double standard

Some readers might think I have a double standard towards Koreans vis a vis Japanese, that I do not call Japanese on things when I think something is wrong. Someone pointed to my article called ‘Anti Foreigner feeling in Korea‘, and said that I would not have written anything if it were about Japan. In fact, I hold all people to exactly the same standards, it is just that on issues like the article I wrote about, it is more of a problem for Koreans than it is for Japanese.

That being said, I have called Japanese people on racist stuff, when I come across it. A while back I came across a Japanese BBS for Japanese students studying in America, and it was filled with hatred for American men, accusing them of all kinds of things like ‘tricking’ Japanese girls, and much worse. The ‘love/romance’ section of the BBS was filled with warnings against Japanese girls dating American men. I am not an American man, but I was shocked by the vitriol on that BBS. Of course, the BBS in entirely in Japanese and there were no Americans there to counter what was being written. Again, I am not American but I felt that their prejudicial assumptions had to be countered, and since I can read and write Japanese, I felt that person would have to be me as no one else was doing anything.

I started a thread called “It seems that a jaundiced view of Americans is being taken…”, with the username of furyou gaijin 不良外人 (bad foreigner). Here is what I initially wrote below.

あ~皆さん、第一投稿の不良外人です。

いろいろ恋愛に関するレスを読ませて頂きました。僕はアメリカ人ではないのだけど(オーストラリア人)、投稿をさせて頂きます。

アメリカ人のナンパはけっこう非難されるけども、なぜでしょう? 声をかけたくらいでどこが悪い? もし気に入らないのだったらその場で拒否したら多くの人はすぐ消えますよ。 ちなみにナンパ大国の日本のナンパはもっとシツコイんじゃない? 道の角どこでもナンパ師が待っているような国ですし。って思って。他に「外人に騙された!」という文句もいっぱいありましたね。もちろん誰だって騙される可能性があるのだが、ここに書いてある文句は違う気がします。まず、騙されていたという女の子が相手の性格を知ろうとしないですぐエッチしちゃうから相手の目的を分からないんじゃないの? 日本でもワケわからない人とやっちゃたら同じような目に合うでしょ。つまり日本では当たり前なことでアメリカ人を批判したらおかしく思います。

とういうか、SFでは日本人男性より日本人女性の割合が全然高くて日本人男性はやりまくり天国です。 それは話題にならないからひがみを感じます。

Which basically questions their assumptions about American men. There followed a long debate, but a lot of Japanese people came out in support of me, which was a big change to what the BBS was like before. Read the rest for yourself.

I think that BBS is basically an exception that does not represent any common thought process among Japanese. There are certainly no articles in the Japanese mass media denouncing foreign men like the article in my post ‘Anti Foreigner feeling in Korea‘, linked above, or like this one either. Nor do expressions of interest in Japanese language and culture elicit the kind of angry reactions that occur when expressing interest in Korean language and culture.

I will take on whatever I see when I see it, but honestly, I dont think Japanese people will ever provide me with the kind of material or personal experiences that Koreans do. There is just no comparison.

Posted by Matt, filed under Racist Industrial Complex. Date: April 30, 2006, 9:14 pm | 14 Comments »

bondi rape
The scenic beachside suburb where the alleged rape took place

This is a very wierd case (not far from my home, as a matter of fact). A man in Sydney claims that he went into the wrong bedroom and had sex with the woman there assuming it was the woman that took him home. The woman in the bedroom also assumed that he was her boyfriend.

A MAN who claims he mistakenly had sex with “the wrong woman” after entering a dark bedroom at the home of a Sydney magazine editor was yesterday committed to stand trial for rape.

Paul John Chappell, 31, was invited back to the editor’s Bondi flat after they met during a night out.

The pair went to bed and Chappell later got up to use the bathroom.

But Chappell claims he mistakenly returned to the wrong bedroom, where the editor’s 23-year-old flatmate was asleep.

