2018 FIFA World Cup

Saturday, 24 November 2007


The Corruption of Socialist Ideals in the Soviet Union.
Animal Farm is most famous in the West as a stinging critique of the history and rhetoric of the Russian Revolution. Retelling the story of the emergence and development of Soviet communism in the form of an animal fable, Animal Farm allegorizes the rise to power of the dictator Joseph Stalin. In the novella, the overthrow of the human oppressor Mr. Jones by a democratic coalition of animals quickly gives way to the consolidation of power among the pigs. Much like the Soviet intelligentsia, the pigs establish themselves as the ruling class in the new society.
The struggle for preeminence between Leon Trotsky and Stalin emerges in the rivalry between the pigs Snowball and Napoleon. In both the historical and fictional cases, the idealistic but politically less powerful figure (Trotsky and Snowball) is expelled from the revolutionary state by the malicious and violent usurper of power (Stalin and Napoleon). The purges and show trials with which Stalin eliminated his enemies and solidified his political base find expression in Animal Farm as the false confessions and executions of animals whom Napoleon distrusts following the collapse of the windmill. Stalin’s tyrannical rule and eventual abandonment of the founding principles of the Russian Revolution are represented by the pigs’ turn to violent government and the adoption of human traits and behaviors, the trappings of their original oppressors.


Judas Priest - Better By You Better Than Me

You could find a way to ease my passion.You listen to the blood flow in my veins.Tell her why I'm alive withinYou hear the teaching of the windMy mind is deadI can't find the wordsIt's better by you better than meTell her now I got to goGuess you'll have to tell her how I triedTo speak up thoughts I've held so insideOut in the streets and down the shoreTell her the world's not much living forIt's better by you better than meEverybodyEverybodyEverybody knowsEverybody knowsBetter by you better than meYou can tell what I want it to beYou can say what I only can seeIt's better by you better than meGuess I'll have to change my way of livingDon't wanna really know the way I feelGuess I'll learn to fight and killThey'll find my blood upon her windowsillIt's better by you better than meTell her not to wait untilEverybody knowsEverybody knowsEverybodyBetter by you better than meEverybodyYou can say what I only can seeYou can tell what I want it to beBetter by you better than meIt's better by you better than meYou can tell what I want it to beBetter by you better than meYou can say way all they can see


This explores the issue of junk science in the context of a specific trial-the Judas Priest trial that unfolded in Reno, Nevada, in the summer of 1990. Two teenage boys, James Vance and Ray Belknap, had attempted suicide. At the time of the shootings, Belknap died instantly. Vance was severely injured but he lived, only to die of drug complications three years later. The plaintiffs (the boys' parents) alleged that subliminal messages hidden in the heavy metal rock music that Vance and Belknap listened to contributed to their suicidal impulse. This trial is interesting for a number of reasons. First, it provides a classic example of junk science. Second, the trial established a legal precedent that has already influenced the ruling in a similar subsequent suit. Third, it provides a good forum for illustrating some important and often misunderstood aspects of subliminal perception.
Judas Priest was a British heavy metal rock band-one of the first of that genre. Their popularity peaked in the mid-70s. The album in question (Stained Class) was produced in 1978; the shootings took place in December 1985. It was alleged that a particular subliminal phrase in one of their songs ("Better by You Better Than Me") on the album triggered a suicidal impulse. The phrase at issue was "Do It." In isolation, this phrase has little meaning unless there is some antecedent to which the "It" refers. Moreover, the antecedent could not have been anything that was audible on the record (or visible on the album cover), because such material would have been protected by the First Amendment. Consequently the plaintiffs were in the difficult position of having to acknowledge that the boys were suicidal to begin with, and that the subliminal phrase "Do It" triggered the already existing disposition.


One night a woman went out for drinks with her girlfriends. She left the bar fairly late at night, got in her car and onto the deserted highway. She noticed a lone pair of headlights in her rear-view mirror, approaching at a pace just slightly quicker than hers. As the car pulled up behind her she glanced and saw the turn signal on — the car was going to pass — when suddenly it swerved back behind her, pulled up dangerously close to her tailgate and the brights flashed.
Now she was getting nervous. The lights dimmed for a moment and then the brights came back on and the car behind her surged forward. The frightened woman struggled to keep her eyes on the road and fought the urge to look at the car behind her. Finally, her exit approached but the car continued to follow, flashing the brights periodically.
Through every stoplight and turn, it followed her until she pulled into her driveway. She figured her only hope was to make a mad dash into the house and call the police. As she flew from the car, so did the driver of the car behind her — and he screamed, "Lock the door and call the police! Call 911!"
When the police arrived the horrible truth was finally revealed to the woman. The man in the car had been trying to save her. As he pulled up behind her and his headlights illuminated her car, he saw the silhouette of a man with a butcher knife rising up from the back seat to stab her, so he flashed his brights and the figure crouched back down.


