divendres, de desembre 31, 2010

Siii, por fin, que acabe de perecer el hip-hop

http://www.elpais.com/articulo/portada/dance/nuevo/hip-hop/elpepisupep3/20101231elptenpor_7/Tes

MÚSICA

El 'dance' es el nuevo 'hip-hop'

ELOI VÁZQUEZ 31/12/2010

Lo dice David Guetta, culpable de que la música comercial de 2010 se ciñera a la pista de baile. Más Maxima FM, menos 40 Principales.

David Guetta lo vaticinó en 2009. "El dance es el nuevo hip-hop", afirmaba en estas mismas páginas. Su disco One love, combinado con su colaboración con Black Eyed Peas, el megaéxito I gotta feeling, y con la eclosión de Lady Gaga, fue un cóctel explosivo de virus que infectaron de manera irremediable el estándar mainstream de principios de siglo. Fueron el propio Guetta y will.i.am, líder de Black Eyed Peas, los que mantuvieron el pulso hasta acabar imponiéndose con sus producciones para Kelis, Usher o Flo Rida.

En 2010, los ritmos sincopados y las colaboraciones de raperos fueron retirándose de las listas discretamente y con el rabo entre las piernas ante la llegada del abusón y populista cuatro por cuatro, los colchones de teclados de influencia trance y el muro de sonido discotequero. Los singles se confundieron con sus remezclas, y dejó de haber diferencias apreciables entre las listas de éxitos de EE UU y Reino Unido con respecto a las del norte y este de Europa, históricamente más entregadas a la fiesta y el cachondeo veraniego.

El fenómeno podría resumirse con una sola canción: Only girl (in the world), el bombazo de Rihanna. Tras un comienzo disco de tintes clásicos, el tema explota con un magnífico estribillo maximalista en el que Rihanna abre su corazón voz en grito, desde el centro de la pista y mirando a la cabina del pinchadiscos. Sus productores, los noruegos Stargate, cuya discografía incluye clásicos del pop negro reciente como Unfaithful, de la propia Rihanna; Irreplaceable, de Beyoncé, o Closer, de Ne-Yo, son uno de los mejores ejemplos para comprobar la adopción paulatina de estos poco sofisticados parámetros por parte del pop masivo.

Algunos productores estrella de la década pasada como Timbaland y Danja, hasta hace muy poco los reyes del estudio de grabación, se han quedado fuera de la tendencia por distintas razones, a costa de haber perdido casi todo su peso en la industria. Otros como Stargate, Benny Blanco o Dr. Luke han adaptado sus acabados a la nueva sensibilidad. Revisando la lista de las canciones más vendidas y radiadas del año según Billboard se encuentran infinidad de ejemplos de este proceso. Dynamite, de Taio Cruz; OMG, de Usher; Club can't handle me, de Flo Rida; I like it, de Enrique Iglesias, e incluso California Gurls, de Katy Perry, y Tik Tok, de Ke$ha, comparten una estética, para entendernos, más propia de Maxima FM o la catalana Flaix FM que de los 40 Principales, y habrían podido ser confundidas por música de baile de origen europeo hasta hace bien poco.

Proclamar la muerte del r'n'b como lo conocemos desde la explosión de artistas como Aaliyah, Brandy o Destiny's Child sería una exageración. B.O.B. o Drake han triunfado este año en mayor o menor medida con discos más respetuosos con esta tradición, y los ya conocidos The-Dream y Ciara han publicado grandes álbumes para el género. Pero de momento se encuentra arrinconado por la alargada sombra de David Guetta y su sempiterna sonrisa. Nadie más que él podría haberse imaginado algo así.

Rich Bitch :-)

Orientalism as a Tool of Colonialism 1/4

Edward Said, "The Myth of the Clash of Civilizations" 1

diumenge, de desembre 05, 2010

Para pensar...

WikiLeaks cables: Saudi Arabia rated a bigger threat to Iraqi stability than Iran

Baghdad says it can contain influence of Shia neighbour, unlike powerful Gulf state that wants a return to Sunni dominance

Simon Tisdall

Iraqi government officials see Saudi Arabia, not Iran, as the biggest threat to the integrity and cohesion of their fledgling democratic state, leaked US state department cables reveal.

The Iraqi concerns, analysed in a dispatch sent from the US embassy in Baghdad by then ambassador Christopher Hill in September 2009, represent a fundamental divergence from the American and British view of Iran as arch-predator in Iraq.

"Iraq views relations with Saudi Arabia as among its most challenging given Riyadh's money, deeply ingrained anti-Shia attitudes and [Saudi] suspicions that a Shia-led Iraq will inevitably further Iranian regional influence," Hill writes.

"Iraqi contacts assess that the Saudi goal (and that of most other Sunni Arab states, to varying degrees) is to enhance Sunni influence, dilute Shia dominance and promote the formation of a weak and fractured Iraqi government."

Hill's unexpected assessment flies in the face of the conventional wisdom that Iranian activities, overt and covert, are the biggest obstacle to Iraq's development.

It feeds claims, prevalent after the 9/11 attacks, that religiously conservative, politically repressive Saudi Arabia, where most of the 9/11 terrorists came from, is the true enemy of the west.

Hill's analysis has sharp contemporary relevance as rival Shia and Sunni political blocs, backed by Iran and the Saudis respectively, continue to squabble over the formation of a new government in Baghdad, seven months after March's inconclusive national elections.

Hill says Iraqi leaders are careful to avoid harsh criticism of Saudi Arabia's role for fear of offending the Americans, Riyadh's close allies. But resentments simmer below the surface.

"Iraqi officials note that periodic anti-Shia outbursts from Saudi religious figures are often allowed to circulate without sanction or disavowal from the Saudi leadership. This reality reinforces the Iraqi view that the Saudi state religion of Wahhabi Sunni Islam condones religious incitement against Shia."

Hill reports the Saudis have used considerable financial and media resources to support Sunni political aspirations, exert influence over Sunni tribal groups, and undercut the Shia Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI) and Iraqi National Alliance.

Hill adds that some Iraqi observers see Saudi aims as positively malign. "A recent Iraqi press article quoted anonymous Iraqi intelligence sources assessing that Saudi Arabia was leading a Gulf effort to destabilise the Maliki government and was financing 'the current al-Qaida offensive in Iraq'."

Hill and his Iraqi interlocutors are not alone in their suspicions of Saudi policy. At a meeting in Ankara in February this year a senior Turkish foreign ministry official, Feridun Sinirlioglu, told an American envoy that "Saudi Arabia is 'throwing around money' among the political parties in Iraq because it is unwilling to accept the inevitability of Shia dominance there".

Returning to more familiar ground, Hill asserts that Iranian efforts in Iraq are also "driven by a clear determination to see a sectarian, Shia-dominated government that is weak, disenfranchised from its Arab neighbours, detached from the US security apparatus and strategically dependent on Iran". Such an outcome is not in the interests of the US, he notes drily.

But he passes on to Washington the arguments of Iraqi officials who say they know how to "manage" Iran. "Shia contacts ... do not dismiss the significant Iranian influence but argue that it is best countered by Iraqi Shia politicians who know how to deal with Iran." These officials also maintain Iranian interference "is not aimed, unlike that of some Sunni neighbours, at fomenting terrorism that would destabilise the government". They predict Tehran's meddling will "naturally create nationalistic Iraqi resistance to it, both Shia and more broadly, if others do not intervene".

The difficulties encountered by Iranian-backed Shia parties in coming together to form a new government, despite much urging from Tehran and the co-opting of the hardline Iran-based cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, could be seen as evidence that Iran's overall influence has been exaggerated and that public "resistance" to Iran's role is indeed growing.

All the same, American officials continue to blame Iran principally for instigating and fomenting much of the sectarian and insurgent violence that has disfigured Iraq since the 2003 invasion. James Jeffrey, Hill's successor as US ambassador, claimed in August that about one-quarter of all US casualties in Iraq were caused by armed groups backed by Iran.

A Baghdad embassy cable from November 2009 says Iran continues to view Iraq as "a vital foreign policy priority for the Iranian government's efforts to project its ideology and influence in the region". At the head of this effort, it says, is the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps-Qods (Jerusalem) Force, or IRGC-QF, led by Brigadier-General Qasem Soleimani, whose authority is "second only to supreme leader [Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei".

Soleimani has close ties with prominent Iraqi government officials, including the president, Jalal Talibani, and prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, the cable reports. "Khamenei, President [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad, Speaker [Ali] Larijani and former president [Ayatollah Akhbar Hashemi] Rafsanjani consult regularly with visiting GOI [government of Iraq] officials as part of the IRIG's [Islamic Republic of Iran government] broader 'strategic' council of advisers seeking to influence the GOI."

The cable continues that Iran's tools of influence include financial support to and pressure on a cross-spectrum of Iraqi parties and officials; economic development assistance, notably to religious organisations; lethal aid to selected militant Shia proxies; and sanctuary to Iraqi figures fearful of US government targeting, or those seeking to revitalise their political-religious credentials, most notably Moqtada al-Sadr.

"This leverage also extends, to a lesser extent, to select Sunni actors, including such public figures as Iraqi speaker [Iyad al-] Samarra'i, whose September visit to Tehran included meetings with several senior IRIG officials."