He got into bed with the flatmate and initiated sex, allegedly believing she was the other woman.

The flatmate participated because she thought it was her own boyfriend who had come to bed after falling asleep in the loungeroom.

When she turned on the light, the “hysterical” woman saw Chappell in her bed and realised her boyfriend was still asleep on the couch.

Chappell intends to plead not guilty to one count of sexual intercourse without consent.

“The defence case is he made a mistake,” barrister Wayne Flynn told the Downing Centre Court Local yesterday. “He went into the wrong room and had sex with the wrong person.

“He thought he was having sex with the person he went home with.

“The (alleged victim) says she believed she was having sex with her boyfriend. She made a mistake as to who she was having sex with and so did the defendant.”

Although many people might question how the man could make such a mistake, the same question could be leveled at the woman. The woman may have been intoxicated, however, as the article says that her boyfriend was drunk and passed out on the couch, so one could speculate that they had been drinking together.

In a statement to police on the morning of the incident on October 1, the alleged victim said she had gone to bed about 2am, leaving her drunk boyfriend asleep on the lounge.

“The next thing I remember was waking up to someone having sex with me,” she said. “I assumed straight away that it was (my boyfriend) because I wouldn’t even consider that it would be anyone else.”

She also said: “When the light is out, it is black in our bedroom, you can’t see anything.”

To her dismay, she later turned on the light and realised it was Chappell, not her boyfriend, in the bed.

“I was totally gutted that it was him and not (my boyfriend),” she said. “I went straight into (my flatmate’s) bedroom hysterical.”

The magistrate commented about how difficult a case like this is to prove.

Magistrate Margaret Quinn committed Chappell to stand trial but said it “may well be a difficult case for the prosecution” to prove.

So is it rape or not? A few questions –

*What if the situation was reversed, and a woman mistakenly entered the bedroom and had sex with a man, would that also be considered rape?
*There is no way to prove that the man intentionally entered the wrong room, so is not the experience of both parties symetrical, both believing they were having sex with a different person? If that is the case, is the prosecution trying to criminalize the error of mistakenly entering the wrong room?

This is certainly one of the most unusual rape cases that I have come across, and in my own city!

Update: I came across another rape story, this time from the UK, that appeared on the same day as the one above.

A teacher who died in prison after being convicted of raping one of his pupils has been posthumously cleared by the Court of Appeal.

Darryl Gee was jailed in 2001 despite scant evidence to corroborate his accuser’s claims, which related to alleged incidents more than a decade earlier.

The music teacher, who protested his innocence, died in his cell from an undiagnosed blood cancer. He had served 18 months of an eight-year sentence.
This week, campaigners described the case as one of the worst miscarriages of justice they had seen after the Court of Appeal in London quashed his conviction.

It comes as government guidance designed to speed up investigations into alleged abuse of pupils is introduced in schools. Unions say this will reduce the risk of innocent teachers being smeared by false allegations.

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT, said: “This is an extreme and tragic illustration of the consequences of malicious allegations and underlines the need for these new procedures.”

Mr Gee’s 88-year-old mother, Molly, awarded £62,493 costs by the court, said the case should be a warning to other teachers.

“It all boiled down to one girl’s word against his, and the jury believed her,” she said. “That’s all it took to send my son to prison and it has left me very angry and grief stricken. I don’t think anyone should have to work alone with
a child – it is just too easy for an allegation like this to be made.”

Mr Gee, a supply teacher who taught brass instruments, was found guilty at Leeds crown court in January 2001 after being accused of raping and indecently assaulting a pupil in a Huddersfield school in 1989. He died aged 55 in August 2002, a month after a second appeal failed.

His conviction was eventually quashed when his mother alerted the Criminal Cases Review Commission, which asked a leading psychiatrist to report on his accuser. The study cast doubt on her mental state. It also emerged that the girl, now 26, made similar allegations against another man, whose conviction was quashed earlier this year.

