Nearly all the posts are bilingual.
Presque tous les articles sont bilingues.

English spoken. On parle français. (وكمان منفهم عربي، حبيبي)

Most of this blog's contents is subject to copyright. For instance, many of the latest illustrations I've made myself. I'm the cooperative type. If you intend to borrow some material, please contact me by leaving a comment. :-)
La plupart du contenu de ce blog est soumis aux droits d'auteurs. Par exemple, nombre des illustrations les plus récentes sont faites par moi. Je suis du genre coulant. Si vous comptez emprunter du contenu, SVP contactez-moi en laissant un commentaire. :-)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Date of malediction

40 years ago, in May 68, the world was seized with social upheaval. Exactly 60 years ago, the State of Israel was founded in the wake of the Shoah, ushering in a long period of bitter conflicts, and right now the Palestinians are commemorating their nakba, the Calamity. Burma has been struck by the deadliest hurricane the world has seen in 17 years. 24 hours™ ago my parents (in a fit of madness!) were to return from travel, and boarded the plane just as grave incidents ignited in Beirut, closing the airport. Anyways, with their luck, whatever date they had chosen, some catastrophe would've struck, but there they were really asking for trouble.
Okay, after more than 24 hours without sleep, they managed to return home in extremis losing only one suitcase and zero human lives. But honestly, if you've read Tintin's The Red Sea Sharks, I can assure you there was no more insane action in that illustrated comicbook than what they saw for real. I plan to sell the story to Spielberg, he'll make it into a blockbuster movie, and we'll be rich. It'll be called Back From Vacation, with a big smiley full of bruises on the poster...
Furthermore, this is a period of late April moon (you know, when it turns brownish-red), and all farmers know this is ominous of frosts threatening to destroy the crops.
There are times, like that, which are really jinxed.
In fact, the movie DragonBall-Z™ has been delayed till next year, I've just lost my pen, we're all out of chocolate at home, and I've been bitten by a mosquito!!!
The end of the world is nigh, my brothers. All those of you who've got an exalted preacher handy should repent pronto. To the others, I recommend one last wild rave-party, and we'll see later about the next-day aspirins.

Il y a 40 ans, en Mai 68, le monde était parcouru de convulsions sociales. Il y a 60 ans tout juste, l'Etat d'Israël était fondé dans le sillage de la Shoah, inaugurant une longue période de conflits amers, et en ce moment les Palestiniens commémorent leur nakba, le Sinistre. La Birmanie a été frappée par le cyclone le plus meurtrier que la planète ait connu depuis 17 ans. Il y a 24 heures chrono™, mes parents (les insensés!) devaient revenir de voyage, et prenaient l'avion juste comme éclataient des incidents graves à Beyrouth qui faisaient fermer l'aéroport. De toute façon, quelle que soit la date choisie, avec leur chance, une calamité serait survenue, mais là c'était vraiment chercher les ennuis.
Bon, après plus de 24h sans sommeil, ils ont réussi à rentrer
in extremis à la maison, ne perdant qu'une seule valise et aucune vie humaine. Mais honnêtement, si vous avez lu Coke en Stock de Tintin, je peux vous assurer que cette bédé ne comportait pas plus d'action dingue que ce qu'ils ont vu en vrai. Je compte vendre l'histoire à Spielberg, il en fera un film au succès mondial et nous serons riches. On l'appellera: Retour de Vacances, avec un grand smiley plein de contusions sur l'affiche...
En prime, c'est une période de lune rousse, et tous les agriculteurs savent que cela annonce des gelées menaçant de détruire les récoltes.
Y'a des périodes, comme ça, qui portent la poisse.
D'ailleurs, le film DragonBall-Z™ a été repoussé jusqu'à l'année prochaine, je viens de perdre mon stylo, il n'y a plus de chocolat dans la maison, et un moustique m'a piqué!!!
La fin du monde est proche, mes frères. Que tous ceux qui ont un prédicateur exalté à portée de la main se repentent rapido. Les autres, je leur recommande une ultime rave-party de folie, et pour les aspirines du lendemain on verra bien.

8 comments:

Joe Dick said...

