Americans tend to tell us so many nasty stories about everyday problems in their immense land (not to mention stories of the candidate Trump) that I was terribly thrilled to read this wonderful story in a French website about a fantastic urban homestead in California. You can find English-language explanations and photos by looking up the name of the head of the family, Jules Dervaes, who lives in Pasadena with his three offspring.
I’m old-fashioned… which isn’t surprising in the case of a fellow born in 1940. I belong to a generation of old-timers who were never tempted to use advanced technology to transmit images of their sexual organs to various corners of the planet, and maybe even (by inadvertance) into outer space and distant galaxies, where lots of little green guys and gals will be able to appreciate our earthly junk. These days, apparently, more and more people are engaged in this activity… just for fun, naturally. I’m led to believe that transmissions of this nature are generally intended for a restricted circle of receivers, most often a single individual. But problems do occur, and some of these images escape, as it were, and end up getting into the wrong hands (no pun intended). And there can be misunderstandings, too:
This question is examined in detail in the following fascinating video of an interview between John Oliver, host of Last Week Tonight on the US TV channel Home Box Office, and the US whistle-blower Edward Snowden.
Yesterday, in the early hours of the morning, a bust of Edward Snowden was erected in a New York park.
On this morning’s news, I heard that authorities in New York have just removed this statue.
Click here to read the full story of this affair. Let me add that few people are aware of what’s actually happening. To punish Snowden for disclosing lots of secret documents and then pissing off to Russia, Pentagon authorities are in fact going to put him to shame by enhancing the existing statue by appending a big ugly reinforced-concrete copy of the whistle-blower’s penis (based, so they claim, upon authentic visual data), and then putting the modified statue back on public display. This mission, carried out by NSA agents, is code-named Whistle Blow Job. But don't tell anybody I told you...
Fox News has a “specialist” named Nolan Peterson (a former GI) who informed the world, last week, that there are so-called No-Go Zones in certain parts of Paris which non-Muslims cannot enter. This dumb arsehole said that youths strutted around in these neighborhoods wearing T-shirts celebrating Bin Laden. Fox News went on to say that police could not enter such neighborhoods, and that the Muslims applied Sharia law in these zones.
Needless to say, everything that the liar Peterson related on Fox News was pure rubbish... but I have not yet understood his motivations in airing all this make-believe nonsense. Now, there are 2 million Americans who watch this shit, to learn about what’s supposed to be going on in France. Fortunately, there has been a massive TV campaign in France aimed at telling Fox News just how poorly informed they are. And they seem to have gotten around to understanding that they were transmitting pure bullshit.
I feel sorry for naive and well-intentioned Americans who have such rubbish rammed down their throats by stupid and unscrupulous would-be US "journalists".
Since 2003, an abominable lie about France and the French has become widespread in the US, designated by an expression that's popular with dumb US jerks: cheese-eating surrender monkeys. The idiots imagine that, in 1940, the French took one look at the approaching Nazi forces and promptly surrendered. There's little point in getting upset about such a total ignorance of the military events of that terrible epoch. As we say in French: Never try to explain things to arseholes; there's a danger that you might inform them!
BREAKING NEWS: Anne Hidalgo, Socialist mayor of Paris, has just announced (January 20) that the city will be taking Fox News to court over their outrageous "news", which prejudiced gravely and stupidly the French capital. In the following shoddy CNN interview, their interpreter sounds as if she has trouble understanding French, and the audio is not handled correctly:
I'm happy to see that the great city is standing up for itself against a band of dumb US arseholes.
It's nice of Barack Obama to tell his fellow-citizens that their nation has no intention of preying upon their private lives.
It's fine that he should reflect upon the concept of American patriotism, and that he might refuse to label a certain US citizen as a patriot. But we in the world outside ObamaLand don't give a fuck about American patriotism. The courageous whistle-blower Edward Snowden is now being hunted by ugly Uncle Sam as if he were an escaping cotton-farm slave. If Obama could call upon a military drone to target Snowden and blow his arse off, I fear that this whole affair would be instantly terminated. But Obama (thank God, or whatever) doesn't possess such a drone, and so the US president is obliged to air his fury by the cowardly act of cancelling a meeting with Vladimir Poutine.
