Friday, September 29, 2006
Quand je parle à mes amis pures laines de cette affaire, ils veulent tous que je les rassure en leur confirmant que je ne partage pas l'interprétation de Mme Wong et que je crois sincèrement qu'ils ne sont pas anti-immigrants. Ce que je fais volontiers, parce que je sais qu'ils m'aiment bien et qu'ils n'entretiennent aucune pensée discriminatoire contre une ethnie quelconque (sinon ils ne seraient pas mes amis, voyons donc!).
Mais quand je parle à mes amis immigrants, tous sans exception me font part de leurs expériences, d'incidents où ils ont été victimes de racisme de la part des Québécois de souche. Rien de vraiment criminel, entendons-nous bien. Mais des insultes, des retourne-donc-chez-vous-autres, des remarques désobligeantes, des bousculades [Mon fils le danseur, aux traits asiatiques, a reçu un coup de coude dans les côtes par un vieux monsieur qui l'a ensuite couvert d'injures parce qu'il était avec sa petite amie, blanche, blonde, aux yeux bleus], etc..
Le fait est que, malgré la chaleur de leur accueil et toute leur bonne volonté, la majorité des Blancs québécois restent bloqués par les différences physiques les plus évidentes -- la couleur de la peau, la forme des yeux ou la texture des cheveux -- surtout si ce sont des pures laines tricotées serrées qui n'ont jamais quitté le Québec, sauf pour le hadj traditionnel en France. Avec ma gueule de métèque et mes yeux bridés, quand je vais dans un magasin et que je m'adresse en français à une vendeuse pure laine, elle me répond toujours en anglais. Même si je continue en français, la conversation restera bilingue. Elle comprend mes paroles en français mais ses yeux lui disent: asiatique = anglais, et le cerveau n'arrive pas à résoudre le paradoxe asiatique+français. Donc elle répond en anglais.
La semaine dernière, je vais à un dépanneur près de mon bureau et je demande des langues de chat [Si vous ne savez pas ce que c'est, voir la photo ci-dessous]. La petite caissière me regarde avec des yeux ébahis. Je décide d'aller les chercher moi-même et je reviens ensuite à la caisse pour payer. La caissière regarde la boîte et éclate de rire:
- C'est ça, des langues de chat? Je croyais que tu plaisantais!
- Mais.. euh.. que voulez-vous dire?
- Ben, t'es pas Chinoise, toi?
Heureusement que je n'ai pas demandé un chien chaud.... sinon elle aurait deviné mes origines vietnamiennes!!
You can pay your respect here: http://patriotboy.blogspot.com/The military trials bill approved by Congress lends legislative support for the first time to broad rules for the detention, interrogation, prosecution and trials of terrorism suspects far different from those in the familiar American criminal justice system.
...Included in the bill, passed by Republican majorities in the Senate yesterday and the House on Wednesday, are unique rules that bar terrorism suspects from challenging their detention or treatment through traditional habeas corpus petitions. They allow prosecutors, under certain conditions, to use evidence collected through hearsay or coercion to seek criminal convictions.The bill rejects the right to a speedy trial and limits the traditional right to self-representation by requiring that defendants accept military defense attorneys. Panels of military officers need not reach unanimous agreement to win convictions, except in death penalty cases, and appeals must go through a second military panel before reaching a federal civilian court.By writing into law for the first time the definition of an "unlawful enemy combatant," the bill empowers the executive branch to detain indefinitely anyone it determines to have "purposefully and materially" supported anti-U.S. hostilities. Only foreign nationals among those detainees can be tried by the military commissions, as they are known, and sentenced to decades in jail or put to death.At the same time, the bill immunizes U.S. officials from prosecution for cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment of detainees who the military and the CIA captured before the end of last year. It gives the president a dominant but not exclusive role in setting the rules for future interrogations of terrorism suspects.
USA - Yay!!
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
And here's a video clip of their moves:
Unfortunately, the BT crew didn't get selected to participate in this year's main Battle of the Year in Germany. Right now, the best Asian B-Boys are the Koreans. But I'm confident that the Vietnamese breakers will soon shed their underdog status and become a worthy competition to the Koreans.
