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Who Hates Whom:
and Various Things Blowing Up
A Woefully Incomplete Guide™
“Revelatory... Harris's sly wit and infectious curiosity make understanding world chaos fascinating... witty, horrific, and necessary.”
-- Boston Globe
"Brave... irreverent... charges into the thick of the globe's myriad simmering wars... hilariously relaxed."
-- New York Observer
“Fascinating, enlightening, and surprisingly: NOT TOTALLY DEPRESSING.”
-- John Hodgman,
author, The Areas of My Expertise and correspondent for The Daily Show
"A rollicking ride of intellectual discovery and emotional growth... his comic timing never fails"
-- The Wall Street Journal
"A surprisingly touching memoir"
-- Entertainment Weekly
"Effortlessly funny and informative... tender, human, and very wise... A must for anyone who loves Jeopardy!
, or has ever seen it, or is breathing."
-- Joss Whedon, creator, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Stuff I like
Bopping around the less traveled bits of the BBC site, I accidentally discovered something wonderful: the BBC Great Lakes Service.
For a moment, I wondered if they were translating the news into
midwestern American dialect, with frequent references to bowling,
high school football, and lake effect snow.
It is not, however, anything we'd recognize back home on the shores of Lake Erie.
Sorting out what the hell these webpages actually say is the most fun I've had all day. What follows is my attempt to share the experience in a glance.
This fellow, for example, is definitely the Pope. He's saying something about how the gatolika kiliziya has renewed its straight-men-only policy regarding
imibonano mpuzabitsina. And this from a guy who wears Prada shoes.
And then there's this story,
about how the Bush administration ntiremeza amasezerano ya the Kyoto emissions targets,
dragging its feet again in
Montreal about carbon dioxide wonona ibirere the same way leta
zunz'ubumwe za Amerika has since the damn thing was signed.
Wow, is that ever a cool language.
Of course, simbizi if what I just wrote made any sense. But usually simbizi squat in general.
What language is that, you
ask? Good question. I'm honestly not sure. I don't
see the answer on
the BBC site. As near as I can Google, it's Kinyarwanda or maybe Kirundi,
but that's my ass talking, and it speaks with a thick accent in
English, much less Bantu languages. Anyway, since the Great Lakes
of Africa would
the bit around Rwanda and Burundi and Uganda and such, that's a
logical guess, and I've proceeded accordingly. But simbizi just about bupkus here, honestly.
I'm sure somebody out there knows. Uvuga ikirundi? Uvuga
ikinyarwanda? Ejo bite? Warasaze uri umusazi? Or just mildly nuts? Urakoze in advance for
any reply. And yego, I screw up the noun classes.
Anyhow, here's my point: seeing this makes me suddenly wonder what sort of computer services exist around those
parts. There must be some, of course, or the BBC wouldn't bother. This is something
I've simply never thought about. And then
how much else I don't know about the area. Which is to say: everything.
Like you, I've
read about genocide, poverty, dictatorship, and general mayhem. But
I've also read that things are getting better of late. If one believes
the news, things have improved at least from abject horror to perhaps a
more tolerable level of general misery. But the truth is, I know
nothing. And I'm suddenly curious.
So I wonder. Maybe a kid from the other
Great Lakes will have to find out more and perhaps even visit.
There's so much to learn.