Living outside ObamaLand, we in the Old World simply don't like to learn that America is spying upon us. So, we're on the side of the allegedly-unpatriotic running slave, and praying that he won't get caught.
As an authentic grass-roots American media celebrity, Wolf Blitzer is expected to praise God on CNN. From time to time, inevitably, in the course of his mindless burbling, Blitzer encounters reality.
Is Blitzer really the robotic arsehole whom we see here? Probably... The full name of the God-fearing arsehole is, of course, the United fucking States of America, now getting into the diabolical business of using robotic drones to exterminate certain of its undesirable citizens.
She's an American schoolteacher, and she's using a commonplace whiteboard to deflect bullets fired at her at point-blank range by a disgruntled 10-year-old pupil. The shooter—an innocent orphan girl—had been using a nice pink handgun inherited from her lovely mum, who had used it earlier on in a vain attempt to avoid getting gunned down by the child's father in a fit of rage.
Click here to see a description of this amazing whiteboard invention, destined to save the lives of countless schoolteachers and children.
Inspired by this fine example of humanitarian inventiveness, I'm proud to tell you that I went one step further. I've just been in contact with manufacturers of tablet computers throughout the world (starting, naturally, with Apple and their iPad), and I'm thrilled to announce that they're all enthusiastic about my forthcoming product named BulletPad: a bulletproof shell for computer tablets, manufactured robotically by 3D printing (carried out in my garage at Gamone). Here's a photo of a nice couple who were prepared to test my invention on a US gun range.
I asked the nice guy to fire at his delightful wife, protected by one of my miraculous iPad products. As you can see, both my friends survived joyfully. And I might add that no innocent automobiles or other shit were sacrificed during the production of my demonstration. So, guys, grab a gal, grab a gun and order a BulletPad.
In the special case of a great American city such as Detroit, which played a central role in the history of the automobile, it's fitting that urban vestiges should have the same stark forms as the rusty dislocated carcasses of antiquated limousines reposing in a junkyard, patiently awaiting their destruction.
The beauty of derelict sites in Detroit has been captured marvelously by two French photographers, Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre. To access several splendid specimens of their work, click the above image of William Livingstone's dilapidated house in the Brush Park neighborhood of the city (finally demolished in September 2007).
It is important to realize that most of this decrepitude dates from a long time ago, and had existed already long before the relatively recent slump when the Detroit Big Three (General Motors, Ford and Chrysler) were bowled over by Asian competition.
In my recent article entitled Shot stupidly for truffles[display], I evoked the banal subject of rural people here in France who own shotguns. Over the last week, I've returned to the interesting challenge of writing an autobiographical document tracing my personal itinerary since my initial contacts with computer programming, as an adolescent in Australia, up to my present infatuation with the vast domain of DNA. (This is the document that used to be called Digital Me. It now bears a nicer title, which I'm keeping private for the moment, while retaining the former title as its public code name.) In the context of my childhood ramblings, I well remember the everyday phenomenon of guns. My father had the habit of shooting rabbits with a rifle every now and again, while my uncles used a shotgun to kill ducks in their swamp. That was all there was to it at Waterview. The last bushrangers had disappeared a century earlier, and I have no personal recollections of anybody in my adolescent context ever using a gun as an offensive weapon.
In the USA, the relationship with firearms appears to be quite different to anything I've ever experienced in Australia or France. It's utterly unbelievable that, in March 2010, a website associated with Sarah Palin could react to the Democrats' legislation on health care by publishing the following map, in which weaponry crosshairs indicate places where Palin's political accomplices felt that action was needed.
Then Palin expressed herself on Twitter in an even more explicit style:
In the case of the guy who has just shot a Democratic personality in Arizona, I sense already that smart lawyers will certainly end up demonstrating that he was demented, and that his act had nothing to do with political hatred. Nevertheless, certain folk in God's Own Country have weird and dangerous ways of expressing themselves "politically".
BREAKING NEWS: A positive vision of the USA reappears rapidly through the murky stuff. Admire the reassuring professional style of this Tucson surgeon:
Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is married to the US astronaut Mark Kelly.
