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Sunday, August 26, 2012


In many ways I am sorry that the trial of Pussy Riot has ended.

In case you are someone who has no idea what I'm talking about, the back ground is as follows:

PUSSY RIOT is an all-girl, Russian Punk Band who no-one had heard of before some of the members decided that they were so outraged over the return to the Presidency of Russia by Vladimar Putin, that they staged a protest at the altar of a Russian Orthodox Church to make their point.

They got noticed and were charged, as I'm sure they expected they would be, and they were tried and three of them will spend the next two years in jail, doing hard labour. This is something that ordinarily might just rate a few column inches in the Moscow Times, but no, the world's major media have taken up the story.

It has been amazing to sit and watch CNN and BBC anchors, normally serious people delivering stories about what the latest developments were. It has been Pussy Riot this, and Pussy Riot that as though they had no idea what they were saying, although they said it with a straight face.

I am from the old school where we boys and young men used the word to describe the female sexual organ. It was not a word we would use in polite company. In fact we thought of it in the same vein as pornography. Then, to my utter surprise, James Bond came along and introduced us to Pussy Galore. My mouth dropped open, not just because the woman was a real looker, but I wondered out loud whether we could  really say that word in public.

The word had only been used in a public sense when talking about pussy cats, and even then we mostly simply called them cats. I am convinced that if the girls called their band  "Girls and Curls" there would not have been a word of their naughtiness reaching outside Russia. However, that is not the case, and as publicity goes, the band is now known worldwide. The trial may be over but we have not heard the last from Pussy Riot.

Stay tuned for a concert coming to a town near you, and soon.  If they deliberately sat down at the beginning and decided on the name AND a prank that would get their name out there, then I have to take my hat off to their PR machine. It's brilliant!

While we are on this subject, I have been taking note of some of the songs that are given air time. I don't know if these songs are played over English language stations, but the Spanish play them all the time.

I have decided that I am going to live to be 100 years old, because I have to see where the world will be by then. I am just too curious not to be around  when that happens.

Copyright (c) 2012   Eugene Carmichael

Sunday, August 19, 2012

America's Violence Problem

The Killer Gun

Recently, America's problem with violence has taken a turn for the worse as certain individuals have used guns to commit atrocities upon members of the public. Piers Morgan, host of CNN's Piers Morgan, Tonight! has been outraged by these continuing acts, and he is using his programme to call for strong measures to make it difficult for people, without previous criminal records, to buy guns legally if they are going to use those guns to commit acts of terror.

He invited a guest to his show who had written a book, entitled "More Guns, Less Crime." Piers brought the man onto his show only to savage him, calling his idea ridiculous. Unfortunately, the man was not well prepared to defend his turf, but his theory was that if the shooter who walked into a cinema knew that everyone inside was carrying a gun, presumably the shooter would not have started shooting in the first place, as he could have expected a very robust response.  That idea is no more ridiculous than Piers Morgan's own idea.

The National Rifle Association say that guns don't kill people, people kill people. That is correct! It is also a silly thing to say, but if you placed a gun on a table and left it there for a hundred years without anyone touching it, it will do no harm. It requires a human being to pick it up and pull the trigger.

However, in the real world of America, the gun is used daily in the elimination of humans. It is used for exactly the purpose for which it is manufactured and sold. The gun, and the knife, and any other weapon that may be used to kill humans is not the real problem, these things are merely the tools through which very angry people express their violence.Why are Americans so angry? What made a young man walk into a movie theatre with the intent of killing as many of his fellow Americans as possible? Why would a stranger walk into McDonald's and shoot families? Why go into a church that is in session and kill people who are praying?

The American Indian suffered at the hands of the Europeans and their guns as his country was stolen from him. Now, he lives on Indian Reservations, laughing his ass off as he sees the violent foreigner turning his guns on his own. Reuters reported in 2010 that 129.9 out of 1000 American males,  aged between 15-60 will likely die. Compare that with Iceland where only 64.9 per 1000 are likely to die between the same ages.

Is the difference diet, or even gun ownership, or is it simply lifestyle and a sense of contentment and happiness? I think you can own as many guns as you wish, but if you don't point them at humans, especially in anger, and pull the trigger, humans won't be bothered. I should add that I am not in favor of owning a gun, and I don't approve of hunting for sport.

Americans seem to regard as something sacred their right to own guns. If a person has a criminal background he will have to buy his gun illegally where a shooting gun seems to be as easy to acquire as chewing gum. The bottom line is that no-one can do anything to affect the buying and selling of guns. America has to work on its anger/hate/sickness/violence problems before it can earn the sobriquet of Greatest country on earth. There are some very small and under-developed countries that count GHP as more important than their GDP. What is GHP? Gross Happiness Product! They consider that it is more important that their people are content with what they have, and that they are taking the time to smell the roses and to enjoy love.