That story just scares me. Reading that one makes me think there should be a higher burden of proof for rape than the one the prosecution is presenting the court with in the first story.

Posted by Matt, filed under finger chopping wacky, Random. Date: April 30, 2006, 2:44 am | 6 Comments »

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance
A screenshot from the yet to be released game

There are plenty of great Role Playing Games (RPG) that feature fantasy worlds, such as Baldurs Gate 2, or science fiction like Knights of the Old Republic 2, but a fully featured Super Hero RPG on computer or console does not exist. That seems set to change with new Super Hero RPG ‘Marvel: Ultimate Alliance’. The new RPG will feature 20 playable characters and feature over 140 of the heroes and villians of the Marvel universe.

“Marvel: Ultimate Alliance delivers a new twist on action/RPGs where players’ actions and choices ultimately determine what happens to the Marvel universe,” states Will Kassoy, VP of global brand management for Activision. “This coupled with the game’s enormous character roster will deliver an action-packed experience that comic book fans have been waiting for.”

Marvel: Ultimate Alliance promises total team customization, where players create their own team name, icon and vehicle and establish their team reputation as they journey through the plot. How that plot plays out is entirely up to the players and the story will feature multiple endings. On and offline cooperative modes will be featured in the game, along with a self-explanatory competitive mode.

Expect to see the game on PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, Xbox, PS2, handhelds and PC later this year.

As an RPG fan, I am looking forward to this release. Lets hope it is as good as it sounds.

Posted by Matt, filed under Technology. Date: April 29, 2006, 5:08 am | 5 Comments »

28  Apr
Wii?

wii

Nintendo is releasing a new console, which had been codenamed ‘Revolution’ while it was in development, but is going to be called ‘Wii’. I would be willing to bet the naming came right from the top, rather than the result of market research.

Nintendo gave the reason for the naming

Gamers no longer have to ask what Nintendo Co. will call its upcoming video game console – the answer is Wii.

Pronounced “we,” the name “emphasizes this console is for everyone,” Nintendo said in a statement posted on its Web site Thursday. “Wii can easily be remembered by people around the world, no matter what language they speak. No confusion. No need to abbreviate. Just Wii.”

No price or launch date has been set for Wii, which will compete with Sony Corp.’s upcoming PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360 from Microsoft Corp.

Wii had previously gone by the codename Revolution.

“We just wanted something that would be very easy to remember, that would work in every market, and certainly something that sets us apart from the competition,” Nintendo spokeswoman Beth Llewelyn said. “I’m sure when people heard Google for the first time, they were like, ‘What does that mean?'”

Wii is less powerful than the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360, but the interesting feature of Wii is the backward compatibility with the Nintendo Gamecube and for a small fee people will be able to download and play games from NES/Famicom, SNES/Super Famicom, and N64, along with games from formerly rival systems, such as Sega Genesis and TurboGrafx games.

One of the most anticipated features of Wii is its game download service, dubbed the “Virtual Console.” Despite other rumors, Nintendo of America expects “Virtual Console” to be the final name of the service. Using this Virtual Console service, users will have the ability to download and play many or all Nintendo-produced NES/Famicom, SNES/Super Famicom, and N64 games for a small fee. More notably, some games may offer free retro downloads as a bonus for the purchase. Nintendo has also announced that games developed for the Sega Genesis and TurboGrafx 16 consoles will be offered via the Virtual Console download service. While not all of the Sega Genesis and TurboGrafx games will be offered, the “best of them” will be. This gives the companies a pool of over 1000 Sega Genesis games to choose from. Besides Sega and Hudson, Satoru Iwata stated that “a number of different publishers are now interested in participating in this virtual console system”. Moreover, while the gameplay will be the same for all of the retro titles offered via the Virtual Console, Nintendo has stated that some of the games may be improved with sharper graphics or better framerates. In addition, gamers may be able to download games that were not originally released in their region, and some multiplayer games may be playable online, if it is technically possible. The Virtual Console service will not be used exclusively for retro games, however. Nintendo has stated that they are interested in using the service to distribute new, original content.