Monday, September 25, 2006
Question: Dear Buddhist with an attitude, I am a modern gal who loves to wear my traditional national garb, i.e. the ao dai, but I am at a loss as to footwear. What type of shoes should I buy, that would balance my contemporary active life style with my traditional demure looks?
Answwer: I have just the thing for you, from Addidas. Here's their promotional blahblah :
In a world where everything is mass produced and machine made, Adidas originals embarks on a journey around the world, picking up traditional fabrics on the way and using them to reinterpret iconic adidas styles. Available in limited quantities, these pieces are made using 100% authentic fabrics from around the world. Often hand-woven, hand-dyed or hand-stitched these fabrics represent a return to more traditional values and a representation of the countries the fabrics came from originally.
The Vietnamese AO DAI Outfit is one of the most popular and timeless styles in the world. It's cultural relevance can be followed back to the 18th century when the sovereign Vu Vuong decreed that both men and women shall dress in this style. Today the AO DAI style is worn by women as a noble and elegant piece of clothes.
The Addidas Saigon Sneaker is part of the Adidas campaign "Materials of the World". This elegant Adidas sneaker in red or blue smooth leather and fine filligry golden design is a breathtaking impression and limited to 2000 pieces worldwide.
They're 129 Euros a pair + taxes + shipping costs. To order, click here: http://www.overkillshop.com/en/product_info/info/1077/
Sunday, September 24, 2006
To make fun of the people who keep finding Jesus' and The Virgin Marie's pictures in everyday objects like toasts, cheese sandwiches, potato chips, dental x-rays or tree trunks (and making a fortune selling them to stupid believers on eBay), this site [http://www.calarts.edu/~jwhite/gbj/index.html] displays the picture of Jesus on a dog's butt.
I'm torn between two reactions: 1) «Well done, mate!» and 2) «Dude, do you have a death wish?».
L’expérience est semblable à
Dans l’ensemble, les messages se ressemblent plus ou moins et véhiculent les mêmes thèmes:
- Attaques personnelles contre le messager: Elle écrit mal. Personne ne lit son torchon de journal. C’est une salope («bitch» et «cunt» semblent être les insultes les plus communes). Elle est riche et gâtée. Son père est riche. Elle est lâche parce qu’elle refuse de venir se défendre à l’émission de télé “Tout le Monde en parle”, etc.
- Déformation du message: Comment ose-t-elle accuser les Québécois de racisme et d’intolérance? Si c’est la faute aux pures-laines, pourquoi Gill s’est-il attaqué à un CEGEP anglophone? etc.
Le commentaire le plus drôle, et tristement révélateur du fond de vérité qui sous-tend l’analyse de Jan Wong, est publié sur un blogue affichant la photo d’un Chinois tenant un chat par le cou avec la légende: «Chinese food». L’auteur du blog, après s’être dûment indigné devant l’accusation de racisme de Jan Wong, s’attaque ensuite au père de celle-ci en promettant de faire de son mieux pour faire boycotter le restaurant du père par les employés du bureau de sa femme, parce qu’après tout, conclut notre blogueur, tel père telle fille.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Read this post by Lokiloki (via DailyKos), about how torture became prevalent in Cambodia, a Buddhist society: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/9/22/45733/3235
It's hard to believe that a practising Buddhist could accept, let alone apply, torture on another sentient being. Tibetan Buddhist monks, including the Dalai Lama, have always explained that to cultivate compassion, one has to consider and treat every person as one's mother, since after eons and eons of rebirth, every person in the world has indeed been one's mother. Would you be capable of using an electric drill on your mother or waterboarding your child?
And yet, most countries in the Third World, including the ones where Buddhism is prevalent, if not the national religion, practise torture: China, Vietnam, Thailand, etc... In the case of Cambodia, one has to remember that the Khmer Rouge have imposed on the country a regime of terror and rigid ideology, so technically, the atrocities and brutality suffered by the population were not the work of Buddhists but of paranoid, illiterate and sadistic peasants acting under the threat of becoming themselves victims of torture if they don't obey orders, or out of revenge after being oppressed for so long, or even out of conviction that their enemies must be destroyed, since they don't share Pol Pot's point of view.