The cable comments that Iran is watching the US troop withdrawal schedule closely as it tries to make permanent its "strategic foothold". All US troops are expected to leave Iraq by the end of next year. But the cable's American author also injects some welcome historical perspective.

"Iran will continue to flex its muscles to ensure its strategic outcomes are met. This should not lead to alarmist tendencies or reactions on our part. The next Iraqi government will continue to cultivate close ties with Iran, given longstanding historical realities that precede Iraq's ties with the United States.

"On the other hand Iran's influence should not be overestimated. As the GOI continues to gain its footing, points of divergence between Tehran and Baghdad become increasingly evident on such sensitive bilateral issue as water, hydrocarbons, maritime borders and political parity. Some prominent Iraqi leaders, including those with ties to Iran, are increasingly sensitive to being labelled Iranian lackeys."

A visit last December by US diplomats to the Iraqi holy city of Najaf, the "epicentre of Shia Islam", finds further evidence of Iraqi public resentment of foreign meddling from whatever quarter. One local leader "singled out Saudi Arabia and Iran as the biggest culprits but noted that a 'mental revolution' was under way among Iraqi youth against foreign agendas seeking to undermine the country's stability".

Iraqi sources also tell the visiting Americans that the Iranian government and the IRGC cannot match the "social and political clout" that Iraq's Shia establishment, led by the Shia world's most senior cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, wields among the ordinary citizens of both Iraq and Iran.

Sistani, it is noted, rejects the fundamental tenet of Iranian clerical rule – the unchallengeable "custodianship of the jurist" adopted by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to justify his de facto dictatorship. Seen this way the entire Iranian Islamic revolution is illegitimate.

Carmel blaze is not the only thing burning Israel from the inside

Carmel blaze is not the only thing burning Israel from the inside

Israel needs a revolutionary consolidation of its democratic foundations, in a fashion that causes the transformation of regional fears to genuine regional peace that can enable life impervious to fascism and fire.

By Sefi Rachlevsky

The raging fire exposes the truth: Israel has no infrastructures. Despite its status as a rich country, it lacks basic physical infrastructure such as fire-fighting services because its leadership burns state money in corruption, settlements and financing of extremist yeshivas; and despite its history, Israel lacks democratic infrastructures because its brambly leadership is too busy lighting fires.

In Israel, 53 percent of the Jewish majority now wants the government to encourage the emigration of Israeli Arabs. It's worth looking at that again: An absolute majority of those defined as Jews in Israel want government action to bring about "ethnic cleansing" in the state. A third reading of this finding will aggravate the chill that should run down the spine of Israel's democracy. Twenty years after Kahanism was deemed illegal, 65 years after the racist tragedy in the heart of Europe, most Jewish hearts in Israel pulsate in sync: Kahane was right!

What the eyes see is thus no accident: not by chance is Safed's rabbi remaining at his post; nor is it happenstance that 55 MKs hold blatantly racist views and another 15 parliamentarians assist them in the obtainment of an absolute majority; nor is it an accident that a declared Kahanist plays his flute and leads the entire Knesset on a wave of racist legislation.

Understanding of the historical context worsens the spine chill. A week ago, right before the release of the Wikileaks information, Benjamin Netanyahu looked into his crystal ball, and sketched his updated vision for the eastern Negev as a penal facility and work camp for refugees who are not of the "correct" ethnic origin. Someone looking at this beholder could see a bright smile larger than the grin on the face of the Cheshire cat lapping up a tub of milk. Netanyahu's victorious smile may not only reveal the identity of the possible source but also revealed to the naive his perception of his three-part victory: the weakening of the "danger" posed by effective American involvement for the obtainment of peace; weakening of the region's pragmatic regimes, whose exposure as collaborators lessens their ability to forge a peace accord; and lower barriers toward an American "yellow light" en route to Iran. For leaders of the whole region appeared to light up Israel in green, as though to say, "Bomb, Bibi, bomb!"

But we are not dealing with a mythical figure who sees but is not seen: Israel is a visible, central part of the map, and it is vulnerable to fire. Dramatic changes in relations between the superpowers tend to create revolutionary opportunities, alongside the possibility of the rise of racist fascism. This is a time when existential anxieties mingle with sensations of power, while there is an aspiration to exploit global changes to sever the chains of the past, and of the old, "repressive" morality to carry out "liberating" revenge. This is akin to the context of events that transpired in Europe from the second decade of the last century.

Wikileaks exposed, and thereby accelerated, opportunities laden within structural changes in the superpowers. The decline in American hegemony, which is intertwined with the rise of China, helps the advance of secondary powers connected to this rising superpower, such as Iran and Turkey, and also cultivates new-old dreams of hegemony mingled with revenge impulses harbored by those who see themselves as having been humiliated. These huge strategic shifts yield a dramatic junction. From Israel's standpoint, what is needed at this turning point is a revolutionary consolidation of its democratic foundations, in a fashion that causes the transformation of regional fears to genuine regional peace that can enable life impervious to fascism and fire, of all sorts. However, such a junction also encourages choosing lebensraum for a Jewish-racist world. A world which is likely to happily bring about apocalyptic clashes in the east, collisions featuring the fascist powers that are on the rise there. Another shiver that could run down the spine in the future joins the historical spine chill which occurs when the thronging majority's voice is heard saying "Kahane was right." This is the trembling that happens when one sees a column of black smoke approaching.

diumenge, de novembre 28, 2010

Por qué filtraron lo que filtraron

US embassy cables: The job of the media is not to protect the powerful from embarrassment

It is for governments – not journalists – to guard public secrets, and there is no national jeopardy in WikiLeaks' revelations


Is it justified? Should a newspaper disclose virtually all a nation's secret diplomatic communication, illegally downloaded by one of its citizens? The reporting in the Guardian of the first of a selection of 250,000 US state department cables marks a recasting of modern diplomacy. Clearly, there is no longer such a thing as a safe electronic archive, whatever computing's snake-oil salesmen claim. No organisation can treat digitised communication as confidential. An electronic secret is a contradiction in terms.

Anything said or done in the name of a democracy is, prima facie, of public interest. When that democracy purports to be "world policeman" – an assumption that runs ghostlike through these cables – that interest is global. Nonetheless, the Guardian had to consider two things in abetting disclosure, irrespective of what is anyway published by WikiLeaks. It could not be party to putting the lives of individuals or sources at risk, nor reveal material that might compromise ongoing military operations or the location of special forces.

In this light, two backup checks were applied. The US government was told in advance the areas or themes covered, and "representations" were invited in return. These were considered. Details of "redactions" were then shared with the other four media recipients of the material and sent to WikiLeaks itself, to establish, albeit voluntarily, some common standard.

The state department knew of the leak several months ago and had ample time to alert staff in sensitive locations. Its pre-emptive scaremongering over the weekend stupidly contrived to hint at material not in fact being published. Nor is the material classified top secret, being at a level that more than 3 million US government employees are cleared to see, and available on the defence department's internal Siprnet. Such dissemination of "secrets" might be thought reckless, suggesting a diplomatic outreach that makes the British empire seem minuscule.

The revelations do not have the startling, coldblooded immediacy of the WikiLeaks war logs from Iraq and Afghanistan, with their astonishing insight into the minds of fighting men seemingly detached from the ethics of war. The's disclosures are largely of analysis and high-grade gossip. Insofar as they are sensational, it is in showing the corruption and mendacity of those in power, and the mismatch between what they claim and what they do.

Few will be surprised to know that Vladimir Putin runs the world's most sensational kleptocracy, that the Saudis wanted the Americans to bomb Iran, or that Pakistan's ISI is hopelessly involved with Taliban groups of fiendish complexity. We now know that Washington knows too. The full extent of American dealings with Yemen might upset that country's government, but is hardly surprising. If it is true that the Pentagon targeted refugee camps for bombing, it should be of general concern. American congressmen might also be interested in the sums of money given to certain foreign generals supposedly to pay for military equipment.

The job of the media is not to protect power from embarrassment. If American spies are breaking United Nations rules by seeking the DNA biometrics of the UN director general, he is entitled to hear of it. British voters should know what Afghan leaders thought of British troops. American (and British) taxpayers might question, too, how most of the billions of dollars going in aid to Afghanistan simply exits the country at Kabul airport.

No harm is done by high-class chatter about President Nicolas Sarkozy's vulgarity and lack of house-training, or about the British royal family. What the American embassy in London thinks about the coalition suggests not an alliance at risk but an embassy with a talent problem.

Some stars shine through the banality such as the heroic envoy in Islamabad, Anne Patterson. She pleads that Washington's whole policy is counterproductive: it "risks destabilising the Pakistani state, alienating both the civilian government and the military leadership, and provoking a broader governance crisis without finally achieving the goal". Nor is any amount of money going to bribe the Taliban to our side. Patterson's cables are like missives from the Titanic as it already heads for the bottom.

The money‑wasting is staggering. Aid payments are never followed, never audited, never evaluated. The impression is of the world's superpower roaming helpless in a world in which nobody behaves as bidden. Iran, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, the United Nations, are all perpetually off script. Washington reacts like a wounded bear, its instincts imperial but its power projection unproductive.