If you can live in relative harmony and peace with your family and your neighbours, you don't need all those fancy things that are so much a part of the American culture. Life is idyllic in the small but quiet countries where people go about living out each and everyday in enjoyment.

Why Americans are so angry with themselves is a question for another time?

Copyright (c) 2012     Eugene Carmichael

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Sexy Equality London Olympics

The Winner!

As I write this, it is Sunday, 11th August, the final day of what I think has been the most superb Olympic games I have ever watched. In spite of my initial concerns, mostly about safety, London, and England in general has loaned itself particularly well as host nation.

Having access to a superb variety of channels has meant delightful viewing, but tomorrow will be Black Monday for TV viewers as we go back to the same non-offerings as before the Olympics. Ho! Hum!

Finally the IOC have taken the bull by the horns and declared that women are free to compete in any and all events that men are, and vice-versa. Presumably, at some time in the future there will be a men's synchronised swimming team. What the IOC ruling has done is to take the lead in elevating the status of women right around the world, forcing men to stretch their minds and get some respect for the women in their midst. I work with a community where we found women were treated like beasts of burden, and that is a very depressing thing.

One of the effects of women in competition in certain of the events affects Muslim women in particular, and their male counterparts. The women have had to deal with the abandonment of their traditional clothing in favor of practical sports attire. In general, these games have been a feast of beautifully toned bodies, legs galore flying up and down and wide open, which I have no doubt has had trillions of men around the world glued to the TV screens muttering, "will you look at that!!!"

Curiously, I don't see these sights as being sexy. Its very much like all those bare lady's breasts on the beach. When there are so many, and none are meant for me to touch it simply becomes scenery. I do admit though that I would rather see such scenery as this than to stare at trees.

My favourite sporting segments were the track and field, and Usain Bolt and Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis, Andy Murray, and a whole list of heroes, but for sheer poetry in motion I was enthralled by the Rhythmic Artistic Gymnastics. I'm sure I would have also enjoyed the Synchronised Swimming as well, but I missed it.

Apparently there has been another set of undeclared Olympic games that have been underway running parrallel to the main events. Judging by the report of Durex, supplier of condoms to the games, more than 150,000 have been made available for the athletes, which gives weight to my theory of the best way to celebrate your new gold medal.

So, as the games draw to a close I take my hat off to all concerned and offer my appreciation to the Olympics for superb wholesome entertainment. The problem I am left with is that I have been sitting in front of my TV for so long I have become fat. So, now I arise to power walk, run a mile, cycle (with motor, of course), swim around our very little pool, ( I won't bother with high jump, or anything high as I just don't do that), and generally try to get back into some sort of shape.

Perhaps I'll just leave my dial set to Euro Sports to watch all the re-runs with best of....and Highlights of the Olympics for the next four years.

Rio!  I'll be waiting!

Copyright (c) 2012   Eugene Carmichael

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The London Olympics, 2012


All eyes are on London and the Olympics as I write this. I must say that I am thoroughly enjoying the games and the coverage. For some peculiar reason I never even tuned in to the Bejing Games. Perhaps it was because of the image that I have in my mind of China, I'm just not sure why I was turned off, but this time around I am glued to the TV set.

The first thing that occurs to me is that London, and England in general lends itself so very well as a host nation. There is so much going on at once, I ask myself why would I have paid a small fortune to actually be there. I'm sure that if you are sitting in preferred seats and feeling the ambience you must be feeling really good. However, if you are at the very top of the Olympic stadium, and you are viewing the insect image of the competitors you may be having second thoughts. I'm sure there are screens that bring the action closer, but that is what we are seeing at home.

It's wonderful to be taken from one event to another to witness the finest efforts of mankind, and what a show. America has its poster boy in the form of Michael Phelps. England has Jessica Ennis, Jamaica has Usain Bolt, and even my own very small country of Bermuda has a hero, in the form of Tyrone Smith, who didn't even win a medal. He did the long jump at 7.97 metres in qualifying, but lost his opportunity at a medal in the main event with two no-jumps. We're proud of him because he has performed at the level of the very best. He will try again in four years.

I'm making this a short post because I want to get back to action central. So far, England as host nation, is doing a great job and deserves a gold medal.

Here's hoping the rest of the games continue as well and in the same spirit.

Copyright (c)  2012   Eugene Carmichael