Therefore, one can easily understand why some people in the US are not unduly shocked and outraged by President Bush's attempt to legalize torture. One doesn't have to be an illiterate Cambodian peasant to be confortable with the idea of torturing another human being. All you need to do is to convince yourself that «the other» is not, and can never be, you or your loved ones: they are Muslims, dark-skinned, Liberals, Democrats, pro-abortions, foreigners, etc... in other words, they are guilty of being «not you» and therefore torturable. All the rest (the war against terror, the suicide bombers, the ticking bomb, etc...) are excuses and justifications.
But if there is a lesson to be learnt from the killing fields of Cambodia, it's that if that you decide that it's OK to torture a person, sooner or later, that person could/would be you or someone you love. This is one area where the Buddhist principle of oneness with the universe should be better understood and applied: the other is you, you are the other.
Friday, September 22, 2006
Better known as Tea Ceremony, the Way of Tea represents the quintessence of Japanese aesthetics. This ritual has existed in Japan for more than 400 years. [See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_tea_ceremony]
The Montreal Association Chado Urasenke Tankokai Inc. is offering you the possibility to get away from your daily life by living a beautiful moment of peace in an intimate and quiet ambiance while having a bowl of tea prepared within the spirit one can find only in the Way of Tea.
The Association will be organizing a tea ceremony demonstration at the Hilton Bonaventure Hotel on October 1st, at 1:30 PM and at 3:00 PM. Tickets ($12.00 per person) can be bought by contacting the Association at the following address and numbers:
Montreal Association of Chado Urasenke Tankokai, Inc.
| 11111 Cavendish Apartment 205|
President: Mr.Takashi Kagemori
Update 23/9/06: For tickets and information, please contact:
Tel & Fax 514-630-0260
Or click here: http://www.montreal.ca.emb-japan.go.jp/pdf/urasenke25thanniversary.pdf
Thursday, September 21, 2006
Recently, the media has been focusing on Pope Benedict XVI’s quoting of a 14th-century Christian emperor on an ‘evil and inhuman’ Islam and the global political storm that followed.
Closer to home, Globe and Mail journalist Jan Wong has also created a growing controversy with her interpretation of what motivated the authors of Canada’s three infamous shooting rampages which, coincidentally, all took place in Montreal, in the Province of Quebec. Jan Wong argued that the shootings at the University of Montreal, Concordia University and Dawson College are the results of a pure laine mentality that marginalizes and aleniates Quebeckers that are not direct descendants of French colonialists (the «pure laine»). Pointing out that Lepine, Fabrikant, and Gill were all immigrants or children of, she writes:
What many outsiders don't realize is how alienating the decades-long linguistic struggle has been in the once-cosmopolitan city. It hasn't just taken a toll on long-time anglophones, it's affected immigrants, too. To be sure, the shootings in all three cases were carried out by mentally disturbed individuals. But what is also true is that in all three cases, the perpetrator was not pure laine, the argot for a "pure" francophone. Elsewhere, to talk of racial "purity" is repugnant. Not in Quebec.
Her analysis of the reason behind the shootings was of course rejected and denounced by the media in Quebec and elsewhere. Premier Charest and Prime Minister Harper both wrote to the Globe and Mail to vilify her writing and demand an apology.
Before I give my opinion, a disclaimer: Jan Wong is my ex-husband’s sister. But we live in different cities and have not been in contact for the last 10 years.
Let me cut right to the chase: I do not agree with her analysis. I’ve been living in Quebec for a longer time and have had more friends and contacts with the «pure laine» society than she has and I think I understand the francophone mentality better than she does. So, no, the shooting was not precipitated by the exclusion of non-pure laine (or «ethnics» as we're called).
- It is difficult for immigrants to be really integrated into Quebec society;
- People still say : «No, I mean, really, where are you from?» when I tell them I am a Canadian or a Quebecker.
- My children are regularly victims of racial harassments from older Quebeckers on the subway or the bus.
- On TV and in the movies, non-whites are not represented or only by the same couple of tokens.
- Only yesterday, a Quebecker friend said to me: «Oh I see, you do it this way, but us Quebeckers we do it this way» and she was talking about peeling a cucumber!
Before I’m denounced as anti-francophone and forced to apologize, let me tell you this anecdote. In the late 80s, the newly formed Equality Party [http://tinyurl.com/nb64b] was trying to recruit members. One of my colleagues, an Egyptian immigrant, invited me to join. I told him: «Why, this is not my war, just as the defense and protection of the French language is not my war». «But the Anglophones are being discriminated against by Bill 101» «W., look at me! I’m a non-white, I’m being discriminated against every day, by Anglophones and by Francophones. Let them fight this out among themselves».