In the wake of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, President George W Bush instigated a process aimed at overhauling the US intelligence system. In 2004, the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act created the office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), who took over some of the government and intelligence functions that had previously been handled by the time-honored CIA. As of a month ago, the DNI is Dennis Blair, appointed by Barack Obama.
I was gladly surprised to discover that we can obtain, for free, a 120-page document entitled Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World, presenting the profound thoughts of this office concerning the future of our world. Just click this image and follow instructions:
Before starting to read this fascinating report, make sure you've understood the significance of the acronym BRIC [Brazil, Russia, India and China], which reappears constantly.
The report is good reading in that it highlights the fragility of US thinking. We've always known that the giant has feet of clay. But it's alarming to discover that maybe his brain, too—his so-called "intelligence"—is made out of porcelain.
In the vulgar verbiage of the authors of this futuristic fairy story, Europeans will be "losing clout" in 2025. I feel like giving a sharp clout on the snout of the dumb Yank who wrote such rubbish. The notorious CIA (which reports henceforth to the DNI) has made so many blunders, however, that we might expect a certain amount of US intelligence drivel for some time to come. It's not tomorrow that we'll be removing the inverted commas from "US intelligence". But I insist upon the fact that this nice bedtime reading can be freely downloaded. It won't even cost you what it's worth: peanuts.
I remember a short Manhattan holiday of my son and me, long ago. I had a vague wish to show my son America. In our dull hotel room, we watched TV footage about a guy who had just shot down a whole bunch of innocent folk. The journalists were interviewing former friends and associates of the killer, who were unanimous about his character: "He was a really nice friendly guy. We can't imagine what caused him to commit this massacre."
I've noticed that, whenever things gets screwed up in God's Own Country, they tend to conclude that the Normal Order of American Happenings has been interfered with, no doubt through the actions of the Devil. Then they make a feeble attempt to delve into the past... and they're capable of finding all kinds of skeletons in the closets. But they rapidly rearrange them, in an attempt to make the past fit the present.
Interesting interrogation: Is it still possible to admire America?
When I was a kid in the 1940s, the world was a nice friendly place, full of nice friendly puzzles. When we picked up a glossy magazine, we were thrilled to be faced with the metaphysical challenge of deciding, for the Nth time, which of two identical twins was sporting a high-priced professional hairdo, and which one had settled for an affordable do-it-yourself perm using a product from the Toni company.
Maybe I should correct my opening sentence. Let's say, more accurately, that the world was almost a nice friendly place. But everybody was aware that this world had recently been marked indelibly by the barbarities of a monster named Hitler and his henchmen. In amassing piles of human hair at Auschwitz, the Nazi barbers were not concerned about who might have had a Toni.
In the case of these twin book covers, which one is the real thing? I can't answer that question, because neither book has been published yet. They won't be coming out until 17 November. For the moment, we can only judge them by their covers, and everybody knows that this is an unwise operation. But, since we've got nothing better to do...
In the case of both books, the photo on the cover depicts the same real—all too real—person: Sarah Palin, a former governor of Alaska who could have easily and rapidly become the most powerful leader on earth. All she needed, to attain this status, was a simple series of two events: (1) Barack Obama is defeated in the presidential election by John McCain, and (2) the winner of this election disappears abruptly from the political arena, for one reason or another.
My God, when you look back on those recent dangerous days, it was as if America were a drunken driver at the wheel of a big powerful automobile on a dark and busy highway.
Fortunately, there was no accident. Nobody got killed. Not even injured... apart, maybe, from the poor young guy named Levi Johnston, who no doubt chose an unsuitable moment to establish a deep contact with a potential First Vice-Daughter (where my use of the term "vice" has nothing to do with an implied lack of virtue).
The author of the future book on the left, entitled Going Rogue, is the heroine herself, Sarah Palin. As you can see, there's a nice friendly blue sky behind her. Concerning the title of the future book on the right, Going Rouge, the wording is quite close to the other title, but I'm not sure what it's supposed to mean. A French reader might be forgiven for imagining that it's a book about Sarah Palin's leftist tendencies, and the great conspiracy theory concerning her links to international Communism, symbolized by the dark storm clouds in the background of the cover image. But something tells me that this guess is probably wrong. Maybe the rouge in the title designates the crude reddish cosmetic powder that some women put on their face. So, maybe we should look closely at the two book covers, and ask a fundamental question: Which twin has the bad makeup?
