Wednesday, July 06, 2005
wednesday weirdness version 8.0
apparently, some aristocrats are not satisfied with merely having it FAR BETTER and FAR EASIER than the homeless - they need to stick to the homeless as well...! Hmm... reminds me (the film aficionado in me stirs...) of that lamentable scene in the no-less lamentable Christian Bale film, "American Psycho" (was it the prequel to Batman Begins? The prequel... to the prequel! How... novel! Think about it... it makes sense too! Bale has so little range, it is more than likely that he prepared to play Bruce Wayne and actually plays Bruce Wayne just like he played the actual American Psycho that the "Dark Knight Detective" is - lest American Megalomaniacal Control Freak is more accurate...? But I digress, evidently...). In A.P. there was a sickening scene where Bale's character decides to kill someone else other than the usual ho - and sends to oblivion a homeless man he was actually tending a ten dollar bill to or something... At least, in this real-life incident reported recently, it was a senator merely dousing a homeless man with what the latter most likely craved - good wine, thus wasted... A politician would not ruin his career thus - but this one actually did!
In other "news"...
Sentry dogs lend a... paw in India - A stray dog lends much more... in Utah - Ecuadorian lawmakers smash up things... and pay the price for it - and art imitates reality tv...?!? Makes me think of that Woody Allen quote, seen recently right here, right end of thy screen, on the luminous blog...! Life doesn't imitate art - it only imitates bad television (I paraphrase)...! So true... the evidence lies ahead - in the comments section!
I am so glad I added those instant daily quotes, by the way - the Daily OM is cool too! ;) Check it out!
BERLIN (Reuters) - The deputy leader of the German state of Bremen resigned after pouring sparkling wine over the head of a homeless man in an apparent joke that went wrong.
Peter Gloystein of the center-right Christian Democrats was caught on camera pouring a magnum of the wine over the head of stunned Bremen local Udo Oelschlaeger at the launch of German wine week on Wednesday evening.
Oelschlaeger was standing next to the podium at the public, open-air event from where Gloystein poured the wine. Gloystein, Bremen state economy and culture senator, said late on Thursday he deeply regretted the incident and apologized to his victim. He said he had "misinterpreted" the situation but did not explain what he meant.
"I had a long and intensive talk with Mr Oelschlaeger the same evening. He explained his difficult life. We departed on friendly terms ... If possible, I would like to help out Mr Oelschlaeger," Gloystein said in a statement.
A Bremen culture ministry spokesman confirmed Gloystein had resigned from his various posts.
QUITO, Ecuador (Reuters) - Four Ecuadorean legislators were permanently expelled from Congress on Thursday for getting drunk and smashing up a hotel in Peru last month.
One of the lawmakers, Maria Augusta Rivas, had also accused another of the four of trying to rape her in the alcohol-fueled incidents at a hotel in Lima where they were attending trade talks in April.
Congress fired all four, who belonged to different political parties, for violating its code of ethics and said they had "damaged and discredited the country's international image in a shameful and disgraceful incident."
Disenchantment with politicians discredited by corruption scandals has fed popular uprisings which have ousted three presidents in this poor Andean nation since 1997.
The latest incident took place only last month, when Congress fired President Lucio Gutierrez for abuse of power during mass protests.
The dismissal of the four legislators will not affect the balance of power in the 100-seat, single chamber Congress, as they will be replaced by
other members of their parties. New President Alfredo Palacio does not have support from any group in Congress.
The legislators damaged a hotel room and the lobby and assaulted a bellboy and a receptionist, according to the congressional report.
HYDERABAD, India (Reuters) - Police officers in India's Andhra Pradesh state have discovered what many have known for centuries -- dogs are man's best friend.
Police in the turbulent region are using rice and meat to lure and befriend street dogs after the barking of one helped them fend off an attack by rebel fighters this week.
"The street dogs will become our ears and eyes and function more effectively as our sentries," Swaranjit Sen, director general of Andhra Pradesh police, told Reuters in Hyderabad, capital of the largely rural southern state.
A dog's barking in Durgi village, 340 km (210 miles) south of Hyderabad, woke up police this week at a station, warning them of an impending raid by Maoist rebels who were later beaten back without either side suffering casualties.
Police in regions often attacked by the rebels have been ordered to feed street dogs to make them feel at home around their stations, which are often the targets of rebel attacks.
More than 6,100 people have been killed, including over 1,000 police officers, in a three-decade revolt by Maoist rebels who say they are fighting for land for poor peasants.
SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - A Utah high school expressed regret on Thursday for the vivisection of a stray dog as part of a biology lesson.Some parents and students complained after a substitute biology teacher at Gunnison Valley High School took eight girls, aged 16 and 17, to a local veterinary clinic on Tuesday to watch abdominal dissection on a dog under general anesthetic. The lesson was aimed at teaching students about the digestive system.
"It just makes me sick and I don't think this should go on anywhere and nobody is learning from it," student Sierra Sears told local TV channel ABC 4 news.