According to a Japanese press release, “all downloaded games will be stored on the 512 [MB] flash memory built into the system, also any USB based storage device might be able to be used. To prevent illegal copying, downloaded games will feature a proprietary DRM system.

One of my qualms with the system is its seeming focus on kids under 10 years old, with a focus on games like Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz. In my opinion, the various cartoonish Mario golf/football/baseball/fishing/driving and similar games helped to kill off the last two Nintendo consoles. During the 1980’s these kind of games were the flagships of Nintendo growth, but in 2006 focusing on these kind of games will only reinforce the main stream perception that Nintendo is a console for kids only.

Posted by Matt, filed under Technology. Date: April 28, 2006, 7:00 pm | 10 Comments »

star wars

I am a big Star Wars fan, and although I have never gone as far as wearing a costume, I did own Star Wars figurines as a boy. I liked all the movies, but thought ‘The Phantom Menace’ was the weakest for its dull moments concerning Anakin, especially the Pod race. I even read some of the books from the ‘expanded universe’ (The Thrawn trilogy was especially good). So I am looking forward to the Star Wars live-action TV series to be released in 2008. From Wikipedia –

In Revenge of the Sith, Palpatine, the leader of the Galactic Republic, declared himself Emperor, and transformed the Republic into the Galactic Empire. In the process, he ordered the execution of Order 66, in which all members of the clone army of the Republic turned on their Jedi leaders and killed them. In a speech he delivered to the senate, however, he reported that there were remaining Jedi, and that these survivors would be “hunted down and defeated.”

Referred to as “the dark times” by Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope, nineteen years will pass in this series, which is set between the years of 19 BBY and 0 BBY. It is during this period that the newly formed Galactic Empire will rise to ultimate power throughout the galaxy. It is during this time period that the first Death Star will be constructed, albeit with many problems along the way.

However, most of the stories will be told from the perspective of minor characters from the Star Wars galaxy. From Star Wars creator George Lucas’ own words, we may see the mysterious bounty hunter Boba Fett play a significant role in the series, with Daniel Logan reprising his role from Attack of the Clones. According to Lucas, several of the major characters from the films may have small appearances as well. Regardless, the issues involved in this particular era in the Star Wars history, it is said, will be quite clear, though the actual people involved may not necessarily be seen.

Over the course of the show, the Rebel Alliance, founded by Senator Mon Mothma and Senator Bail Organa in Revenge of the Sith, will gradually form into a full resistance against an Empire that holds the entire galaxy under its grip. The alliance, armed with its loyalist intentions to restore the Old Republic, will ultimately win its first battle against the Empire, setting up the events for A New Hope.

I hope they make the Star Wars live-action TV series for a mature audience, and not for kids.

On a related note, Wikipedia is quickly becoming a comprehensive resource on all aspects of pop culture, such as celebrities, movies, books, and computer games, often with a level of detail not found anywhere else. Once Wikipedia works out how to deal with trolls, they will be a ‘force‘ to be reckoned with (apologies for the pun!).

Posted by Matt, filed under Random, War on Terror. Date: April 27, 2006, 7:02 am | 17 Comments »

propaganda

The radical nationalist Voluntary Agency Network Korean (VANK) that fights against Japanese ‘historical distortions’ like the naming of the Sea of Japan, or the legal status of Takeshima/Dokdo, has put into effect a plan to teach Korean elementary school children, among others, about how Dokdo is actually Korean territory, reports Yahoo Korea news.

propaganda
Simple brainwashing without explaining the actual issues behind the Dokdo/Takeshima dispute

Last week, VANK was teaching school children about Dokdo in an elementary school in Kwangju. Here is a quote –

“오늘은 한국을 소개하는 e카드를 만듭시다. 여러분, 독도는 어느나라 땅이죠?” “우리땅이오!” “예, 맞아요. 하지만 한국도 잘 모르는 사람한테 독도는 우리땅이라고 말해봤자 소용이 없겠죠. 그래서 오늘은 친구들한테 한국을 대표하는 이미지와 함께 우리나라를 소개하는 편지를 쓰는 거예요.”