As you can see, I don't really have much solid information to give you. So, maybe you might prefer to look at the website of the people behind Going Rouge[display], where you can already place an order for the future book. And, while we're awaiting these books, here's a video that throws a little light on the subject:
Now that Barack Obama has released explicit data concerning the use of torture by US authorities, I'm convinced that, sooner or later, the American torturers—including the highest-ranking individuals who were responsible for condoning these horrors—will be brought to justice and punished. It's unthinkable that this sordid affair will simply fade away. It's only a matter of time...
After all, certain nations are still actively pursuing criminals whose acts were committed during World War II. Why should civilized societies simply wipe the slate clean concerning well-documented acts of barbarity that date from a few years ago?
BREAKING NEWS: An article, this morning, in The New York Times echoes precisely my feelings in this domain. It states that "new revelations are fueling calls by lawmakers for an extensive inquiryinto controversial Bush administration programs". John Conyers, the Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has evoked explicitly the idea of prosecuting senior Bush administration officials and lawyers at the Justice Department who condoned torture tactics. In any case, it's already becoming clear that, in years to come, George W Bush will be identified primarily—by students, journalists, historians and ordinary people throughout the world—as the US president who allowed officially the use of torture by interrogators. And Tony Blair and John Howard will be remembered mainly (if at all) as acolytes of this dumb US president.
Anecdote. To illustrate this blog article, I've selected the familiar photo of orange blobs of humanity planted like plaster dwarfs in a Guantanamo "garden". Last night, on the TV news, journalists illustrated their story on Obama's release of CIA data (designated in a prominent French daily as a "half measure") by a wide sampling of the stock of torture images. That's to say, French families and their kids, while finishing their evening meal, were treated to images of water torture, dogs snarling at inmates, the notorious female guard pointing jokingly at a mass of naked prisoners, the hooded man with outstretched arms in an electrified cloak, evoking a dead Christ taken down from the cross, etc.
The time has come to say things simply and clearly, so that our children will know and remember the truth. Bush authorized torture!
It's great that Barack Obama can now, at last, get to grips with his true opponent: John McCain. However, the time lost in wrangling with Hillary Clinton was not really lost in the sense that America has realized that two amazingly novel hypotheses—that of a female president, or that of a black president—have now become recognized as plausible in the US mentality. It was certainly worthwhile losing a bit of time and energy in order to gain this kind of revolutionary awareness.
I know it's not nice to talk disparagingly about the physical features of people. But, seriously, wouldn't you agree with me that this guy has a mouth designed for cunnilingus? Call me dirty-minded, if you like, but I can't help envisaging those narrow sucked-in lips of Eliot Spitzer relishing delicately, with expertise and ecstasy, the tasty vagina of a Manhattan prostitute.
What a crooked bastard! And what a lukewarm apology: “I have acted in a way that violates my obligations to my family and violates my, or any, sense of right and wrong,” the governor said. “I apologize first and most importantly to my family. I apologize to the public to whom I promised better. I have disappointed and failed to live up to the standard I expected of myself. I must now dedicate some time to regain the trust of my family.” It's a pity for Hillary Clinton that this Spitzer guy has been looked upon as one of her supporters.
If you want to see some honest talk, plug in to this excellent declaration from Barack Obama, who—as he affirms—is definitely not campaigning for the vice-presidency of the USA:
I love this deliberately-distorted image (by Jason Reed) of the Democratic candidate Barack Obama campaigning at Exeter High School in New Hampshire on January 6, 2008. He's aspiring to great heights, like a Gothic cathedral.
Yes, I have a theory... not just a dream. America might at last be fed up with dynasties... like the Ancient Egyptians, once upon a time. The Kennedy clan. The Bush father and his mentally-inadequate son. Now the legal wife of the big Clinton fucker.
Obama appears to us all as a new message from our primordial land of Africa. Personally, I love and admire the guy. He sounds solid.
