Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Another Turn With the Scratchy Label

Proper underwear should always have a button down flap.

The interesting label remains firmly sewn into my underwear.

I felt it was only fair of me to refrain from showing images of my underwear to my partying yeomen until after the holidays. (Note 1). If you look closely at the picture, you will see that the ‘interesting’ label sewn in by the Yahoo Editorial team during the Christmas party remains.

Perhaps I am wiser or maybe I became hardened to it all during my first spell, but the label does not seem as scratchy this stint.

More likely is that this stint in the spotlight has brought people from across the globe to my page and has given me the opportunity to glimpse their pages. One major surprise has been the visitors from Iran.

The Lotfallah Mosque Isfahan.

This poses me a bit of a problem. Apart from my ignorance of the country that is. Alieh quite rightly got upset with me when I incorrectly described her language as Arabic rather than Farsi and surprised me rather by describing herself as a Persian girl rather than Iranian. (Note 2).

It’s particularly frustrating that even though the Farsi script of Alieh looks absolutely marvellous on the screen – I cannot read or understand a word of it. While Alieh’s English is impeccable – I cannot find a tool that will translate her page (or that of Ademizad) into English. Is there a yeoman out there who knows a way?

The biggest surprise though was that they could actually read my blog. I’d always thought that Iran strictly controlled access to the internet. Indeed, it is one of the countries cited by the University of Toronto ’Hacktivists’ as being a victim of censorship.

Peace and stability.

Alieh asked me what I thought about the execution of Saddam Hussein. (Note 3). The answer is that it was wrong on so many levels.

In the UK we do not have the death penalty for any offence. The idea that the taking of a life can be justified because of due process or because you hold a position of power is morally wrong. When you are judging a murderer and you elect to terminate their life you are in fact lowering yourself to their level.

The trial, Iraq’s attempt at showing due process did not come across as being a fair trial. It seemed to me that the whole thing was some form of tribal revenge.

The timing of the execution so that it coincided with an Islamic holy festival was wrong. The execution itself was a sick farce and the different films being circulated show lack of any dignity, organisation or discipline amongst the Iraqi government.

The lack of any condemnation from our own government worries me. Margaret Beckett, the Foreign Secretary didn’t really reflect the official views on the death penalty. I wonder if anyone in the UK Government actually spoke to the Iraqi authorities in an attempt to put the UK views across.

It should also be mentioned that there does seem to be this idea in the region that it is OK for governments to support groups in other countries who use violence to promote a political ideal in which they believe. This is another form of government sponsored murder. It always amazes me that the same governments then get upset when they are not accepted into the bosom of the international community.

On a lighter note, I would like to point out that I am available for product placements and free gifts. I am more than happy to review new operating systems, digital cameras, cars or even speedboats on this blog. (Note 4) Although I hope that such don’t lead to misunderstandings that require me to actually return the goods being reviewed.

From 14th June 2006, the industry standard Crozzy Standard has been applied to footnotes.

NOTE 1: Even now, I feel it would be very unfair to actually show pictures of me in my underwear. Those sorts of pictures are best pinned to the fridge door as a last ditch effort to kill the appetite and stem the nigh time munchies. None of my fine yeomen deserve such a picture. Yet there have been one or two visitors in the last month who seem to collect such pictures and go to prove there is nowt as weird as folk. Click to return

NOTE 2: Like so many good Brits, I call Ceylon, Sri Lanka and Rhodesia, Zimbabwe. I’ve always gone along with the idea that in the bad old days of empire, the Brits turned up at a place and struggled with the local name so they simply chose a new name they could pronounce. I’m not sure when Persia became Iran or why, but I went along with the new name. I’d always sort of assumed that Iranians, like the former countries of empire, would look on being called Persian as something of an insult. It seems, not for the first time, I was wrong. Click to return

NOTE 3: She also suggested that I could be or at least look like a politician. Although I may have proved that I satisfy the criteria of ignorance, it does throw up a very interesting cultural difference. My love of face fur (a beard for non-native English speakers) almost precludes me from running in an election in the UK. Here, bearded men are looked on by some with suspicion. So in the UK at least, you will find that politicians go clean shaven. In the Middle East they can look beyond such things. Click to return

NOTE 4: Please don’t think that I am being mercenary here and only going for the big ticket items. I would review chocolate, but Charlie has already cornered the market. Click to return

Seasick Steve gets a reprise. Go check him out on

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