My translation -
Teacher: “Today we will be making some E-cards that introduce Korea. Everyone, to which country does Dokdo belong?”
Kids: “It is our land!”
Teacher: “That is right. But saying that Dokdo is our land to a person that lacks knowledge about our country is meaningless. So today, let us send a letter to our friends overseas introducing our country, along with an image that represents Korea”

The teacher also urged the kids to send emails to map making organisations, textbook companies of foreign countries, and other large organisations that indicate the Sea of Japan, rather than the ‘correct’ naming used in Korea, the ‘East Sea’.

I dont want to be negative, but is not the result of this kind of ‘education’ going to be a repeat of this kind of thing?

Posted by Matt, filed under diplomacy, Racist Industrial Complex. Date: April 25, 2006, 12:49 am | 23 Comments »

24  Apr
African Soccer

I recieved the picture below from a concerned resident of Seoul that asked me to post it. The picture was taken at lunch time today, outside the Dong-A newspaper building in Kwanghwamoon, downtown Seoul.

African Soccer
Africans portrayed as primitive tribesmen

The writing on the sign says “The Dong-A Ilbo supports the Korean team”. (view large size picture here)

Posted by Matt, filed under diplomacy, Random. Date: April 24, 2006, 9:23 pm | 5 Comments »

I have written about the insults that Ambassador Oshima has endured in Korea before, in my ‘Japanese Ambassador given a public dressing down by the South Korean Foreign Minister‘ post. Although that was disgusting, this really takes the cake in sheer insult. If I did not see it, I would not have believed it.

insult Oshima
“The resident Japanese Ambassador to Korea, Shotaro Oshima!”

insult Oshima
“Recently Japanese illegal trespassing on Dokdo (Takeshima) has been increasing frictions”

insult Oshima
“OK, lets quickly change the subject! Putting aside ‘Poktanju’ (note: Koreans call a mixture of beer and soju ‘Poktanju’ – bomb wine) for a moment. From the Ambassadors facial expression”

insult Oshima
“It seems like he does not like this Poktanju”

insult Oshima
“For him, the Poktanju”

insult Oshima
“Is like a flash and explosion of bubbles”

insult Oshima
“Like the moment of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima”

insult Oshima
“It resembles a mushroom cloud”

insult Oshima
“For this reason, we will call this ‘atomic bomb wine’!”

Unbelievable. I cannot believe such an open insult of the Japanese Ambassador and the Japanese people is tolerated, even in Korea.

See it on Youtube for yourself! (For people having trouble with Youtube, right click and save to download)

Posted by Matt, filed under diplomacy, finger chopping wacky, Racist Industrial Complex. Date: April 22, 2006, 9:27 pm | 91 Comments »

britain
‘Great’ Britain – It was probably better under the Romans

I took the name of this post from The History Of The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon. I am not saying that the ‘British Empire’ is falling, it already has, what I am referring to the the lack of moral compass in the British government (and presumably the people that are electing these demagogues). I have been following the progress of the British decline, and the outlook seems bleak. From the impossibility of a politically correct ‘war on terror’, to refusing to deport ‘refugees’ that express terrorist sentiments, to banning Winnie the Pooh because it is the subject of one of the taboos of a backward people, Britain can no longer tell right from wrong, let alone fight for what is right.

The self righteous politically correct moralizing of the British government is in direct contrast to its moral turpitude. Theodore Dalrymple writing in CITY journal describes a situation in which terrible crimes go almost unpunished, while a ‘homophobic’ joke is met by an army of police.

