accuses me of being culturally insensitive, I'd like to point out that the US committed the same sin of pride in not wanting to appear to bend to the will of the Chinese government. Both sides demonstrated a boastful air that is really sickening to me, and should be stomped out. At least some of the far right pundits have admitted something terribly obvious: if Bill Clinton had acted the same way Dubya has throughout this standoff, the Republicans would be calling for his head. 'National disgrace.' AUGGGHHH.

A corollary to this tenet of my personal philosophy is a general lack of tolerance for vanity. It's debatable how far I should take this. Maggie and I differ; sometimes we'll go for a walk around the lake and I'll be wearing the nastiest, most ratty clothing I own. She points out that she is embarassed to be seen with me, and I just can't understand that. Why do I give a crap about what people think as they see me go by while I'm taking a walk?

As full disclosure, I must point out that I have sometimes been accused of being haughty or prideful myself. However, in my defense, I must point out that I'm not prideful nor haughty. I just don't like stupid people. Don't act stupid and I won't treat you like you're stupid, ok?! Moreover, I've never gotten into a fight because someone "insulted my honor." That's so stupid. It's like what Chris Rock says:

…if you go to a movie theater and someone steps on your foot, let it slide. Why spend the next 20 years in jail 'cause someone smudged your Puma?


I are very confused!

So, a cop stops famous football kicker Sebastian Janikowski, who was playing for the mighty Florida State Seminoles, and doesn't recognize him. Why is that, officer? "I are a Gators fan." I see. The misspelled headline to the story just completes the hilarity. As a footnote to the story, Janikowski faces deportation if he's convicted of this drug misdemeanor, just like thousands of other immigrants, some of whom lived here their entire lives and don't speak any other language than English. I wonder if the moneyed interests who own Congress would stop this injustice based on a need for a placekicker for the Raiders, when they wouldn't intervene for an average person. Somehow I suspect they might.

This should make your brain hurt: some scientists now think the precipitating factor of the Big Bang was the approach of another universe. What? How many universes do we need, anyway? I don't think my cerebrum is calibrated to consider this conundrum.

This is amazing work. These people have rigged an automatic kitty door to deny entry to their cat if it is attempting to bring a mouse or similar creature into the house. It depends on algorithms to judge the similarity of the profile of the cat as it passes a camera. Via the super nifty Pigs and Fishes.

Lastly, a highbrow LAPI: the lost sex scene of Pride and Prejudice. Oh, my! Lizzie isn't tucking lace in THAT PICTURE!



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