A couple are driving along a highway, when they see a young man.well dressed, hitchhiking on the side of the road. It's pretty hot, and he seems safe enough, so they stop and pick him up.
When he gets in their car, he is silent for many miles. As they approacha tollbooth, he leans forward and whispers, "Jesus will come again,". When they arrive at the tollbooth, the wife turns around to retrieveher purse, and is startled to see that the young man is gone.
Worried that he might have been hurt, the husband tells the tolltaker about the young man they had picked up, and he repliesthat he's heard that story 20 times in the last two weeks, and no onehas seen the vanishing hitchhiker to his final destination.
For obvious reasons, I am not going to debate the validity of this story, only comment that it has circulated throughout for the last five years or so, always having happened to a"Friend of a Friend".


One cold Winter night around 1934, a young girl was killed in an accident coming home from the O. Henry Ballroom (now Willowbrook Ballroom) on Archer Avenue in Justice, a southern suburb of Chicago. Her name was Mary and many believe that she may have been a young Polish girl named Mary Bregavy, although her exact identity is still unknown. The girl was buried in Resurrection Cemetery, dressed in her favorite gown and wearing the same dancing shoes she had worn on her final date.
She rested peacefully for the next five years, but in 1939 a cab driver picked up a young girl on Archer Avenue wearing a white gown. It was a snowy January night, but the girl was not wearing a coat. She jumped in the front door of the cab and sat by the driver. She gave him instructions to get her home, saying that he needed to go north on Archer. Suddenly, she told him to stop and the driver looked out the window to where she had pointed. He turned back to the passenger seat and saw that the girl had vanished. . .and the door had never opened. The cab was directly in front of Resurrection Cemetery.


San Miguel de Tucumán (usually referred to as simply Tucumán) is the largest city in north Argentina, with a population of 525,853 per the 2001 census [INDEC]. The metropolitan area totals 806,000, making it the fifth-largest in the country. It is the capital of the province of Tucumán. It was founded in 1565 by Spanish Diego de Villarroel travelling south from Peru and was moved to the present site in 1685.
The city is bordered on the north by Las Talitas (Tafí Viejo), on the east by
Banda del Río Salí and Alderetes (Cruz Alta), on the west by the city of Yerba Buena, and on the south by Lules.
The city sits on the slopes of the Aconquija mountains, the easternmost mountain range before the large
Chaco-Pampean flats. It is the commercial center of an irrigated area that produces large quantities of sugarcane, rice, tobacco, and fruit, and provides the province with its nickname, the Garden of the Republic. The National University of Tucumán (1914) and the Saint Thomas Aquinas University of the North (1965) are in the city.
July 9, 1816 a congress gathered in Tucumán declared the independence from Spain, which did not officially recognize it until 1862. The meeting place of the congress, the House of Tucumán, has been reconstructed as a national monument.


When I was in kindergarten, I rode the bus to school ­ one mile away from our house ­ and usually walked home. No one thought anything of it, and it helped broaden the horizons of my little world. There was a nice creek were I studiously worked on my rock collection.
If you had a kid do that today, you'd be up on charges. I'm not saying there isn't a good reason for the change. It makes sense. It's hard to imagine doing that today ­ but we're lesser for it.
On the other hand ...
I can recall, as most of us can, when the word "cancer" was a death sentence. I've lost friends and family to cancer, but I also have friends and family still living and laughing and doing great things ­ people I love and cherish and plan to love and cherish for a good long time ­ because now doctors can do so many amazing things that have become routine and taken for granted. We are certainly better for that.
I'm a little amused and little annoyed at the conspiracies of ether, the urban myths and willful misreadings of how things used to be that zap hither and beyond on the Internet. The subtext is not just that the world has changed and it's bad, but rather that some dark force or gang of bad guys decided to take away all of the good things just for the sake of meanness.
Get over it. No one forced us all to install a satellite dish, buy a new car, and live the life in the fast lane that's glorified on TV. The world is too hectic of a place, but it's the result of a thousand little decisions and demands that we all make. We say we want to slow down, but we never get around to it until tomorrow.


I'm confused. There is nothing much new in that, but I've become aware of a major contradiction, and it has my brain in a knot.
Let us delve into the land of myth, nostalgia and wishful thinking.
Statement one: Back in my day, things were simple. Mama dried the laundry on a rope out back, and we walked to school. Life was so much better.
Statement two: These kids today have it so easy. They don't know how easy they have it. We walked ­ walked ­ to school, five miles, uphill both ways, and most days it was 110 degrees and there was five feet of snow. PlayStation? Ha. We had a stick ­ yeah, one stick for every kid on the block ­ and we used it to hit home runs, gun down Nazis and catch fish for dinner. Soft. These kids today are soft.
So which is it? Life was better then, or life is better now?
I'll say life is just different.
Sure, simpler always seems better ­ in the rear-view mirror. But are any of us willing to trade in ESPN, the Discovery Channel and 24/7 weather and go back to the days of three over-the-air local network affiliates and one fuzzy public station? I doubt it. If complexity means clicking and clicking the remote to sort out the dozens of viewing options, I can handle it.
Those same dozens of channels do their in-your-face part to throw so much of the world right into the laps of young people, and that's not so good. When I was young, none of us had much sense of our purpose in the great adventure as little consumers-in-training. Today, as you flip past Nickelodeon and other channels, it's hard to escape the idea that being a marketing target is just one of the facts of life.