Of course, examples and anecdotes do not a theory make, but they are numerous enough to stop us from crucifying Jan Wong for her interpretation and from sweeping all the underlying factors under the rug. I don’t see any improvement of the situation in the near future, until we all agree to air the problems and really discuss the issues. Pure laine Quebeckers are shocked and indignant, sputtering demands for apology «to all Quebeckers» and I can understand that. It is not pleasant to read ugly depictions of your character in the newspapers, especially if you believe in your own righteousness and even more so if you are convinced that the rest of the country is out to get you. So you tend to protest too much, to give too much importance to what is simply the opinion of a single person.
Jan Wong is not the Pope and she only represents herself. She has the right and, as a journalist, the duty to try and find a cause for an inexplicable crime. You can agree or disagree with her. But politicians who are using the occasion for demagogical reasons to boost their standing with voters, in preparation for the next election, are hypocritical or, if they really believe in what they are saying, sadly delusional.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Elmooh [http://www.elmoooh.blogspot.com/] is asking us to vote for Miss Vietnam in the Miss World Competition : http://missworldvote.client.ninesystems.com/signup.php. So go and vote, already!
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
From: Language Log [http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/~myl/languagelog/archives/003590.html]
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Associated Press -- The United States should capitalize on President George W. Bush's coming visit to Vietnam to increase pressure on the communist nation to improve its human rights record, rights activists said.
With Vietnam now headed by a reformist president and negotiating for membership in the World Trade Organization, the time was ripe to prod the southeast Asian nation to build on the positive steps it has taken, such as loosening media restrictions and granting more independence to the national assembly, the activists said, addressing a panel of federal lawmakers Thursday.Meanwhile...
"The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism."
Powell, of course, is the master of bureaucratic understatement (although not nearly understated enough for Commander Codpiece's tastes). By "the world is beginning to doubt," Powell really meant "the world has long since stopped believing." But if Congress ... formally gives Dear Leader -- and future dear leaders -- a free pass on the Geneva Conventions, if it lets the torturers define torture, then the moral basis of the war against terrorism isn't the only thing that will be put to the test. In fact it will be the least thing.
What will be on the table then is the question of whether a nation as powerful and potentially dangerous to others as America (the proverbial bull in the china shop) can survive on brute force alone -- without moral legitimacy or political prestige, without true allies (save for the world's other leper regimes) and without "a decent respect to the opinions of mankind".
We're not there yet, but that is the direction we're heading, and a unilateral decision to redefine the Geneva Conventions (without actually admitting that we're doing it) would take us another few hundred miles down the road.
What this amounts to (and what Powell was really complaining about) is the final decommissioning of the myth of American exceptionalism -- once one of the most powerful weapons in the U.S. arsenal. Without it, we're just another paranoid empire obsessed with our own security and willing to tell any lie or repudiate any self-proclaimed principle if we think it will make us even slightly safer.
To put it mildly, this is not the kind of flag the rest of the world is likely to rally around, no matter how frantically we wave it. Even Shrub seems to understand this somewhere in the dimly lit attic that is his mind -- thus his recent remark that an America that doesn't advance the cause of freedom is an America that has lost its soul. It's easy to paint this as delusional, or an updated version of the old Orwellian slogan that slavery = freedom, but Shrub at least seems to understands that America will have to convince the world it stands for more than just power, privilege and profit if it's going to attract the support of the 80% of the human race that lacks all three. How, exactly, would ditching the Geneva Conventions further this goal?
Then again, maybe it's best if the myth gets permanently busted. Maybe America should take public responsibility for torturing prisoners -- instead of just pawning the job off to the Jordanian or Egyptian or Saudi intelligence services, who could and would hook car batteries to testicles with gusto while we piously pronounced our hands (and hearts) clean. A U.S. torture statute would at least bring a certain degree of clarity to the "vague" and "open to interpretation" policies that have long allowed the United States to enjoy the fruits of torture (and other crimes) without actually committing them ourselves. I know that's not exactly the kind of clarity Shrub was asking for today, but it would still be a refreshing oubreak of honesty.