America's foreign policy is revealed as a slave to rightwing drift, terrified of a bomb exploding abroad or of a pro-Israeli congressman at home. If the cables tell of the progress to war over Iran or Pakistan or Gaza or Yemen, their revelation might help debate the inanity of policies which, as Patterson says, seem to be leading in just that direction. Perhaps we can now see how catastrophe unfolds when there is time to avert it, rather than having to await a Chilcot report after the event. If that is not in the public's interest, I fail to see what is.

Clearly, it is for governments, not journalists, to protect public secrets. Were there some overriding national jeopardy in revealing them, greater restraint might be in order. There is no such overriding jeopardy, except from the policies themselves as revealed. Where it is doing the right thing, a great power should be robust against embarrassment.

What this saga must do is alter the basis of diplomatic reporting. If WikiLeaks can gain access to secret material, by whatever means, so presumably can a foreign power. Words on paper can be made secure, electronic archives not. The leaks have blown a hole in the framework by which states guard their secrets. The Guardian material must be a breach of the official secrets acts. But coupled with the penetration already allowed under freedom of information, the walls round policy formation and documentation are all but gone. All barriers are permeable. In future the only secrets will be spoken ones. Whether that is a good thing should be a topic for public debate.

diumenge, de novembre 07, 2010

Zaaaz, culebras... ya hasta revisionistas hay de las eleccions de 2008

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/05/AR2010110505214.html

Would we be better off under a President Hillary Clinton?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

As I sat in the East Room last week watching a forlorn President Obama account for his shellacking, I listened with concern as he described the presidency as a "growth process" and suggested that the midterm setback was somehow inevitable. "You know, this is something that I think every president needs to go through," he said.

It brought to mind Hillary Clinton's 3 a.m. phone-call ad from the 2008 campaign, and her withering criticism of Obama: "When there is a crisis . . . there's no time for speeches or on-the-job training." I wondered whether Democrats would be in the fix they're in if they had chosen a different standard-bearer.

Would unemployment have been lower under a President Hillary? Would the Democrats have lost fewer seats on Tuesday? It's impossible to know. But what can be said with confidence is that Clinton's toolkit is a better match for the current set of national woes than they were for 2008, when her support for the Iraq war dominated the campaign.

Back then, Clinton's populist appeal to low-income white voters, union members and workers of the Rust Belt was not enough to overcome Obama's energized youth vote. But Clinton's working-class whites were the very ones who switched to the Republicans on Tuesday.

Back in '08, Clinton's scars from HillaryCare were seen as a liability, proof that she was a product of the old ways of Washington. But now that Obama has himself succumbed to the partisanship, his talk of a "growth process" in office makes Clinton's experience in the trenches look like more of an asset.

Clinton campaign advisers I spoke with say she almost certainly would have pulled the plug on comprehensive health-care reform rather than allow it to monopolize the agenda for 15 months. She would have settled for a few popular items such as children's coverage and a ban on exclusions for pre-existing conditions. That would have left millions uninsured, but it also would have left Democrats in a stronger political position and given them more strength to focus on job creation and other matters, such as immigration and energy.

ad_icon

The Clinton campaign advisers acknowledge that she probably would have done the auto bailout and other things that got Obama labeled as a socialist. The difference is that she would have coupled that help for big business with more popular benefits for ordinary Americans.

Clinton, for example, first called for a 90-day foreclosure moratorium in December 2007, as part of a package to fight the early stages of the mortgage crisis with a five-year freeze on subprime rates and $30 billion to avoid foreclosures. But an Obama campaign adviser dismissed Clinton's moratorium, saying it would "reward people for bad behavior."

Calls for a moratorium returned a few weeks ago with news of lenders' foreclosure abuses. Polls indicate public support for a moratorium, but Obama ruled it out. It's a safe bet Clinton would have done otherwise.

Some differences would have been stylistic. As a senator from New York, Clinton had good relations with Wall Street. As the heir to her husband's donor base, she would have had more executives in government - envoys who would have been able to ease the uncertainty about tax and regulatory policy that has been crippling business.

Most important, there can be little doubt that, whatever policies emerged, she would have maintained a laser focus on the economy; after all, she did that during the 2008 campaign, when it wasn't as central an issue. She got little credit, for example, when she gave a speech in Iowa in November 2007 warning about the dangers of new financial instruments. Now, it seems prescient; then, it sounded boring.

There was plenty not to like about Clinton's campaign, particularly her persistence in the race long after she had a chance. Had she beaten Obama, she might have introduced her own problems (a new entanglement with Iran, perhaps?). But a failure to connect with the common man would not have been among them.

Back in April 2008, a Clinton ad delivered a populist blow to Obama: "When the housing crisis broke, Hillary Clinton called for action: a freeze on foreclosures. Barack Obama said 'no.' . . . People are hurting. It's time for a president who's ready to take action now."

Obama survived the challenge then. But times changed, and the president, feeling "removed" from the people, asked in the East Room how he can give Americans "confidence that I'm listening to them?"

The answer is simple: Do what Hillary would have done.

danamilbank@washpost.com

dijous, de novembre 04, 2010

Una reforma legal termina con la prevalencia del apellido del padre

Una reforma legal termina con la prevalencia del apellido del padre

Las parejas acordarán el orden o se impondrá el alfabético - El proyecto no clarifica el problema de las madres solas obligadas a declarar un progenitor

MARÍA R. SAHUQUILLO - Madrid - 04/11/2010

Se acabó la prevalencia de los apellidos del hombre sobre los de la mujer. El proyecto de ley de Registro Civil determina que los padres deberán especificar qué apellidos lleva su hijo. Ya no se dará por supuesto que priman los del varón. Si la pareja no se pone de acuerdo o no precisa nada, los apellidos del bebé se decidirán por orden alfabético. La nueva ley, aprobada en Consejo de Ministros el pasado julio y que inicia ahora su trámite parlamentario, pretende incorporar el principio de igualdad también al simbolismo que suponen socialmente los apellidos. También facilitará su modificación e incluso contempla el caso especial, y por procedimiento urgente, para víctimas de la violencia familiar.


Desaparece la inscripción sobre si los hijos son de un matrimonio

El riesgo es que a la larga dominen las primeras letras del alfabeto

Mónica Castellanos no ha logrado poner primero sus apellidos a su hija

La norma agiliza el cambio de apellido para víctimas de violencia doméstica

Hasta ahora (desde 1999) una modificación en el reglamento de la actual ley -de 1957- permitía a los padres decidir el orden de los apellidos de los hijos; si no había acuerdo primaba el del padre. Siempre. También si no se especificaba claramente lo contrario. Alterar después el orden de los apellidos podía suponer, además, un auténtico calvario burocrático. Algo que la nueva ley también pretende flexibilizar. "Se facilitará la modificación de los apellidos siempre que sea por causas justificadas, y teniendo en cuenta que los apellidos son elementos de identificación de la persona", explica una portavoz del Ministerio de Justicia que ha participado en la elaboración de la nueva ley.

Con la norma actual, se puede solicitar el cambio tramitando un expediente ante el Registro Civil o el Ministerio de Justicia solo en unos pocos casos. Las modificaciones, además, son complicadísimas. Mónica Castellanos lo ha experimentado. Hace un año tuvo una hija. Su deseo y el de su pareja es que llevara sus apellidos primero. Todavía no lo han logrado. "Mi marido fue a inscribir al registro a la nena y le dijeron que por ley, para cambiar el orden debía presentarme yo en persona", cuenta por teléfono. Como no pudo hacerlo porque se estaba recuperando del parto, se impusieron los apellidos paternos. "Cambiarlos está resultando dificilísimo", se queja esta mujer, quien afirma que la ley actual discrimina a las mujeres.

Para alterar el orden de los apellidos de su hija, Castellanos -que ha interpuesto varios recursos de queja- debe esperar cinco años para solicitar la modificación por el llamado "sistema de uso y costumbre". Es decir, deberá alegar que por costumbre su hija utiliza en primer lugar sus apellidos. Para ello, siempre que puede inscribe a la pequeña con el apellido Castellanos primero. "Es una forma de buscar pruebas que luego me sirvan para interponer la reclamación", explica. "Para otros puede suponer una tontería, pero para mí era muy importante que mi hija tuviera mis apellidos primero", afirma.

Los apellidos tienen un alto contenido simbólico. No hay que olvidar que hasta que se permitió la alteración de orden de los apellidos, tener un varón era la única manera de garantizar la continuidad y pervivencia del apellido. Sin embargo, se solicitan cambios o alteraciones en ellos no solo por estas cuestiones. O por el propio hábito de haber dejado de utilizar un apellido de uso común en aras de otro más llamativo o con el que uno se identifica más. La nueva ley incorpora, por ejemplo, la posibilidad de que se pueda solicitar su cambio, y por procedimiento urgente, en los casos de violencia de género. Un paso "clave" para la abogada de familia y presidenta de la Coordinadora de Organizaciones de Mujeres para la Igualdad (Compi), Consuelo Abril. Y es que se han dado casos de hijos de mujeres que han sido asesinadas por sus parejas que han buscado por todos los medios eliminar el rastro del maltratador, extirpando, incluso, sus apellidos. "Se impone el sentido común. Para algunas personas acciones como estas son importantísimas. Para algunos hijos de mujeres asesinadas o maltratadas es un auténtico drama llevar el apellido de ese hombre", dice Consuelo Abril. Queda pendiente del desarrollo cómo aplicar esto en caso de menores de edad.

