Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Sunday, July 27, 2014
|The Lunar Module seen from the Command Module of Apollo 11.|
It's all very technical, but even if I don't understand most of what's going on, it's fun to feel like I'm reliving some of those heart-stopping moments. Like landing on the moon. Forty-five years ago, three guys went to the moon. Well, actually only two of them made it to the surface, the third, Michael Collins, stayed in the Command Module that remained in orbit around the Moon. He was vital to the mission, but man, I would've felt a tad jealous if I were him.
Friday, July 18, 2014
The first news item stems from an image posted on the Facebook page of an ex-extreme-right candidate named Anne-Sophie Leclère, which seems to imply that the Justice Minister, Christian Taubira, was very cute indeed when she was 18 months old:
Well, this poorly constructed photo-montage incited quite a fuss, especially because of what happened next: Leclère was sued, sentenced 9 months in prison, and fined €50,000 ($67,529). Her political party (the Front National, or FN) was also fined €30,000, even though it disapproved of the image at the time, and even excluded her from the party. (In recent years the FN has been trying to revamp the hard fascist/racist image left behind by James Bond villain and party-founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, and has clamped down on any overt racism.) Leclère will appeal the decision.
|Emilio Largo from Thunderball, left, and Jean-Marie Le Pen, right.|
JUDICIAL INJUNCTIONYou can't make that shit up.
It has been judged that inciting the reader to poke the doll herein with the provided needles, an action that carries the underlying idea of physical harm, however symbolic, constitutes an insult to the dignity of Mr. Sarkozy.
In contrast, the US has a long and fine tradition of likening our political elites to other primates, and entire industries have been spawned to allow us to crush George W. Bush's head on a stress ball, beat the crap out of his likeness on a punching bag, and wipe his face on our asses with novelty toilet paper.
The next story is really incredible though. A blogger named Caroline Doudet panned a restaurant, citing poor service. The restaurant owner sued the blogger. The judge fined the blogger $3,400, in part, she explained, because the blog was ranked highly by Google, and was thus damaging to the restaurant. The End.
While this story is getting quite a bit of play in the English language press, all I could find in French were a few grouchy blog posts. If the French think that such a judgement is business-as-usual, or isn't newsworthy, the state of affairs in France is worse than I imagined.
I know that there have been abusive lawsuits against sites like Yelp, but picking out a single blogger because she said that the service was horrible? Amazing. More details from wapo.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
I remember hating her right then and there, not only for bringing up such an embarrassing subject for me, but also for being genetically responsible for the trait that got me harassed at school.1 I fought my nausea and feigned interest: "So what happened?"
"It just stopped growing back as I got older," she squinted back at me, through the rear view mirror.
1 I had always wondered why I had a unibrow while nobody else in my family did. It turns out they were all just assiduous pluckers.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
I was all excited and stressed out this morning because I had an appointment with a mental health professional: someone to whom I could say anything, and from whom I could hopefully get some intelligent advice (and/or drugs).
Well I took the packed Division bus downtown and found the Water's Building in the arctic face-burning wind only to find out that Dr. Fuller does not participate in the Blue Care Network, but in Blue Cross Blue Shield (I thought they were the same... the logos are identical.), and would I want to pay 185 dollars? Eventually they said I could get a session with Dr. Vanderbeck at 4pm, and I agreed. I sat down and picked up a National Geographic, but then I realized I should do some research on this Vanderbeck character, if that is his real name. My worst fears were realized... Hope College... Christian Camp bladibla... specializes in sexual abuse. Cancel'd!
So I went back into the cold. I passed the arena which is surrounded by WWE coaches, and dozens of semis filled with equipment. I saw the Hopcat Bar, and, determined to get therapy of any kind, went in.
Thursday, December 19, 2013
I don't know why I never published this:
I'm finally getting that "real" big city experience that I'd been so idealistically pining for all these years. No, New York didn't count. New York is too nice these days. But the moment I step out of my apartment in Marseille, I get the real deal - the trash, the stink, the drooling drunks and the hollering insane people. Walking down the street can be a chore. "Non! Je ne veux PA-PA-PA-PA-PAAAS!" screamed a woman in my face a propos of nothing. I ducked away to be accosted by two gypsy girls who grabbed my arm and demanded coin.
A stroll through town is actually a dance around sleeping hobos, panhandlers, illegally parked cars, slowly waddling wide-assed old ladies, and dog shit. Slick-haired 20 year-olds obstruct the sidewalk like Algerian James Deans. Your presence cannot break their far away gazes. Crossing the street is not for the inattentive. Expect the unexpected from the diesel death-machines since they've just been stuck in a traffic jam for an hour, so when they find open road, they go for it with gusto. After an hour outside, my nerves are jangled, my eyes burn, and my nose and lungs are insulted.