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Slow News Day

And I have been busy with Real Life™, as happens from time to time. It is the curse of the blogging class.

The BBC mentioned something I heard in the car – Ukraine violence: US considers sanctions. When I heard the NPR report my first reaction was what makes this any different than what the NYPD did to the Occupy movement in New York? It is hypocrisy to talk about the right to assemble and demonstrate in Kiev after you have ignored it in NYC, Oakland, et al. If you are going to impose sanctions, what about Bahrain?

CNN covered the Mandela memorial ‘selfie’:

Denmark’s Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt made headlines after snapping a selfie of herself nestled in between UK Prime Minister David Cameron and U.S. President Barack Obama at Mandela’s memorial service on Tuesday.

From the picture accompanying the article I got the impression that Zero was going to hear about his conduct from his wife.

The Repubs are venting their rage over Zero shaking hands with Raul Castro. Mr. Mandela had good relations with Cuba and support from the Castros, so it would have been rather churlish not to shake hands.

I guess Zero should have taken lessons on how to conduct himself at solemn events from a Republican.


1 Steve Bates { 12.12.13 at 10:46 am }

Far be it from me to actually agree with at least two CNN talking heads, but if you watched the video rather than studying the still pics, you’d see that this was a moment of levity that even included Michelle, notwithstanding her incidental serious expression directed off-camera. As to levity at a “funeral,” it wasn’t a funeral; it was more like a wake, a celebration… South Africa is far from the only culture that has that custom. Look at New Orleans jazz bands: solemn on the way to the grave site, jazzing like crazy on the way back.

Stella has a request for her own funeral: in front of the gathering is an urn labeled “That Reminds Me of a Joke”; it’s filled with slips of paper each containing a joke, from which each attendee draws one and reads it. For someone with a sense of humor as rich as Stella’s, it would be the perfect farewell.

2 Bryan { 12.12.13 at 3:37 pm }

Different cultures have different rituals and they can clash. I’m more in the celebration of life tradition, which mandates essentially a gathering of friends telling their best personal memories of the deceased, which are often hilarious, because people sometimes have fun during their lives. Celebrations of life usually include food and drink to ease people.

The only real immortality is in the memories of people who knew you. The historians usually get it wrong, and after a while they start to make things up.

Death rituals are for the living, the dead are beyond caring.

3 hipparchia { 12.12.13 at 9:00 pm }

you’d see that this was a moment of levity that even included Michelle, notwithstanding her incidental serious expression directed off-camera

thanks for pointing that out, steve. i wouldn’t have watched the video otherwise.

and i love stella’s idea of a proper funeral.