Returning briefly to England from France for a speaking engagement, I bought three of the major dailies to catch up on the latest developments in my native land. The impression they gave was of a country in the grip of a thoroughgoing moral frivolity. In a strange inversion of proper priorities, important matters are taken lightly and trivial ones taken seriously.

This is not the charming or uplifting frivolity of Feydeau’s farces or Oscar Wilde’s comedies; it is the frivolity of real decadence, bespeaking a profound failure of nerve bound to have disastrous consequences for the country’s quality of life. The newspapers portrayed frivolity without gaiety and earnestness without seriousness—a most unattractive combination.

Of the two instances of serious matters taken with levity, the first concerned a 42-year-old barrister, Peter Wareing, attacked in the street while walking home from a barbecue with two friends, a man and a woman. They passed a group of seven teenagers who had been drinking heavily, one of whom, a girl, complained that the barrister and his friends were “staring” at them. Nowadays, English youth of aggressive disposition and porcelain-fragile ego regard such alleged staring as a justified casus belli.

The girl attacked the woman in the other party. When Wareing and his male friend tried to separate them, two of the youths, aged 18 and 16, in turn attacked them. They hit the barrister’s friend into some bushes, injuring him slightly, and then knocked the barrister to the ground, knocking him down a second time after he had struggled to his feet. This second time, his head hit the ground, injuring his brain severely. He was unconscious and on life support for two months afterward. At first, his face was so disfigured that his three children were not allowed to see him.

The doctors told his wife, a nurse, that he was unlikely to survive, and she prepared the children for their father’s death. She wrote in a journal that she kept as she sat by his bed, “Very scary feeling that all his natural life is gone.” Nevertheless, he made an unexpected, though partial, recovery. His memory remains impaired, as does his speech; he may never be able to resume his legal career fully. It is possible that his income will be much lower for the rest of his life than it would otherwise have been, to the great disadvantage of his wife and children.

One of the two assailants, Daniel Hayward, demonstrated that he had learned nothing—at least, nothing of any comfort to the public—after he had ruined the barrister’s life. While awaiting trial on bail, he attacked the landlord of a pub and punched him in the face, for which he received a sentence of 21 days in prison.

Before passing sentence for the attack on Wareing, the judge was eloquent in his condemnation of the two youths. “You were looking for trouble and prepared to use any excuse to visit violence on anyone you came by. It is the callousness of this that is so chilling. . . . You do not seem to care that others have been blighted by your gratuitous violence.”

You might have thought that this was a prelude to the passing of a very long prison sentence on the two youths. If so, however, you would be entirely mistaken. Both received sentences of 18 months, with an automatic nine-month remission, more or less as of right. In other words, they would serve nine months in prison for having destroyed the health and career of a completely innocent man, caused his wife untold suffering, and deprived three young children of a normal father. One of the perpetrators, too, had shown a complete lack of remorse for what he had done and an inclination to repeat it.

Even at so young an age, nine months is not a very long time. Moreover, when I recall that for youths like these a prison sentence is likely to be a badge of honor rather than a disgrace, I cannot but conclude that the British state is either utterly indifferent to or incapable of the one task that inescapably belongs to it: preserving the peace and ensuring that its citizens may go about their lawful business in safety. It does not know how to deter, prevent, or punish. The remarks of the policeman in charge of the case were not encouraging. He said afterward that he hoped that “the sentences . . . send a clear warning to people who think it is acceptable to consume large quantities of alcohol, then assault members of the public in unprovoked attacks.” If the law supposes that, as Mr. Bumble said in Oliver Twist, “the law is a ass—a idiot.”

As for Peter Wareing, even in his brain-damaged state, he had a better appreciation of things. He was evidently a man of some spirit: having been a salesman, he decided to study for the law, supported himself at law school by a variety of manual jobs, and qualified at the bar at the age of 40. The extent of his recovery astounded his neurosurgeon, who attributed it to Wareing’s determination and “bloody-mindedness.” He is avid to get back to work, but the contrast between the nominal 18-month sentence for his attackers and his own “life sentence,” as he called it, of struggle against disability is not lost on him. “If there were real justice,” he said, “they would have gone to prison for life.” Could any compassionate person disagree?