La decisión de dejar al orden alfabético la elección de los apellidos en caso de conflicto genera cierta polémica. Justicia sostiene que se ha buscado ese criterio como el más objetivo para que no prevalezca, y se fomente la igualdad, ni el apellido del padre ni el de la madre. Para ello, explica, se ha estudiado la legislación de otros países en los que se puede elegir el orden de los apellidos. En Alemania, por ejemplo, se lanza una moneda al aire para tomar la decisión, en caso de que los padres no se pongan de acuerdo.

Patricia López Peláez, profesora titular de Derecho Civil de la Uned, explica que ese sistema alfabético puede provocar que, en unos años, terminen prevaleciendo los apellidos de la primera parte del alfabeto. "Pero es cierto que se ha buscado un criterio objetivo para no discriminar ni favorecer a ninguno de los miembros de la pareja", explica.

Si todo va bien, y la nueva ley se aprueba en su trámite parlamentario sin cambios, entrará en vigor dentro de dos años. Un largo plazo que se explica por la extensa reforma a la que se enfrenta el Registro Civil. Y es que la reforma no solo se ciñe al cambio en las inscripciones de los nacimientos. También se pondrá en marcha una renovación profunda del sistema informático. Dejarán de expedirse, por ejemplo, los tradicionales libros de familia; y cada ciudadano tendrá una ficha personal y única donde constará todo su historial civil (matrimonios, separaciones...).

Pero al margen de la intensidad de la reforma y sus consecuencias sociales, la nueva ley deja un fleco suelto en espera de un desarrollo normativo posterior: no reglamenta qué hacer con las mujeres solas que, en algunos registros, se siguen encontrando con la exigencia de cumplimentar el apartado del padre. Una norma que nació con la intención de evitar a los hijos el posible estigma de no tener padre conocido, planteamiento hoy en día superado. El artículo 191 del reglamento del Registro Civil dice que cuando no se conozca quiénes son los padres del niño se pondrán en el lugar de los nombres de padre o madre otros de uso corriente. "Algo que se hace como mecanismo para identificar a una persona", explica el profesor de Derecho Civil de la Universidad de Navarra Javier Fajardo. "Una fórmula para hijos abandonados que la dirección general de los registros ha aplicado cuando solo consta la filiación de la madre y no quien es el padre; así que se suele inscribir un nombre usual cuando no se tiene constancia de quién es el padre", sigue Fajardo. Justicia asegura que esto ya no es así. Los expertos, sin embargo, señalan que se sigue produciendo.

El proyecto de ley sí regula claramente uno de los elementos discriminatorios que no recogió la reforma de la ley del 1957: la mención de hijos matrimoniales e hijos no matrimoniales. La norma que ahora inicia su trámite parlamentario no permitirá ninguna referencia al estado civil de los padres. "Con esto ahondamos en el tratamiento igualitario y adaptamos más la ley a los tiempos", dice una portavoz de Justicia.

diumenge, d’octubre 31, 2010

How Churchill 'starved' India

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/soutikbiswas/2010/10/how_churchill_starved_india.html

How Churchill 'starved' India

Soutik Biswas | 15:50 UK time, Thursday, 28 October 2010

Victims of the famine in Bengal, 1943

It is 1943, the peak of the Second World War. The place is London. The British War Cabinet is holding meetings on a famine sweeping its troubled colony, India. Millions of natives mainly in eastern Bengal, are starving. Leopold Amery, secretary of state for India, and Field Marshal Sir Archibald Wavell, soon to be appointed the new viceroy of India, are deliberating how to ship more food to the colony. But the irascible Prime Minister Winston Churchill is coming in their way.


"Apparently it is more important to save the Greeks and liberated countries than the Indians and there is reluctance either to provide shipping or to reduce stocks in this country," writes Sir Wavell in his account of the meetings. Mr Amery is more direct. "Winston may be right in saying that the starvation of anyhow under-fed Bengalis is less serious than sturdy Greeks, but he makes no sufficient allowance for the sense of Empire responsibility in this country," he writes.

Some three million Indians died in the famine of 1943. The majority of the deaths were in Bengal. In a shocking new book, Churchill's Secret War, journalist Madhusree Mukherjee blames Mr Churchill's policies for being largely responsible for one of the worst famines in India's history. It is a gripping and scholarly investigation into what must count as one of the most shameful chapters in the history of the Empire.

The scarcity, Mukherjee writes, was caused by large-scale exports of food from India for use in the war theatres and consumption in Britain - India exported more than 70,000 tonnes of rice between January and July 1943, even as the famine set in. This would have kept nearly 400,000 people alive for a full year. Mr Churchill turned down fervent pleas to export food to India citing a shortage of ships - this when shiploads of Australian wheat, for example, would pass by India to be stored for future consumption in Europe. As imports dropped, prices shot up and hoarders made a killing. Mr Churchill also pushed a scorched earth policy - which went by the sinister name of Denial Policy - in coastal Bengal where the colonisers feared the Japanese would land. So authorities removed boats (the lifeline of the region) and the police destroyed and seized rice stocks.

Mukherjee tracks down some of the survivors of the famine and paints a chilling tale of the effects of hunger and deprivation. Parents dumped their starving children into rivers and wells. Many took their lives by throwing themselves in front of trains. Starving people begged for the starchy water in which rice had been boiled. Children ate leaves and vines, yam stems and grass. People were too weak even to cremate their loved ones. "No one had the strength to perform rites," a survivor tells Mukherjee. Dogs and jackals feasted on piles of dead bodies in Bengal's villages. The ones who got away were men who migrated to Calcutta for jobs and women who turned to prostitution to feed their families. "Mothers had turned into murderers, village belles into whores, fathers into traffickers of daughters," writes Mukherjee.


Winston Churchill during the Second War

The famine ended at the end of the year when survivors harvested their rice crop. The first shipments of barley and wheat reached those in need only in November, by which time tens of thousands had already perished. Throughout the autumn of 1943, the United Kingdom's food and raw materials stockpile for its 47 million people - 14 million fewer than that of Bengal - swelled to 18.5m tonnes.

In the end, Mukherjee writes eloquently, it was "not so much racism as the imbalance of power inherent in the social Darwinian pyramid that explains why famine could be tolerated in India while bread rationing was regarded as an intolerable deprivation in wartime Britain". For colonial apologists, the book is essential reading. It is a terrifying account of how colonial rule is direly exploitative and, in this case, made worse by a man who made no bones of his contempt for India and its people.

My bright idea: English is on the up but one day will die out

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/oct/31/nicholas-ostler-my-bright-idea

My bright idea: English is on the up but one day will die out

Although spoken by vast numbers worldwide, the English language is doomed to die out, says a celebrated linguist

  • Robert McCrum
  • nicholas-ostler-my-bright-idea
    Speaking out: Linguist Nicholas Ostler pictured in his library. Photograph: Karen Robinson

    In the contentious and overcrowded world of English language studies, Nicholas Ostler stands out as an original analyst of a subject that usually generates more heat than light. Ostler's Empires of the Word (2005) was a critically acclaimed history of the world's languages based on his deep knowledge of linguistic theory and a familiarity with around 26 languages.

    1. The Last Lingua Franca: English Until the Return of Babel
    2. by Nicholas Ostler
    3. Buy it from the Guardian bookshop

    In his new book, The Last Lingua Franca (Allen Lane), he brings a wide-ranging linguistic perspective to bear on the role and future of global English. His provocative conclusion – that English is likely to go the way of Persian, Sanskrit and Latin and, over many hundreds of years, inevitably die out – will bring hope to the French and dismay to many American linguistic patriots.

    Ostler is the chairman of the Foundation for Endangered Languages, a non-profit organisation that exists to support, enable and assist the documentation, protection and promotion of endangered languages. He lives in Bath.

    Can you express the central theme of your book in a nutshell?

    English is on an up at the moment, an up that is probably unprecedented in world history. But world history is full of languages that have dominated for a time, yet there aren't too many of them around now. So the essential idea is to see what happened to them and see if this could possibly be relevant to the situation of English, which is the world's lingua franca today.

    Surely the historical circumstances that led to the decline of a language such as Persian are very different from the circumstances in which English finds itself today?

    Well, inevitably they are different in that Persian only dominated western Asia and it was disempowered by the invasion of aliens, people coming from effectively another planet: the British in India on one hand, the Russians in central Asia on the other. In the history of languages, it usually takes centuries for the inevitable to come about. It probably took 700 years after Persian no longer had any obvious military or cultural means of support for it to be discredited. In the case of a language such as Latin, it took a millennium. So these things do take a long time, but there's no reason to believe that English is going to be the exception to the sort of trends one can discern.

    But global capitalism, global media, global politics – isn't that a lot to discount if English will ultimately disappear?

    Yes, but this sort of thing has happened in the past. I mean, do you have an explanation for why Latin wasn't given a massive buck-up by the invention of the printing press? It did get an immediate fillip, because to start with the literate public predominantly read Latin. But the trend towards vernacular literacy tended to overwhelm Latin. At the moment, English-speaking groups are very much in their ascendancy, but there is only one way to go from an ascendancy.