Here is an interesting passage from Isaac Asimov's memoir I. Asimov:

I am not, in actual fact, a Zionist. I don't think that Jews have some sort of Ancestral Right to take over a land because their ancestors lived there 1,900 years ago. (That kind of reasoning would force us to hand over North and South America to the Native Americans and Australia and New Zealand to the Aborigines and Maoris.) Nor do I consider to be legally valid the biblical promises by God that the land of Canaan would belong to the Children of Israel forever. (Especially since the Bible was written by the Children of Israel.)
When Israel was first founded in 1948 and all my Jewish friends were jubilant, I was the skeleton at the feast. I said, "We are building ourselves a ghetto. We will be surrounded by tens of millions of Muslims who will never forgive, never forget, and never go away."
I was right, especially when it soon turned out that the Arabs were sitting on most of the world's oil supply, so that the nations of the world, being pro-oil of necessity, found it politic to become pro-Arab. (Had this matter of oil reserves been known earlier, I'm convinced that Israel would not have been established in the first place.)
But don't the Jews deserve a homeland? Actually, I feel that no human group deserves a "homeland" in the usual sense of the word.
The Earth should not be cut up into hundreds of different sections, each inhabited by a self-defined segment of humanity that considers its own welfare and its own "national security" to be paramount above all other considerations.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

"(Especially since the Bible was written by the Children of Israel.)"
ROTFWL! Are you sure you're not that "Mr Asimov" guy? :-)
A very brilliant fella, I've always felt.

Speaking of which, I read this in Einstein's bio:
As a jew having lived WW2 and witnessed the horror, he was deeply convinced of the legitimacy of founding Israel as a principle. But when the Zionist movement offered him the position of President of the newly founded State, he declined.
Worried of losing his soul to real-life belligerent politics, maybe?

Also, he almost decided not to help in making the Bomb, because of the irreversible implications. And we know that jew-exterminating nazi Germany was defeated without it. From what I read, Japan's defeat too was only hastened by the Nukes, it was never a decisive factor in the outcome.
I'm happy the decision wasn't mine to take. Somehow, giving one's life for a good cause seems much easier to decide than taking another.

I'm well aware of the virulent antisemitism in the arab world 60 years ago, but still, displacing populations that had been there "like, forever", was opening a humongous can of maggots. In the name of God/Allah/Yahve, as usual...

I agree with Asimov: the only lasting solution is for the human species to quit living as rabidly bickering clans and tribes. But I doubt any amount of healthy living will allow me to see that day. Not in this incarnation, anyway.

Joe Dick said...

From what I read, Japan's defeat too was only hastened by the Nukes, it was never a decisive factor in the outcome.

That may be, but you can't blame the U.S. for wanting to spare itself another Iwo Jima (only on probably a much bigger scale). And, really, Japan has itself to blame for the second bomb.

I agree with Asimov: the only lasting solution is for the human species to quit living as rabidly bickering clans and tribes. But I doubt any amount of healthy living will allow me to see that day. Not in this incarnation, anyway.

I agree with you on that. If two world wars isn't enough to wake people up, nothing will. And really it's not everyone who is capable of seeing the truth in what Asimov said. Certainly you are not going to find many in the United States today who would agree with his iron-clad logic - they would react with blind patriotism (or jingoism).

Also, he almost decided not to help in making the Bomb, because of the irreversible implications.

I don't know for sure, but it may have had something to do with the fear (justified) that the krauts were working on one themselves. (Side note: It's interesting how after the war, though, no one who had a skill useful to the U.S. was punished for war crimes, like Von Braun for example.) Still, not a decision I'd want to have to make - almost harder than being the guy who gives the order to use one. (MacArthur wanted to use one in Korea).

Somehow, giving one's life for a good cause seems much easier to decide than taking another.

I agree with you in principle but if it came down to it I'd rather kill than be killed. I have a feeling that, in the heat of the moment, our desire to survive and preserve our own life would win out over any principles.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

"Let me tell you the one thing I have against Moses. He took us 40 years into the desert in order to bring us to the one place in the Middle East that has no oil!" - Golda Meir

Joe Dick said...

ROTFWL! Are you sure you're not that "Mr Asimov" guy? :-)
A very brilliant fella, I've always felt.


Yes, I am. But keep it under your hat. I'm supposed to be dead.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

"I'll keep it under my hat",
Said the mischievous black-and-white cat.
But quietly or otherwise, you cannot
Hope to live as long as I, robot
For I may get called a tin can,
Yet I'll one day be a bicentennial man.
So move over, booted puss,
Stand aside, Asimov, for (ta-dah!) DOCTOR SEUSS!
I wonder, if the day they founded Israel
Was not the anniversary of that tower, in Babel?
Some dates keep causing a mess,
I guess...

Eric said...

An article you'll find enjoyable, assuming you check old comments: http://www.theonion.com/content/node/28676

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Actually, no I don't. ;-)
Being on the lazy side, I check none, leisurely relying on the blog option that e-mails me all comments uttered on my domain.
Proving that there was at least ONE thing useful to learn from Eolake's blog! ;-)

You were right, hilarious article. Thank you for the fun moment.

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