That said, though, nobody should have any illusions about what that kind of "clarity" would reveal and which side of the moral line the United States would be seen to be standing on.
Friday, September 15, 2006
Comme Bonaparte, Jules César pouvait dicter plusieurs lettres à la fois, c'était un dictateur.
Les dolmens étaient des espèces d'abribus postés tous les 100 mètres.
L'histoire de Rome commence en 753 Avenue Jésus-Christ.
Les amazones étaient comme les femmes, mais encore plus méchantes.
Jeanne d'Arc voyait des apparitions invisibles.
Au Moyen Age, la bonne santé n'avait pas encore été inventée.
François 1er était le fils de François 0.
C' est Richelieu qui fonda la Star Académy française.
Louis XV était l'arrière petit fils de son oncle Louis XIV.
La drôle de guerre, cependant, n'a fait rire personne.
Le pôle est recouvert de glace: c'est la capote glaciaire.
Dans le monde, il n'y a que la France qui n'est pas un pays étranger.
Le Mexique était autrefois le pays des pastèques.
La Suisse est une fée des rations.
La mer des Caraïbes baigne les lentilles françaises.
L'eau de mer sert, en particulier, à remplir les océans.
On peut suivre une rivière dans un sens en amont et dans l'autre sens en l'avalant.
Les quatre points cardinaux sont le haut, le bas, l'est et l'ouest.
La Terre tourne en rond dans un sens et en travers dans l'autre sens.
Socrate parlait beaucoup car il avait la langue bien pendante.
Au pluriel, on dit des "cristaux" car il y a plusieurs cristals.
Les devoirs où il y a des conjugaisons s'appellent les devoirs conjugaux.
Victor Hugo est né à l'âge de 2 ans.
Un sonnet est formé de deux quatrains et de deux tiercés.
Toute sa vie, Montaigne a voulu écrire mais il n'a fait que des essais.
A la fin de sa vie, l'écrivain Hemingway s'est suicidé pour mettre fin à ses jours.
Un polygone est une figure qui a des côtés un peu partout.
On dit qu'une ligne droite est perpendiculaire quand elle se met à tourner d'un coup.
L'ovale est un cercle presque rond, mais quand même pas.
Le losange est un carré tordu en biais.
Le zéro est très utile, surtout si on le met derrière les autres nombres.
Un nombre réel est un nombre qu'on peut toucher du doigt.
La loi des probabilités s'appelle ainsi car on n'est pas sûr qu'elle existe.
L'ordinateur peut faire plus de calculs que le cerveau de l'homme car il n'a que ça à faire.
L'air pur est uniquement formé de gaz naturels.
Une bouteille d'eau explose s'il gèle car, sous l'effet du froid, l'eau devient un explosif.
En cas de grossesse, on fait une chorégraphie.
Plus le train ralentit, moins sa vitesse est plus grande.
Un corps lâché d'une certaine hauteur choisit toujours de tomber.
C'est le cerveau qui donne les ordres et les autres parties sont obligées d'obéir.
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Thursday, September 07, 2006
From the Ottawa Citizen: http://tinyurl.com/rsh9a
The Dalai Lama arrives in Vancouver today for a three-day visit to open the Dalai Lama Centre for Peace and Education.The Conservative government, which has displeased China on several fronts since assuming power, is sending at least two senior government representatives to Vancouver, despite China's objections, to welcome His Holiness and his delegation. Calgary MP Jason Kenney, once an outspoken critic of China's human rights policy and now Prime Minister Stephen Harper's parliamentary secretary, will meet privately with Tibet's exiled spiritual and political leader Saturday. Immigration Minister Monte Solberg, meanwhile, will attend a public gathering to hear the Dalai Lama speak Saturday.
Although the Canadian government is taking great care to describe the meeting as a courtesy gesture, without any political significance, it is unlikely that such explanation would placate the Chinese government, which was already seriously angered when the new government supported a Tory MP's motion, passed unanimously in June, calling for the Dalai Lama to be recognized as an honorary Canadian citizen.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
The question was : «When do you feel particularly lacking in self-confidence?». The clever girl answered: «Blah blah blah Viet Nam, blah blah Viet Nam, blah blah Viet Nam, Viet Nam, Viet Nam» and victory was hers.