Donald Hill, assistant superintendent of the South Sanpete School District, said: "This shouldn't happen again. Our schools will not participate in this again. We don't condone this."
Vet Tom Anderson said the incident, reported in local television and newspapers, had been blown out of proportion.
"It was about a three-minute procedure involving abdominal surgery. It was done under general anesthetic. It was an aggressive and abandoned dog. It was not fit to be adopted," Anderson said. The dog was put to sleep after the procedure.
The school said permission had been sought and obtained from parents of the students, and that two students had exercised their right to opt out of the visit.
"All they did was view it. They did not remove or dissect any parts. It was not barbaric," said assistant principal Trevor Powell. "(But) we will have to find a better way next time."
It was not clear what action, if any, would be taken against the substitute teacher, who has not been named.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Three authors are living in boxes in a New York art gallery for a month, on display to the public as they each try to write a novel in what has been likened to the publishing world's equivalent of reality TV.
The art project called "Novel: A Living Installation" is a 30 day literary experiment that The New York Times has already denounced for "trivializing the nature of writing."
Morgan Meis who devised the project freely admits "there's a gimmicky side" to it, but he says there's no shame in being compared to reality television. "There's a certain attitude of art to popular culture that's pretty adversarial and I don't take it that way," he said.
He insists it is a serious project to produce quality fiction and explore the idea of writing as performance.
"If this was a reality TV show we'd be pushing them into conflict and fighting and having sex with each other," Meis said.
The project was set up by an art collective called Flux Factory and is housed in a warehouse in the borough of Queens.
Architects and designers created three studio pods for the writers to live and work in -- an indoor "tree-house" with grass on the roof, a high-tech Japanese style angular box with rice paper walls, and an open-plan space made of boxes and movable walls that can be hoisted with ropes and pulleys.
The writers are allowed to use a roof terrace and other areas within the gallery for 90 minutes a day, as long as they clock out on time cards.
There are no locks on the doors but they are encouraged not to leave the building.
"I've spent most of my life avoiding going to the grocery store so that hasn't been a difficult thing for me at all," said Grant Bailie, one of the authors and a security site manager from Cleveland.
NOVELS ABOUT SLEEP, STEREOTYPES
The three are published writers, chosen from around 200 applicants after an Internet advertisement for participants.
"Some of them were immediately dismissible as people who obviously hadn't left their basements for the last 25 years and some obviously were crappy writers," said Meis who came up with the idea while struggling to finish a philosophy dissertation.
Bailie, 43, said that without the daily distractions of work and family, he was hoping to write about 10 pages a day of his book about a man who doesn't sleep.
"I'd written the same opening paragraph in my head 12 times before I got here and I didn't even use it," he said, adding that he was nervous about the public readings of work in progress that are part of the project, every Saturday. The public are also invited to visiting hours five days a week.
Ranbir Sidhu, a 38-year-old former archeologist, said he had found it surprisingly easy to get started on his book, the story of an Indian couple trying to avoid the stereotypes of Indian married life. He will be happy if he completes a 30,000 word first draft by the deadline of June 4.
Asked why he signed up, Sidhu said he was looking for a job when he saw the advertisement. "I was broke and I'm still going to be broke when I get out of this," he said.
The third writer, New York native Laurie Stone, said she had been nervous about the lack of privacy and she admitted she found some of the rules "infantilizing."
"(But) I want to be a good sport about stuff that I don't always feel is going to promote my own creativity," she said.
"Novel" is not the first literary experiment to question the art of writing -- in 1969, 35 journalists collaborated on a novel called "Naked Came the Stranger," designed to test how bad a book could be and still be published.
But Meis was optimistic about the results being published, adding "Nobody is going to commit to anything sight unseen but there's definitely interest."
Legislators should know better than anyone that they would not get away with what they did! It is despicable behavior! They should get a much worse punishment than just being fired! What about the assult and rape? Are they not going to be charged for those crimes?
It is good that the dogs warned the police about the rebels. I just hope that the dogs are not in the line of fire if and when the rebels come back to attack the police. Hopefuly the dogs will be a warning system without being in danger themselves. I am afraid though that the rebels will figure out what the dogs are there for and target them from a distance, and kill them all! :(
It is aweful that an innocent stray dog was killed just to show some kids the inside of the animal!
That dog could have been adopted out and been someones companion! He didn't have to die like that! :(
It would be very difficult to live with total strangers in a strange place, and have to come up with something to write, under the pressure those people were under!
I can write under pressure, but I am not sure I write in that kind of situation. I don't think that is the kind of place a writer needs to write a novel. The lack of privacy wouuld be a big issue for me.
Yeah it is a Novel idea (pun intended), but would it really work? With all the confict that would probably happen because of the stressful situation, I would think it would be very hard to get inspired to write. The stress of the living situation alone, would be enough to cause writers block! It isn't something I would want to be a part of that is for sure.
Those were some very weird topics for weirdness wendesday.
Sometimes I wonder if the human race is inherently mad, and that some of us have just learned how to control the madness within ourselves to a point.