    How will new technologies – the sort of things that allow instant translation between languages – shape the future?

    It's been the received wisdom in language technology that machine translation isn't good enough. But all that's preventing it from being good enough is just a problem of scale. The way that machine translation is now being pushed forward simply involves being able to process more and more data in order to find the significant patterns. The power and cheapness of computers is increasing all the time. There's no way that the little problem of incompatibility between languages is going to stand in the way of it for long.

    And because it's being done in a data-based way, the techniques which will solve the problem will solve it for all languages, not just the big important ones. So even remote Aboriginal groups will benefit – maybe a generation later, maybe sooner. And when that happens, people will be able to fulfil themselves through their own language, which is what they always wanted to do anyway.

    Conventional wisdom used to be that new forms of English – Jamaican patois or Singlish [English-based creole spoken and written colloquially in Singapore] – would become mutually unintelligible. But that hasn't happened yet.

    Well, it's happening gradually. But I want to draw a distinction between a language which is spread through nurture, a mother tongue, and a language that is spread through recruitment, which is a lingua franca. A lingua franca is a language that you consciously learn because you need to, because you want to. A mother tongue is a language that you learn because you can't help it. The reason English is spreading around the world at the moment is because of its utility as a lingua franca. Globish – a simplified version of English that's used around the world – will be there as long as it is needed, but since it's not being picked up as a mother tongue, it's not typically being spoken by people to their children. It is not getting effectively to first base, the most crucial first base for long-term survival of a language.

    You run the Foundation for Endangered Languages. What does that do?

    Half the world's languages have fewer than 10,000 speakers and these seem to be losing the speakers they have. The point of the foundation is to raise this as a matter of concern and to bring people who are concerned with these languages together, so they can learn from each other.

dijous, d’octubre 21, 2010

diumenge, d’octubre 10, 2010

Vergüenza, vergüenza, pero bueno, ai la lleva la Comunidad LGBT en Serbia

http://www.elpais.com/articulo/internacional/centenar/heridos/Belgrado/choques/grupos/homofobos/policias/elpepuint/20101010elpepuint_6/Tes

Más de un centenar de heridos en Belgrado en choques entre grupos homófobos y policías

Grupos de jóvenes ultras homófobos se oponen a la primera marcha del orgullo gay, celebrado hoy en la capital serbia

Al menos 122 personas han resultado heridas, 102 de ellos policías, en enfrentamientos entre las fuerzas del orden y grupos de jóvenes ultras homófobos opuestos a la primera marcha del orgullo gay, que se celebra hoy en Belgrado, según los datos del Centro serbio de Urgencia. El desfile, en el que ha participado cerca de un millar de personas en medio de grandes medidas de seguridad, ha finalizado ya su recorrido.

Antes de que empezara la marcha gay, los grupos que se oponían a esa manifestación han atacado a los policías a pedradas, con bengalas, botellas y ladrillos en diferentes accesos a las calles por las que ha pasado el desfile, en una zona del centro de la ciudad donde se hallan edificios de varias instituciones estatales. Más de 5.000 policías antidisturbios y miembros de la gendarmería están desplegados en el centro de la ciudad y también en helicópteros que sobrevuelan la zona.

En la céntrica plaza de Slavija los agentes policía han lanzado gas lacrimógeno para dispersar a un grupo de unos 150 ultras, que más tarde se han desplazado a un lugar cercano donde han destruido un vehículo policial y han roto los cristales de dos autobuses. En otras zonas del centro, grupos de extremistas han destrozado varios contenedores, automóviles, una pilar del tendido eléctrico y han incendiado el edificio donde está la sede del Partido Democrático (DS), el principal de la coalición gobernante.

El ministro para los Derechos Humanos y de las Minorías, Svetozar Ciplic, así como otros miembros del gobierno y diputados serbios, represenantes de organizaciones no gubernamentales e internacionales, han participado en la marcha. Tras concluir el desfile, los participantes se han congregado en el Centro de Cultura Estudiantil, también en el centro de Belgrado, donde celebran una fiesta.

Oposición de la iglesia ortodoxa

La iglesia ortodoxa serbia se ha mostrado contraria a la organización de la marcha gay y de la expresión pública de la orientación sexual, pero ha pedido que no haya violencia hacia esas personas. Algunas organizaciones ultraderechistas habían exigido a las autoridades que cancelen "la vergonzosa e innecesaria" manifestación, y celebraron ayer protestas "en defensa de la familia" y "marchas de respuesta" al desfile de los homosexuales.

En Belgrado y otras ciudades serbias han aparecido en los últimos días numerosas pancartas e inscripciones con mensajes de ofensa y amenazas contra los homosexuales. El año pasado, la marcha del orgullo gay en Belgrado tuvo que ser cancelada debido a la amenaza de grupos nacionalistas radicales y a la poca coordinación entre las instituciones estatales y los organizadores de la manifestación. En 2001 la que hubiese sido la primera marcha gay en la capital serbia fue suspendida después de que radicales atacaran e hirieran a varios participantes y policías.

dimarts, d’octubre 05, 2010

Interesante artículo sobre la condición argentina

http://www.elpais.com/articulo/opinion/Maradona/metafora/argentina/elpepiopi/20101005elpepiopi_13/Tes

TRIBUNA: JOHN CARLIN Y CARLOS PIERINI

Maradona como metáfora argentina

¿Hay alguna relación entre el futbolista y el peronismo? Sí, cuando se eligen entrenadores, presidentes o sistemas de características populistas, autoritarias y con pocos pies sobre la tierra, el resultado es el fracaso

JOHN CARLIN Y CARLOS PIERINI 05/10/2010

Se dice con frecuencia que la solución a los problemas de la África subsahariana es la educación; que los recursos naturales abundan y si solo se pudiera proporcionar un buen nivel educativo a la gente el continente despegaría. No necesariamente. Miren el caso de Argentina. Todos los recursos naturales que quieran, una bajísima densidad de población y, a lo largo de la mayor parte del siglo XX, índices escolares que no han tenido nada que envidiar a Europa occidental. Pero hoy, en un país que hace 100 años era uno de los 10 más ricos del mundo, la tercera parte de los recién nacidos están condenados a crecer en la pobreza, si es que logran crecer. Ocho niños menores de cinco años mueren al día debido a la desnutrición en un país que debería ser, como hace tiempo fue, el granero del mundo. Semejante aberración florece en un contexto político en el que a lo largo de más de medio siglo juntas militares han alternado el poder con Gobiernos populistas, corruptos o incompetentes. El actual Gobierno peronista de la presidenta Cristina Fernández de Kirchner (como el anterior, de su marido Néstor Kirchner) es más afín al de Hugo Chávez en Venezuela o al de Daniel Ortega en Nicaragua que a los Gobiernos pragmáticos y serios de Brasil, Chile o el vecino Uruguay donde, por cierto, hoy se consume más carne per cápita que en Argentina. ¿Dónde ha quedado la famosa Justicia Social proclamada hasta el cansancio por el peronismo que ha gobernado la mayor parte del período democrático instaurado en 1983? ¿Cuál es el problema?

El problema es Diego Maradona. O, para ser más precisos, lo encarna, como símbolo, Maradona, el "Diez", "el Dios Argentino", el ídolo nacional por goleada. La idolatría a los líderes redentores, el culto a la viveza y (su hermano gemelo) el desprecio por la ética del trabajo, el narcisismo, la fe en las soluciones mágicas, el impulso a exculparse achacando los males a otros, el fantochismo son características que no definen a todos los argentinos, pero que Maradona representa en caricatura payasesca y que la mayoría de la población, aquella misma incapaz de perder la fe en el peronismo, aplaude no con risas sino con perversa seriedad. El punto de partida es la negación de la realidad. Este es el terreno en el que opera Maradona y en el que su legión de devotos se adentra -como por ejemplo los 20.000 que fueron al aeropuerto de Ezeiza para darle las gracias tras la desastrosa actuación en el Mundial de Sudáfrica- para adorarle.

Esos mismos que disfrutaban como locos con las grotescas actitudes y dichos del ídolo -"¡que la chupen!"- fueron en manada a vitorearlo al llegar a Buenos Aires después de la goleada de 4-0 que Alemania le propinó, expulsando a su selección del Mundial. Presos de la nostalgia, no olvidan nunca que "ÉL" hizo el famoso gol con la "mano de Dios"; o sea que su mano y la mano de Dios son la misma mano. "EL" es uno con "DIOS". La manada entonces, mientras grita para adentro, "¡Si estamos unidos a Dios Maradona compartiremos toda su gloria!", grita para afuera: Maradooooooona, Maradooooooona. Y no olvidemos el dicho nacional, al mismo tiempo jocoso y lleno de convicción, "¡Dios es argentino!".

Diego Maradona fue un monumental jugador de fútbol. Pero la fama justificada no da títulos, ni derechos, ni conocimientos para opinar con absoluta certeza acerca de casi todo y al mismo tiempo desautorizar a todo aquel que no esté de acuerdo con sus ideas. En Argentina, mientras avergonzaba a algunos, hacía gritar de entusiasmo a muchos más. Creían, orgullosos, que unidos al " ídolo" todo el mundo "se la chupaba". En realidad el que se ha chupado todo, desde alcohol hasta cocaína, ha sido Maradona. Nadie lo acusa ni lo maltrata por su triste enfermedad. Solo se trata de señalar su soberbia desconsiderada, de carácter profundamente narcisista, base de sus penosas afecciones del alma, metáfora de la patología crónica de un país.

