Thursday, February 27, 2003

It is fascinating to see the media circus here in the United States regarding the proposed invasion into Iraq. I only see the press, radio and web side of it, but I guess the TV coverage is at least as one-sided.

Day after day, the various so-called 'news' media will pump out stories about how strange France and Germany are, not to want this invasion to take place. These two countries are portrayed as weird and isolated. Their motives are questioned. The French are even called ungrateful, because they 'owe' it to the US to look the other way since the US rescued them during WWII! No mentioning that the US acted like WWII was none of their concern until the attack on Pearl Harbour took place... But, I digress.

Not once have I read or heard anybody in this 'news' media circus refute this nonesense. The fact of the matter is that during the discussion in the UN's Security Council, a pitiful minority of nations supported the invasion. Currently, the US does not have the required 9 out of 15 votes needed in the council. Not by a long shot. More importantly though, the discussions in the council have revealed that a vast majority of those that spoke there is against the invasion. The only place I could find any reference to this fundamental fact, was in the online version of The Washington Post. There, buried in a piece called US, Britain Push UN Resolution Despite Opposition you could find this snub recount of the real news: "Of the 27 envoys who spoke on Tuesday, only four supported the U.S. position -- Australia, Japan, South Korea and Peru."

The piece goes on to make the very dubious claim that "[a]mong the 36 delegates who spoke on Wednesday, Washington received varying degrees of support from about half, including Macedonia, Albania, Uzbekistan, Iceland, Serbia and Montenegro, Latvia, Nicaragua, South Korea, the Marshall Islands and Georgia". This is slanted journalism, at best. Take for example Iceland, and the speech made by that country's ambassador at this session. In it, the representative states that although Iraq must disarm in accordance with UN resolution 1441 and "firm pressure must be maintained", still "the inspectors should be given more time". The ambassador also states that "UNMOVIC and IAEA have our full support, and we commend the able leadership of Drs. Blix and El Baradei". Finally, the representative stated that the "use of force must always be the last resort for the Security Council" and only pursued if other measures have failed.

Now, in all fairness, which position does this appear to be closer to, the US - or the French? Would you describe this as a declaration of Iceland's "support for Washington" in this matter?


Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Q: What is more pathetic than being a geek?
A: A geek-wanna-be.

They are the ones that want to be able to do all the geeky stuff that geeks are always doing, but just do not have what it takes. I guess I have always been one of them.

Imagine using a computer scanner to scan old LP's and then writing software, a kind of a 'digital needle', to actually read it and produce sound. Just coming up with the idea fascinates me. Making it actually work, however, is just magic in my book. Pure magic.

Monday, February 24, 2003

I am strange. I know. But I swear, I have been meaning to finally buy a TV. Like all the other good little citizens. Maybe that will finally cure me of these rebellious tendencies. Oh how I long to become one of these obedient, transparent people that sit. And watch. And watch.

These docile folks simply cannot understand why Bush does not get on with taking out this Saddam person, so the stock market can rebound. That way, everybody will be happy again. Even the Iraqis. Minus those that will be killed in the invasion, of course. But then, hardly anyone dies in wars anymore. If they did, the TV would report it. It would point out the death toll of invasion. That kind of news wouldn't be quieted because war will bring more eyeballs to The Screen? Would it? No, that cannot be true. Say it with me: TV is good, TV is right. TV is good, TV is always right.

Anyways. Believe it or not. I started this TV monologue to illustrate what I am up against in the TV department. And why I may again fail in buying myself a TV this year. It is not because I want to be orthodox. I do not find anything comfortable about being square. Especially when I try to squeeze through those round holes (BTW, there must be some square holes somewhere? Right?).

No, year after year I fail to buy a TV because I know I will be hooked. My eyes will become square - or round, as the case may be. And so, I try to find some ways to purchase the damn thing and still maintain a modicum of hope that, through the marvels of technology, I will be able to break away. Occasionally.

One such technological marvel has had me mesmerized for quite a while, now: TiVo. This wonderful machine promises to fill up on your favorite TV material, to be viewed at your leisure. So you will not have to run home to catch that detective flick at 7 pm sharp, and you will not have to worry about spending hours programming your video recorder to tape it. Just unleash your TiVo on the TV. Then, when you are overcome by TV-thirst, you can sit down and watch at your own leisure. And the best part? With the TiVo, you can skip the commercials! Just flip past them. Reduce "60 Minutes" to "45 Minutes" and still catch that splenetic Andy Rooney guy at the end of it.

So why haven't I made the plunge? Surely, this is a wonderful excuse to sail happily into la-la land and never look back? Well... The thing is, I keep hearing these weird horror stories about living with TiVo. And then there is always the Next Big Thing. I also have that syndrome. Bad.

You see? There really is nothing interesting about why I do not have a TV. I am just indecisive. Lazy. And square. But I will give in. Soon I will become just like all the other quiet souls, spending my life quivering under the orange alert on my TV.

Just had one of those totally relaxing weekends. You know. The ones when you just lounge around and hardly do anything at all. I swear, the greatest extravagance of all is to spend time. Just spend it. Literally.

The only thing that we did do, was have people over for dinner on Saturday. New people. They are these really nice, decent couple, with two small kids. I know it's probably just because we're pregnant, but I found the little critters simply adorable. And their parents, it turns out, are really interesting. And fun. We sat and talked for hours on end. I think we're going to be spending time with them. Once we get to know them better.

Good company. Good food. Good wine. C'est la vie!