I believe it would be good for god-fearing humanity [including Mormons, above all], good for half the US population and good for fun-loving aficionados of religious clowns everywhere if would-be presidential candidate Mitt Romney were to be accepted officially and wholeheartedly by the Republicans as their miracle man for 2008.
Now, I must be careful when I speak about Mormons, because the folk in Salt Lake City have provided me, free of charge, with fabulous online genealogical resources enabling me to indulge in one of my favorite and most meaningful pastimes: family history research. Coming from Americans, this assistance is yet another demonstration of pure US altruism, with no obvious strings attached, like D-Day in Normandy and the Marshall Plan... not to mention their generous attempts to remove Communists from Vietnam and Islamic terrorists from Iraq.
Already, Bush is less and less in the limelight. And life is going to be duller for everybody when his star finally fades and goes down over the political horizon. Mitt Romney would be capable of brightening up our long winter evenings, particularly if he were to be coaxed into telling us more about the purported 4th-century prophet named Mormon, the alleged angel named Moroni, and the weird visionary, all too real, named Joseph Smith [1805-1844], shot to death at the age of 38 by his fellow citizens, while in jail, in the purest American style.
There are all kinds of ways of gaining an awareness of the planetary phenomenon of America, and an insight into what might be termed American thinking. I guess the ideal way is to visit the USA or even decide to settle down there. Short of that extreme solution, you might view lots of US movies and TV series, watch CNN and Fox News, and dine constantly at McDonald's. If that kind of punishment sounds excessively harsh, here's a painless and entertaining approach to enlightenment: Take a look at Mormonism. Personally, I've tested this approach [albeit briefly and superficially, because I didn't want to take the risk of picking up any kind of mental virus], and I can assure you that it works. Like me, you'll be vaccinated against America forever.
Stephen Prothero, of the religion department at Boston University, has just published a book entitled Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know—and Doesn't. Here are several gems from a recent poll:
— Two Americans out of three don't know the name of the man who delivered the Sermon on the Mount.
— Only 50% of Americans can name one of the four Gospels.
— Less than 50% know the name of the first book of the Bible.
In a broader historical domain, Americans were asked to identify Joan of Arc. Some 10% replied along the following lines: "Did you say Arc? That rings a bell. She must have been Noah's wife."
Citizens of that pragmatic nation, where everybody is out to make a buck, were confronted with the following quotation: "God helps those who help themselves." Over 75% were convinced that this is a statement from the Bible.
In fact, it was the illustrious American statesman Benjamin Franklin—"a true champion of generic religion", as somebody said—who put forward this point of view. But everybody knows that what was good enough for Benjamin Franklin is, of course, good enough for latter-day insertion into the Bible.
Attorney general Alberto Gonzales, old Texan friend and colleague of George W Bush, has finally resigned, after accusations of screwing up a congressional inquiry into the dismissal of eight US attorneys. Friendly rodents of all varieties would appear to be leaving a sinking ship...
A few evenings ago, a splendid French TV special on the Clinton couple attempted to harmonize Hillary's current bid for the presidency with her husband's tumultuous career in the White House. Insofar as I greatly admire these two individuals, I was thrilled to discover that the harmonization in question is perfectly plausible, provided that you make the effort to envisage Bill and Hillary as an unusual kind of couple: a political tandem.
According to themes developed in this excellent TV program, Hillary was never shocked primarily by the idea that her Bill might have done naughty things with a White House junior named Monica Lewinsky. For Hillary, that was simply Bill's male animal stuff. What really infuriated Hillary was that Bill's crude lies made him the political victim of the inquisitor Kenneth Starr, not to mention all the other Republican enemies who had wanted for ages to annihilate the Clintons. Bill's screwing Monica was a mere matter of taste and primitive behavior, whereas getting screwed by Starr was, in the eyes of Hillary, a major affair of unpardonable political misjudgment.
Today, retrospectively, it's highly plausible that the superior political beast, in the Clinton couple, has always been Hillary. Sure, she doesn't have Bill's charm and eloquence, but she would appear to be an intuitive political genius... in the same spirit as a Chirac, here in France.
After the tragic dumb Bush era, I'm convinced that Hillary Clinton will surely push America—with a little help from her friend—back up to its normal and primordial international role, as a great nation. I hope so.