Hace 15 días Maradona dio su primera entrevista desde la debacle de Sudáfrica. El ex director técnico de la selección argentina, al que se le oyó diciendo minutos antes de aquel partido que su equipo iba a dar una lección de fútbol a los alemanes, no ofreció ni análisis, ni explicación por la derrota, salvo decir que el portero alemán estuvo "muy seguro" y después del 2-0 "nos vinimos abajo". Con un poco de suerte (la magia de la suerte lo abandonó, ¿el otro Dios estaba en su contra?) el partido se hubiera ganado. Culpa por el desastre no aceptó ninguna.

En cuanto a la victoria argentina 4-1 el mes pasado contra el campeón del mundo, España, bajo el mando de un nuevo seleccionador, confesó que prefirió no ver el partido. Claro. Porque ver aquel partido hubiera significado chocarse con la realidad y arriesgar salir del autoengaño enfermizo que le permitió afirmar en la misma entrevista que -avalado por el ex presidente Néstor Kirchner, que en una reunión la semana pasada le "felicitó" por el Mundial- él seguía siendo el candidato idóneo para dirigir la selección. "Daría la vida", dijo, "daría un brazo" por recuperar el puesto.

El fracaso de Maradona en el Mundial fue el espejo del fracaso de Argentina como país. Por un lado, una falta de rigor y humildad en la planificación; por otro, un derroche de los recursos disponibles. Talento sobraba, salvo que por amiguismo, ceguera, populismo patriotero o sencilla idiotez Maradona decidió no convocar a la mitad de los mejores; no solo no explotó los recursos que tenía, no los quiso ni ver. El nuevo seleccionador, Sergio Batista, puso en el campo contra España a cuatro jugadores básicos que Maradona ni siquiera había convocado para Sudáfrica y lo que se vio fue un equipo sólido que hubiera sabido competir contra Alemania, como contra cualquiera en el Mundial. Es decir, el sentido común existe en Argentina; solo que demasiadas veces, obliterado por la luz maradoniana, brilla por su ausencia.

En el sistema maradoniano solamente brilla la ilusión. Dentro de este sistema de pensamiento las cosas terminan no teniendo ni pies ni cabeza. Resultado: fracaso en la vida y arrastrando en el fracaso, en este caso, a la selección argentina, pero también se puede arrastrar a toda una nación. Recorriendo la historia del siglo XX sabemos la potencia destructiva de la ilusión cuando no es contrabalanceada por la realidad terrenal, nunca tan agradable ella como los espejismos de la ficción.

Cuando llevados por la fantasía se eligen directores técnicos o presidentes o sistemas de características populistas, autoritarios y antidemocráticos, con pocos pies sobre la tierra, el resultado inevitable es el fracaso. Un director técnico que no tiene ni ha tenido capacidad para manejar su vida, que además no es director técnico (por preparación) y por lo tanto al titularse así toma las características de un impostor, tuvo como resultado el descalabro de la selección argentina. Puede ocurrir nuevamente algo similar con la Argentina misma si los directores técnicos, léase la pareja que lleva siete años en el poder, siguen el camino compulsivamente repetitivo de la tergiversación permanente de la realidad. El endiosamiento de seres Ídolos-Dioses a los que no se debe criticar, como a Perón, Evita, Maradona, Cristina Fernández o Néstor Kirchner, intocables seres sin errores, lleva al fracaso reiterativo y doloroso que arrastra a millones de argentinos al sufrimiento. El granero del mundo se va convirtiendo en un país lleno además de granos de pústulas creadas por el sistema: fracaso, pobreza, desnutrición, inseguridad, criminalidad, destrucción de las instituciones, ataque permanente a la prensa opositora, ataque a la ley, destrucción de la educación (eso también) y llegamos entonces a que la fantasía de ser un pueblo "protegido" por los Dioses cae en una triste y ridícula realidad.

Las sociedades propensas a alimentar estas ilusiones, caen en la seducción hipnótica de líderes de estas características. Son sociedades cerradas, como dice Karl Popper, con un fuerte carácter autoritario, convicciones inamovibles y preponderancia al pensamiento mágico. En estos casos el horizonte de expectativas está absolutamente distorsionado por las ilusiones y las consecuencias se traducen en un sinnúmero de fracasos compulsivamente repetitivos. Decía Albert Einstein que la locura era repetir lo mismo una y otra vez, esperando diferentes resultados. Eso es lo que propone Maradona al reafirmar su derecho a dirigir la selección de fútbol. Al apoyar su estrambótica candidatura, los Kirchner, eso sí, están siendo consecuentes. Ellos también piden, pese al fracaso mundialista de su gestión, como el de los regímenes peronistas que los precedieron, que se prolongue su dinastía en las elecciones generales del año que viene. Es probable que lo consigan. Sería la victoria del pensamiento mágico maradoniano, sobre el que el sol de la bandera argentina nunca se pone.

John Carlin, periodista, vivió 10 años en Argentina; Carlos Pierini trabaja como médico psicoanalista en Buenos Aires.

dimarts, de setembre 28, 2010

xD

http://www.elpais.com/articulo/cultura/llamemos/arte/arte/contemporaneo/elpepicul/20100928elpepicul_1/Tes

ENTREVISTA: MARC FUMAROLI Pensador y ensayista

"No llamemos arte al arte contemporáneo"

J. M. MARTÍ FONT - Barcelona - 28/09/2010

El viejo polemista francés vuelve a la carga. Si hace 20 años fustigó con saña la 'grandeur' cultural de la V República, de Malraux a Jack Lang, su nuevo ensayo se las ve con lo que considera las grandes falacias culturales de nuestro tiempo

La historia no tiene un sentido determinado y el arte contemporáneo no merece ser llamado arte. Marc Fumaroli (Marsella, 1932) ha estado en Barcelona para presentar París-Nueva York- París. Viaje al mundo de las artes y de las imágenes (Acantilado), "un panfleto erudito", en palabras de su editor, en el que vuelve al eterno debate entre los antiguos y los modernos.

Pregunta. ¿Es usted reaccionario?

Respuesta. ¿Reaccionario? Es verdad que me gusta mucho reaccionar y las gentes que reaccionan están muy vivas. Lo tomo en el sentido exacto del término. No creo que la historia tenga un sentido ni que tengamos que inclinarnos ante el sentido de la historia. La gente que me interesa son aquellos que van contracorriente. He conocido la época en la que todo el mundo marchaba en el sentido de la historia, que no era otro que el que se marcaba desde Moscú. Me hace feliz estar contracorriente e incluso ser muy reaccionario. Cierto, ahora hay que reaccionar contra otras cosas distintas a las del momento en el que la URSS era considerada en Francia como la promesa del futuro de la humanidad.

P. Hay quien dice que Francia es un país soviético que ha tenido éxito.

R. O que Francia es el último país del Este, sí, pero no hay que tomárselo en serio. Lo que sí es cierto es que nuestra modernidad es nuestro Estado, lo que desde el punto de vista anglosajón es una cosa extraña, pero ahora lo hemos sustituido por la sumisión servil a una imagen falsa que Europa se hace de Estados Unidos.

P. Es usted especialmente crítico con el arte contemporáneo, con esta concepción del arte espectáculo...

R. No solo del arte espectáculo, sino del arte negocio. Hay una nueva clase social que surge de la acumulación del dinero en una esfera extremadamente estrecha, pero mundial. Estos millonarios ya no quieren tener en casa un tiziano o un delacroix, sino signos exteriores de riqueza. Y eso es lo que les proporcionan las galerías que les ofrecen tiburones dentro de tanques de formol o juguetes sofisticados como los que produce Jeff Koons.

P. ¿No cree que este arte pueda llegar a ser popular?

R. A la gente le gustan otras cosas, el deporte, la música rock... No me parece mal. Lo que me resulta odioso es vender a esta gente, que no lo quiere y que tampoco se lo puede permitir, un arte reservado a la imagen de los famosos. La gente común va mucho más al museo del Louvre, a los museos de arte antiguo... Esos lugares convocan auténticas peregrinaciones.

P. ¿En qué momento el arte toma esta deriva? ¿La culpa la tiene Marcel Duchamp?

R. No, claro que no. ¡Pobre Duchamp! Era un snob francés muy elegante que jamás se hubiera encontrado con Warhol. Lo suyo era el privilegio de pequeños grupos muy exquisitos. Cuando el MOMA hizo la primera retrospectiva de Warhol, Duchamp devolvió la invitación, que no era sino la imagen de La Gioconda con bigotes, que él mismo había realizado. Consideró obsceno que aquel mal artista utilizara una imagen que él había inventado para hacerse su propia publicidad. Hay un mundo entre Duchamp y Warhol. La fórmula de Duchamp era: 'todo lo que se pone en un museo se convierte en obra de arte'. Warhol la utiliza en el sentido de que todo lo que hay en los supermercados puede entrar en museo y convertirse en obra de arte. Nunca Duchamp pensó esto.

