Archive for January 20th, 2005

Greeks Offended By US Prudishness

ø

ATHENS (Reuters) – A clutch of complaints by U.S. viewers that the
Athens Olympics opening ceremony featured lewd nudity has incensed the
Games chief, who warned American regulators to back off from policing
ancient Greek culture.

"Far from being indecent, the opening ceremonies were beautiful,
enlightening, uplifting and enjoyable," Angelopoulos wrote in a
weekend commentary in the Los Angeles Times titled "Since
When is Greece’s Culture Obscene?"

 

He might also have noted that although the original Olympics
featured homo-erotic oil wrestling, no-holds-barred gay bath houses, animal sacrifices
and myriad
luxurious temple cults where drunken orgies with the priestesses was considered
religious devotion, in this day and age one is much more likely to
find all of these phenomena in
Los Angeles than in Athens.

article from Reuters

photo from Athens Opening Ceremony by Wolfgang Rattay

Rust Never Sleeps

ø

Boston
University is the perfect school for Sydney Simpson, daughter of the
Juice. The stereotypical BU student is a semi-smart spoiled rich
kid, and although there are numerous and notable exceptions, the stereotype
exists for a reason. Boston University is a playpen for the pampered
and privileged, and as far away from Brentwood Terrace as one can get
without
leaving
the country or getting wet.

However, the Simpson fame and temperament appear to be harder to shake
off than the paparazzi, as we can see in the following story from the
Boston Herald
:

O.J. Simpson’s daughter, Sydney, a student at Boston University, was
arrested in Miami over the weekend after a reported "catfight” at
a high school basketball game.

he 19-year-old coed was charged with resisting arrest and disorderly
conduct after she allegedly yelled profanities at police officers and
slapped one in the hand after a dust-up at a prep school hoops game.

Authorities in Miami say Simpson’s "disorderly conduct” impeded
police trying to investigate the incident. Reportedly, two teenage
girls told police that Simpson hit them in the face, but they declined
to press
charges.

One of the few academic categories in which BU consistently places in
the top ten is in number and percentage of foreign students enrolled,
and they fit the BU profile in spades. We have more than our fair share
of Pinochets, Allendes, Al Saud’s and freshly minted Russian megamillionaires.
Many of our students sport wristwatches worth more than the White Whale, our car.

On a related note, yesterday we were pulled over by a City of Boston cop after
pulling a Uey on Commonwealth Avenue in front of our office through a
yellow light. It must be noted that the Dowbrigade is normally a VERY
careful driver due to other exotic habits which could turn a routine
traffic stop into an expensive and traumatic encounter with the criminal
justice system. We wouldn’t have even gone through a YELLOW light if
we hadn’t been late for the semester startup meeting and distracted by
an outrageous comment by that moron Howard Stern, coincidentally a BU
Grad and an old customer of the Dowbrigade back in the day when Stern hung out on the very
corner where yesterday’s infraction occurred. But that’s a story for another time.

At any rate, this cop seemed sort of friendly when he asked for our licence
and registration, and we managed to flash our BU ID in the process of
turning over the other paper and plastic.  Mid-30’s and paunchy, not very
neat but with a worn and weary humanity even in yesterday’s 8 degree weather, he asked
in which branch of the BU behemoth we worked. We admitted to working with
the aliens.

After the requisite 10 minute wait while he ran our plates and numbers,
during which we kept the windows cracked, the motor running and the heater
up high, he returned and started chatting us up.  First he told us that
BU was pressing the Boston Police to write more tickets on campus, and bigger fines,
in order to instill a sense of automotive respect for the laws of a civilized
society.  It seems that the privileged rich kids in their
BMW’s and Mercedes act like that the traffic laws were written only for the rest
of the peons, and write off parking and traffic fines as one more cost
of doing business, the business in this case consisting of using Daddy’s money to get through college
with the least amount of physical and mental effort possible.

Then, in a magnanimous gesture of middle-aged solidarity, he reported
that all of my paperwork checked out, no warrants out for my arrest,
registration and inspection in order and that therefore he was forgoing
what would have been a $150 dollar fine and those odious points on the
insidious auto insurance scam scale which would have cost over a grand
during their 4 year half-life, and instead would issue us a warning.

However, he was just getting warmed up in his oratory.  He immediately launched
into a diatribe against FOREIGN STUDENTS who he said were the worst of
the worst, both because they were uniformly ignorant of local traffic
laws and regulations and because they were so rich and spoiled that
they practically laughed in his face when he wrote them up. The poor guy couldn’t
get no respect.  We smiled sympathetically and nodded our head,
anxious to get into the meeting which had started ten or fifteen minutes ago.

Finally, as if realizing he was on the edge of verring out of verbal control into unacceptable
behavior in an officer of the law, he asked us how business was. When we mentioned that we had lost
a lot of our students lately to schools in England and Australia, he
changed course again and left us with the following joke:

A very rich Chinese student arrived on the campus of Great Britain’s
oldest and finest University and was dismayed to discover that he was
required to attend an orientation session. "There must be some mistake."
he protested indignantly to his academic advisor, "I did not come here
to be Oriented! I am already Oriented! I came here to be Oxidized!"

And with that our Blue Centurion returned to his black-and-white chariot and sped off in pursuit
of the next miscreant. Marveling at a Boston beat cop who could tell
an English ESL joke and noting that we had been pulled over directly
into a legal metered parking space a half block from our office, we popped
8 quarters into the damn machine and rushed off to our meeting.

Simpson story from the
Boston Herald

Sick Puppy Scare at BU

ø

More backlash from the community to the recent revelations of slipshod
containment methodology at Boston University pathogen bio-defense labs:

Boston University and city officials squandered public trust and galvanized
opposition to a planned high-security laboratory by waiting until this
week to tell city residents that three BU researchers were infected
last year with a potentially lethal bacterium in a less-secure lab,
advocates and elected officials said yesterday.

from today’s Boston Globe

Terror Attack Update

ø

Details continue to emerge concerning the supposed dirty bomb attack
on Boston. Strange that on the day of the inauguration, the Federal
security apparatus is investigating a possible attack on the home of
the President’s defeated rival. Meanwhile, we have to go to the office
to calm the nerves of our 300 new foreign students, more than half of
whom hail from Asia, and who are probably wondering about all of the
suspicious stares they are getting on the mean streets of Boston….

The FBI launched a massive manhunt across the region yesterday for
six people, four Chinese scientists and two Iraqis, said to be planning
to detonate a "dirty bomb" in Boston, local public safety
officials briefed on the threat said.

At a police briefing yesterday at District A-1 station near Government
Center, a police intelligence official told officers that detectives
in the department would be trained in the use of radiation-sensing devices,
and he gave officers instructions about responding to a dirty bomb attack,
along with descriptions of the suspects.

"
They have modeling software they can use if it happens," said the
officer, who attended the meeting along with representatives of the Fire
Department and emergency medical services. "Within 3 minutes,
they can tell us which direction the wind is blowing in, which streets
to
shut down. They said it is a threat and we’re taking it seriously."

from the Boston Globe