Perhaps the final insult is that the state is paying for him to have psychotherapy to suppress his anger. “I have this rage inside me for the people who did this,” he said. “I truly hate them.” Having failed in its primary duty, the state then treats the rage naturally consequent upon this failure as pathological, in need of therapy. On reading Peter Wareing’s story, ordinary, decent citizens will themselves feel a sense of impotent rage, despair, betrayal, and abandonment similar to his. Do we all need psychotherapy?

A second case similarly illustrates the refusal of the British state to take the lives of its citizens seriously. An engineer—Philip Carroll, the father of four—was tinkering with his car outside his home. Four drunken youths sat on a wall on his property, and he asked them to leave. They argued with him, and one of them threw a stone at his car. He chased this youth and caught him, but between 20 and 40 more youths loitering drunkenly nearby rallied round, and one 15-year-old hit the engineer to the ground, where he too banged his head and received severe brain damage. Unconscious for 18 days, he needed three operations to survive; and now he too has an impaired memory and might never work again.

According to his parents, the culprit, Michael Kuba-Kuba, felt deeply ashamed of what he had done, but this did not in the least prevent him during the trial from claiming (unsuccessfully, in the event) that he had been acting in self-defense. This does not sound like genuine shame to me but rather an attempt to get away with it. Before passing sentence, the judge said: “I have to try to ensure that the courts will treat incidents like this with great severity, to send out a message to other young people that violence is not acceptable.”

Another prelude, you might think, to a stiff sentence—but again you would be wrong. The young man got 12 months, of which he will serve six. Six months for the active life of a man—for having caused 30 or 40 years of disability, as well as incalculable suffering to the disabled man’s family! It is not difficult to imagine Kuba-Kuba returning from prison to a hero’s welcome, because he had simultaneously gotten away with near-murder and survived the rite of passage that imprisonment now represents. The message the judge sent out to other young people, no doubt unintentionally, was that youths may destroy other people’s lives with virtual impunity, for the British state does not care in the least about protecting them or deterring such crimes.

Two aspects of the case went unexamined in the newspapers. The first was that Kuba-Kuba’s parents were the owners of a grocery store specializing in African foods, and were deeply religious. The young man doubtless did not grow up in abject poverty, then; nor would he have derived his readiness for violence from anything his parents might have taught him.

The second was that Kuba-Kuba was a talented athlete, apparently of Olympic standard. He was a promising soccer player, so promising that several major teams were seriously interested in recruiting him. If, as seemed likely, he had made the grade, he would have become a multimillionaire by his early twenties, earning more in a year than most people in a lifetime. Lack of economic prospects and the frustration it entails can hardly explain a propensity to violence in his case, therefore.

We must look elsewhere for the source of his violent conduct. Possibly he was born a sport of nature, a creature biologically destined to violence—no doubt there are such cases. But far more likely was that an aggressive popular culture that glorifies egotistical impulsivity and denigrates self-control influenced him. Although his parents presented him, in their statements, as a paragon of virtue, he already had a conviction for theft, and he clearly hung about with teenagers who drank a lot and made a nuisance of themselves. Carroll confronted the youth who threw the stone precisely because he was exasperated by the unruly behavior that prevailed in his neighborhood, undeterred and unpunished by the state. A senior policeman said after the attack, “We have gangs of young people hanging around on street corners being abusive, intimidating and causing trouble. . . . They don’t give a damn about the police or the criminal justice system.”

And who can blame them? What deterrent, punishment, vengeance, or protection for society is six months in prison for having injured a man so badly that he did not recognize his wife or children for several months afterward, that he now has poor eyesight, has lost his sense of smell and taste, has to wear a brace on one foot and a hard hat to protect his skull, and says of himself, “I just have no interest in anything or anyone”—having previously been a highly successful man?