P. ¿La línea roja la marcaría el pop americano?

R. Creo que ha influido mucho transportándonos a este universo que no está hecho para los europeos. Hay un punto común en el arte, la exigencia de una obra, y hemos entrado en un mundo en el que el arte no supone una obra, sino solo un concepto, una cosa efímera que durará un tiempo breve y que, momentáneamente excita un poco a los periodistas. Esta es la gran ruptura. No hay derecho a utilizar la palabra arte para lo que se llama el arte contemporáneo, no lo llamemos así; habrá que inventar otra palabra, tal vez entertainment para millonarios.

P. Pero hay artistas que aún hacen arte...

R. Sí, pero no tienen el favor de los medios de comunicación, ni de los museos. En España hay gente interesante, hay pintores notables. Si vuelve la pintura y la escultura, lo que sucederá, España estará en primera fila. Sartre dijo una vez: hay gente retrasada que está por delante.

P. ¿No será usted sartriano?

R. No, pero sucede que Sartre, de vez en cuando, dijo algunas verdades. Sartre es un fenómeno de la posguerra, un profesor que nunca debió ocupar el lugar que tuvo, pero la guerra y el hecho de que una buena parte de la intelligentsia francesa fuera colaboracionista le convirtió en una especie de vedette que nunca debió ser. Y él se volvió loco, a fuerza de creerse vedette. Personalmente -y no soy el único-, nunca consideré que Sartre fuera un maître à penser.

P. Tampoco parece tener usted muchas simpatías por el Mayo del 68.

R. El único aspecto simpático de la gente de Mayo del 68 es que se reían del general De Gaulle y del gaullismo, que en el fondo era un régimen estrecho, mezquino. Por lo demás no hicieron más que abrir la puerta a la mercantilización general del universo. Todos se han convertido en capitalistas y en controladores del sistema mediático. Los sesentayochistas son quienes ahora tienen el poder. Desde el primer momento me di cuenta de que no eran más que hedonistas que se iban a lanzar a la sociedad de consumo.

P. Pero hubo varios 68...

R. Sí, en Estados Unidos era mucho más interesante, porque era un movimiento anticapitalista, un movimiento un poco ingenuo pero antiutilitarista, se trataba de reencontrar la felicidad, la voluptuosidad, la naturaleza... Estaba Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, era un movimiento de salida del universo material, fordista, había algo noble en ello. En Francia era totalmente glacial, la gente que estaba vendida de antemano, gente como Cohn Bendit... insoportable. Ahora se les ve gordos, viejos.

P. ¿Es usted un optimista o un melancólico?

R. Es necesario un optimismo que sea capaz de absorber el pesimismo, no de esconderlo o rechazarlo, sino de devorarlo, de quemarlo. En la medicina antigua había la idea de que los melancólicos podían ser locos o genios. Los unos quemaban su melancolía y se convertían en genios iluminados por el incendio, y los otros se volvían locos porque la melancolía es pesada y aplasta, es como el petróleo. Es profundamente verdadera esta idea. Ahora estamos en la fase del petróleo y estamos ahogados por el petróleo. La literatura, cuando vuelva, será la literatura de lo grotesco, porque hacer reír ya es curar. Hacen falta dos o tres Rabelais.

dimecres, de setembre 22, 2010

Zaz!!!!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2010/sep/22/commonwealth-games-crisis-48-hours

Commonwealth Games given 48 hours to save itself
Team officials warn they will pull athletes out if concerns about the standard of facilities are not immediately addressed

Jason Burke in Delhi and Owen Gibson
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 22 September 2010 19.23 BST
Article history

Commonwealth Games organisers in Delhi were tonight given 48 hours to save the crisis-hit event after team officials warned they would pull their athletes out if serious ongoing concerns about the standard of facilities were not immediately addressed.
The sense of impending crisis was exacerbated when a section of the ceiling in the weightlifting arena fell down amid growing fears over rising flood waters near the athlete's village, which had already been condemned by team officials as "filthy" and "unfit for human occupation".
With the Games at risk of descending into farce, thousands of athletes from the major competing nations remained in the dark about whether or not they would be boarding a plane to compete.
The Scottish team delayed the departure of the first batch of their 192 athletes, comprising 41 boxers, rugby players, wrestlers and support staff. The Wales team set a deadline of tonight to receive reassurances from organisers that the athlete's village and venues would be "fit for purpose" and plan to discuss the issue further tomorrow.
The first batch of 22 English athletes, including the lawn bowls team and the men's hockey squad, are due to fly out tomorrow as planned, but the English chef de mission, Craig Hunter, said organisers were not making nearly enough progress on the ground.
A mass walkout remains an option, with the "point of no return" seen as early next week. The main competing countries would be likely to act in concert and are in constant communication with one another.
Michael Cavanagh, chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland, said any decision would be a joint one and insisted that any knock on effects for the Glasgow Games in 2014 would not be a factor.
"In terms of withdrawal we don't see this as simply a Team Scotland decision," he said. "Any decision to withdraw we would see as being a collective decision amongst the countries who are already there and already concerned."
He added: "We can't allow ourselves to be influenced by thoughts of how it may impact on 2014, not when we have something as important as the safety of our athletes to consider."
Although England had been allocated one of the more habitable of the 34 blocks in the athlete's village, Hunter told the Guardian there had "not been much progress" in ensuring that it was fit for habitation in the week he had been there.
"I'm trying to remain eternally optimistic. But at some point we will reach the point of no return and that is when we will have to decide."
While organisers continued to insist there were only "minor issues", Hunter said that was patently not the case.
Commonwealth Games Federation president, Mike Fennell, will arrive in Delhi tomorrow and is likely to meet with the Indian prime minister for crisis talks aimed at saving the Games. Mike Hooper, CWF chief executive, said he would be seeking to draw a line under the blame game that has already begun and put pressure on the government to avoid more international embarrassment.
"There is a problem, it needs fixing. I'm not into pointing fingers. They have the next couple of days to put things right," said Hooper. He said that while venues were built to a high standard, and he had no concerns over security, the sorry state of the village was a huge worry.
The beleaguered Delhi chief minister, Sheila Dikshit, played down the problems and accused the media of damaging India's image. "Something may be dripping, some tile may collapse, doesn't mean the entire Games are bad," she told reporters.
It is now known that the accident on Tuesday, in which 27 were injured when a bridge connecting the athletes' carpark to the main Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium collapsed, was caused when a metal pin worked loose detaching the main structure from its suspension cables.
Five workers remained in a critical condition, several with serious spinal injuries. Most of the injured were contracted labourers from poor rural areas. Campaigners say dozens of workers have been killed and hundreds injured in a succession of accidents at Games venues.
The world discus champion, Dani Samuels, of Australia pulled out of the Games because of security and health concerns, as did England's world triple jump champion, Phillips Idowu. A host of other big name athletes, including Usain Bolt and Sir Chris Hoy, had already withdrawn for a variety of reasons.
Foreign secretary, William Hague, said: "I hope these problems can be dealt with. We want them sorted out as rapidly as possible. Let's encourage the organisers to put these things right so the athletes can take part as they should be doing."

dimarts, de setembre 21, 2010

Jajajajaja

http://lacomunidad.elpais.com/paco-nadal/posts

20 Sep 2010

paco-nadal - 20 Sep 2010 -

La duquesa de Alba viaja en low cost

La semana pasada volvía de Edimburgo en un vuelo a Madrid operado por una low-cost (cuyo nombre no voy a decir, aunque todo el mundo la imagina, por aquello de no hacer publicidad.... de gratis; aunque si ellos quieren pagar un banner en este humilde blog les espero con los brazos abiertos).

Pero bueno, a lo que iba. Hice mi cola para entrar (no hay asientos asignados en las low-cost: son baratas pero incómodas) y mientras me acomodaba en una plaza (de exiguo tamaño y respaldo rígido, todo hay que decirlo) casi rompo el techo de la aeronave del respingo que di al observar quién era mi compañera de asiento: .

Nada menos que Cayetana. Cayetana Fitz-James Stuart y de Silva. Sí señor, la mismísima.

¡¡¡LA DUQUESA DE ALBA!!!

"¡Coño! Ahora si que me creo que la crisis es mucho más jodida de lo que nos ha contado Zapatero", fue lo primero que se me vino a la mente.

Porque si la XVIII duquesa de Alba, descendiente directa del rey Jacobo II de Inglaterra, el ser humano con más títulos nobiliarios del mundo: cinco veces duquesa, dieciocho veces marquesa, veinte condesa, condesa-duquesa y condestablesa, además de ser veinte veces Grande de España (la relación detallada de títulos no cabría en este blog y además aburriría a las ovejas)... ¡¡¡VIAJA EN LOW-COST!!!.... es que:

1. La nobleza ya no es lo que era
2. El turismo ha conseguido igualarnos más que la revolución bolchevique
3. Ya nada es lo que parece
4. Las tres opciones anteriores juntas

Un señor de Murcia codo a codo con la duquesa de Alba ¡Esto si que es socialismo! Y no lo milonga que nos había contado Fidel.

divendres, de setembre 17, 2010

Avulekile amasango

Touching...

