Live from Brussels

Musings from a bored analyst/project-manager.
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Friday, September 19, 2003
Arrrr! Blog Like a Pirate Day

Ahoy, visitors! On pain of being keelhauled, all ye who enter any comments today shall write like a pirate and not like a landlubbing bilge-rat! Arrrr!

Why? Because it is Talk Like A Pirate Day - September 19!

Observations on America (12)

More, more, more...

  • Old people in America look very different from old people in Europe. Tracksuits in various bright colours, baseball caps, running shoes... Some of them dress more colourful than many young people! Very often you also see them on the road in gigantic mobile homes (called recreational vehicles over there), with a big, expensive car in tow behind them. Privately, I thought of them as N.S.C.'s: nomadic senior citizens...

    BBC 'Reporter' Re-Visits Iraq

    While channel-surfing yesterday night I stumbled upon a BBC reporter who was 'back in Iraq' trying to find out how bad things really were.

    Naturally, all we got was: look at this guy who lost all his children due to a bombardment with cluster bombs, see how the electricity goes out every night, observe these gun-toting 'police' forces driving around in trucks and robbing people, check out the new ethnic tensions that are coming to the surface everywhere...

    The overall tone was: look what the Americans did here... They have been here for a few months and haven't been able to undo the bad effects of decades of tyrannical rule. It's a failure! Naturally, the unspoken assumption was that they shouldn't have invaded in the first place. But would leaving Saddam in power have turned out better then? Is that what the reporter wanted to imply? If not, then what?

    It got even more sickening when he visited Baghdad and toured the ruins of the Information Ministry. He proudly proclaimed having worked from that building for six years! He even met his old Iraqi info ministry minder and greeted him very cordially. Ugh... A journalist who actually liked one of the guys whose job was to make sure journalists couldn't do their job properly?

    He went to the roof of the building and checked out the spot from where he had done all of his 'reports' (scarequotes are mine). The BBC-markings were still in place, even. Not a word about the censorship, or the reason why all reports had to be filed from that place. Disgusting.

    Once more, the Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation shows its true colours...

    Thursday, September 18, 2003
    Observations on America (11)

    Let's keep going...

  • In America it is possible to drive hundreds of miles on the interstate and to exit at exactly the same intersection, just with the fast-food franchises and gas-stations in a slightly different arrangement.

  • Wednesday, September 17, 2003
    Observations on America (10)

    Yay, the big one oh!

  • Jesus is very big in America, much bigger than in Europe I think. In fact, almost everything is bigger in America. One of the best examples of this can be found in Groom, Texas: The largest cross in the Western Hemisphere.
    Truly enormous, surrounded at the base by (very nice) statues evoking the crucifixion of Christ, and with a replica of Jesus' grave nearby (I'm not making this up).

  • Tuesday, September 16, 2003
    Bringing Back the Dead

    The past two days I've been in a heated argument in the comments section of this page: Ambit: How Come the Iraqi Body Count Meter isn't Running in Reverse?
    As it is immediately obvious to anybody with half a brain, a body count can't run in reverse, unless maybe Jesus is around or something.
    A death-rate, on the other hand, can go up and down over time, which is exactly what is happening in Iraq right now. But to substract the number of lives saved from the number of lives lost in order to arrive at a 'net death count' in my opinion is extremely disrespectfull of the dead.
    Ain't nobody claiming that the 3000+ 9/11 dead are now made up for because of the lives saved by increased security...

    Observations on America (9)

    Almost ten so far...

  • American businesses like stores, hotels, restaurants or casinos love to decorate in a theme. No expense is too big when it comes to theming: the extreme example is Las Vegas, where you find places in a Parisian, Arabian, Venetian or even circus-ian theme. On the other hand, designers have no qualms about doing sub-parts in entirely different themes: example, in a Vegas mall themed like an Arabian souk you could find stores in a Japanese, safari or comic book theme.

  • Monday, September 15, 2003
    Observations on America (8)

    More to come...

  • American shops all seem to be about saving money. The more you buy, the more you save! And if you give up your personal details, you'll save even more! I guess there must be a point somewhere when they'll actually give you money when you go shopping for groceries...