Having seen how the British state takes the serious lightly, let us now see how it takes the trivial seriously.

The newspapers reported the case of an Oxford student who, slightly drunk after celebrating the end of his exams, approached a mounted policeman. “Excuse me,” said the young man to the policeman, “do you realize your horse is gay?”

This was not a very witty remark, but it was hardly filled with deep malice either. It was, perhaps, a manifestation of the youthful silliness of which most of us have been guilty in our time. And Oxford was once a city in which drunken students often played, and were even expected to play, pranks on the police, such as knocking off their helmets.

The policeman did not think the student’s remark was innocent, however. He called two squad cars to his aid, and, in a city in which it is notoriously difficult to interest the police in so trivial a matter as robbery or burglary, they arrived almost at once. Apparently, the mounted policeman thought—if thought is quite the word I seek—that the young man’s remark was likely to “cause harassment, alarm or distress.” He was arrested and charged under the Public Order Act for having made a “homophobic remark.”

Here is a lesson for us all – if you are ever in serious trouble or are being bashed in the dangerous streets of ‘Great’ Britian, call the police and tell them homophobes are making jokes and you will get the immediate assistance you require. If you are being assualted, dont even think about self defense because it is illegal in Britain, and is severely punished.

In other British news, the police arrested a 10 year old boy for schoolyard insults. The Crown Prosecution Service charged the boy with “racially abusing” another pupil. This was too much for this particular judge (who knows what would have happened if it was a different judge), who expressed disbelief at the charges.

Judge Finestein spoke out when the boy, from Irlam, Greater Manchester, appeared at Salford youth court accused of racially abusing a fellow pupil.

He called an 11-year-old boy “Paki”, allegedly referred to him as “bin Laden” and chanted: “He’s on the run, pull the trigger and shoot the nigger”. He is said to have made the comments in the school playground between July 1 last year and Jan 30 this year.

The 10-year-old denied the racially aggravated public order offence and said he was now friends with the boy.

He admitted calling him a “Paki” but said he did not use any other racist terms and claimed the complainant had called him “white trash”.

Judge Finestein said he thought prosecuting the youngster was “crazy” and urged the Crown Prosecution Service to reverse its decision. He said: “Have we really got to the stage where we are prosecuting 10-year-old boys because of political correctness? I was repeatedly called fat at school. Does this amount to a criminal offence?

“This is political correctness gone mad. It’s crazy. Nobody is more against racist abuse than me but these are boys in a playground. This is nonsense.”

You would think that the British police has better things to do. I will continue to monitor Britains slow ‘death by a thousand cuts‘, but lets hope the British people wake up and throw out the snake oil peddlers that are currently running the country.

Posted by Matt, filed under finger chopping wacky, War on Terror. Date: April 22, 2006, 8:37 pm | 6 Comments »

In a kind of redux of Michael from Scribblings of the Metropolitician calling Occidentalism ‘racist’, Michael the Metropolitician has struck at Occidentalism again, associating me and this site with everything from slavery, nazism, pedophilia, the KKK, and even going as far as to suggest that I was one of the men that wrote lewd comments on his blog about how “good and tight” Asian womens sexual organs are (See what I actually wrote – no mention of Asian women at all).

The Metropolitician has really lost it on this one, insulting “white bloggers”, and denouncing “American cultural hegemony” as “white privilege” and being “one of the causes of frustration amongst Korean youth”, among many other things.

Apparently Michael the Metropolitician also believes that his post contains valid criticisms of Occidentalism. I trust the readers of Occidentalism and will not insult their intelligence, so I invite every reader here to read what he has written. It is long and much too wordy, but reading it can give insight into an unusual social pathology.

Read the angry tirade here, and feel free to comment here or on his blog.

Posted by Matt, filed under Anti-Americanism, finger chopping wacky, Racist Industrial Complex, Random. Date: April 20, 2006, 10:09 am | 43 Comments »

« Previous Entries