Sun, sea and grit: Israeli and West Bank women risk jail for day at the beach

Illegal day trips challenge laws governing the movement of Palestinians


The day starts early, at a petrol station alongside a roaring Jerusalem road. The mood among the 15 Israeli women is a little tense, but it's hardly surprising – they're about to break the law and with it one of the country's taboos. They plan to drive into the occupied West Bank, pick up Palestinian women and children and take them on a day trip to Tel Aviv.

Today's is the second such trip – another group of women went public with a similar action last month. It is hoped that these will become regular outings, designed to create awareness of the laws that govern movement for Palestinians, and to challenge the fears that Israelis have about travelling into the West Bank.

Riki is a 63-year-old from Tel Aviv who, like the other women did not want to give her surname. She said it took her time to sign up to the trips. "I was resistant to breaking the law. But then I realised that civil action is the only way to go forward, that breaking an illegal law becomes legal."

The women take off in a convoy of cars, through an Israeli checkpoint used by settlers and into several villages around Hebron. There are dozens of Palestinian women waiting for them and each Israeli driver is allocated passengers.

As two young Palestinian women climb into the car, they remove hijabs, scarves and floor-length coats to reveal skinny jeans and long hair – a look that ensures they pass through the Israeli settler-only checkpoint without scrutiny. "I am afraid of the soldiers," said 21-year-old Sara, nervously. But she and 19-year-old Sahar, visibly relax as the car breezes past the checkpoint.

They pull CDs out of bags and are soon listening to loud Arabic dabke music as the car heads along a road that joins the main highway to Tel Aviv. "It's like we are using the tools of the occupation," said Irit, one of the drivers. "It just wouldn't occur to the soldiers at the checkpoints that Israeli women would want to do this."

As Tel Aviv nears, the Palestinian passengers silently survey the tall buildings and outdoor cafes and seem especially taken with the ubiquitous motorcycles and mopeds that speed around the city. "I would like to ride on one, like that," said Sara, pointing to a woman in shorts perched on the back of a bike. But all the Palestinian women have just one request: to go to the sea. For most, it's their first trip to the seaside, even though it is a short drive from home.

The passengers join another carload and head to the promenade in Jaffa, the mixed Arab-Israeli city stuck to the tail-end of Tel Aviv, where the Palestinian women race to greet the waves crashing against the bright rocks. "It is so much more beautiful than I thought," said Nawal, watching her gleeful seven-year-old daughter skipping backwards to avoid being sprayed by the waves. "It is more beautiful than on TV, the colour is amazing."

Fatima, 24, gazes out at the horizon. "I didn't know that the sound of the sea is so relaxing," she said. Sara asks for a sheet of paper, speedily folds it into a paper boat and writes her name on it, intending to set it out to sea. "So that it will remember me," she said.

The group convenes at a Jaffa restaurant – about 45 of them in total, including seven children. They are a cheerful party stretched across two long tables. From afar they seem just like any other restaurant party, as the women chat about children, weight gain and health.

But the excursion is far from ordinary. All Palestinians need permits to enter Israel and the penalties for not doing so can involve imprisonment. It is also against the law for Israelis to "smuggle" Palestinians without a permit across the Green Line.

A few months ago Ilana Hammerman, an Israeli journalist, wrote an account of her day trip to Tel Aviv with West Bank Palestinians in Haaretz newspaper. That prompted a criminal investigation against her, for violating Israel's law of entry. But it also inspired a group of women to take the same trip and then take an advertisement in the newspaper to publicise the fact. Since then, there have been hundreds of signatories to a petition of support and many women, on both sides, ready to defy the law.

That's one of the purposes of the action, said Esti, who has been on both trips. "We want more Israelis to realise that there is nothing to be scared of. We want more people to refuse to accept the ideology that keeps us apart – and to just refuse to be enemies."

Restrictions

Before 1991, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza could move freely and restrictions on travel into Israel were the exception.

Then Israel began a permit regime, whereby Palestinians cannot travel without a permit issued by Israel's civil administration, set up by military decree to operate in the West Bank.

The permit system wasn't seriously imposed until the mid-90s, as response to a wave of terrorist attacks inside Israel. Since then, Israel has introduced increasingly restrictive criteria for obtaining a permit and constructed physical barriers – such as the separation wall – that have made enforcement of the system more effective.

West Bank Palestinians granted permits include a quota of workers, who must be over 35 and married; medical patients; students, although under restrictive circumstances; and older persons for religious reasons, such as to pray or to visit family during religious holidays. Some traders and VIPs are also given permits to travel into Israel.

Gisha, the legal centre for freedom of movement, estimates that around 1% of Palestinians are given permits to enter Israel. Some 24,000 Palestinian workers are permitted to enter Israel from the West Bank.

From Gaza, entry for Palestinians to Israel is exceptional and mostly for medical or humanitarian cases.

diumenge, de setembre 12, 2010

I loooove Die Antwoord

Die Antwoord: 'Are we awful or the best thing in the universe?'

With their filthy lyrics and singular look, South African rap-rave act Die Antwoord are fantastic, if bemusing

When Die Antwoord checked their emails on 2 February this year, among the 5,000 or so messages the group had received overnight was one from Neill Blomkamp, the District 9 director and a fellow South African. The subject line read: "Oh my god." And the message? "I fucking love you guys."

Since then, their fame has travelled further. David Lynch loves their videos so much that he invited them round for coffee. David Fincher wanted to cast singer Yolandi (stage name: Yo-Landi Vi$$er) as Lisbeth Salander in the Hollywood remake of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (she turned him down) and two weeks ago they shared a stage with the Aphex Twin at the LED Festival. So how did this South African "zef" rap-rave outfit, from "a tiny fishing village in Cape Town", come to be championed by hipsters the world over?

The 3 million people who've now watched their first video, "Die Antwoord – Zef Side", will be familiar with Yolandi, a diminutive blonde, and Ninja, a tattooed, lanky guy endowed with a sinuous physicality which he puts to good use as he dances and raps in an arresting Afrikaans/English hybrid. They'll also be familiar with an infamous close-up of his genitalia flapping in exuberant slo-mo beneath a pair of Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon shorts. Die Antwoord's name is Afrikaans for "the Answer" and at the end of the "Zef Side" video the narrator asks: "The answer to what?"

Ninja, joined by the teeny Yolandi and the tubby, mute DJ Hi-Tek, slouches against a wall, squinting. He raises his arm and lets it fall to his side. "Whatever, man... fuck." If Ninja doesn't know the original question, neither does anyone else. After the website Boing Boing seized on the video at the start of February, it was sent zipping round the globe, "taking over the interwebs", in the band's parlance, and increasing their YouTube views from around 800 to 500,000 almost overnight.

Each posting was invariably accompanied by some combination of "wtf?", "are they for real?" and "is this a joke?" Surely no serious rap could begin with: "Uh, yo, for real/ That's what I'm talking about/ Check it out", as the track "Beat Boy" does?

But for the huge crowd rammed into Berlin's Magnet club to see them, Die Antwoord are no joke. Neither, it turns out, is their live show. Their set has the whole crowd thrashing and rapping along, often in Afrikaans, to every word. When they can keep up, that is, because Die Antwoord's outrageous aesthetic makes it easy to overlook just how good Ninja is. Relishing its guttural smacks and hard edges, he makes Afrikaans sound like a language that was made for hip-hop. It's testament to his charisma, too, that he can mutter an incidental "fokken fok" into the microphone and elicit the kind of audience reaction worthy of Martin Luther King.

When not rapping, he shoots bug-eyed glances to his sides from beneath a lowering brow, looking very much like a pre-Country Life John Lydon. Meanwhile, Yolandi, sullenly passive in the videos, is ferocious on stage. At one point, she yells: "Germany! Now you've fokken heard of me!" They've more than heard of her – at least three women in the crowd sport her haircut: an uncompromising combination of undercut and mullet, with a brutally short fringe. "The Yolandi" may yet become 2010's hipster equivalent of "the Rachel".

At one point, the pair lead the crowd in a chant of: "Jou mae se poes in a fispaste jar", which Ninja translates, politely, as "your mother's private parts in a fish paste jar". Their lyrics get much filthier than this. So filthy, as Yolandi will tell me later, that when they first became famous, "all these conservative Afrikaners thought we'd sprung from Satan's dark pit".

My interview was originally postponed due to an ominously vague explanation: "Ninja's being... difficult." The band's publicist tells me the last journalist used the phrase "white trash" and called Ninja by his real name (the incongruously grand Watkin Tudor Jones). She closes her eyes and shakes her head, as though his reaction was too horrific for words. None the less we venture, with some trepidation, up a dark staircase to meet them.

Backstage, in a brightly lit room, Ninja is holding court while eating pitta bread and hummus. He clasps both my hands and does a little bow and a series of ingratiating head tilts, an odd and endearing courtly dance that's repeated when we say goodbye. Gesturing to their rider – tiny dishes of prunes, nuts and sweets: were it not for the Jägermeister bottles, it could be a table set for a children's birthday party – he gabbles: "Have some food, it's all free!"

Complimentary peanuts may soon lose their thrill, but for now, you can't really blame them for getting excited. Die Antwoord are not the first hip-hop group to inject humour into what they do. They are, however, the first rap-rave group from South Africa to become a global phenomenon, delivering a slap in the face to anyone moaning about the homogenisation of culture or the pervasiveness of Anglo-American pop music.

When I meet them the following week in London at their record label – they're newly signed to Polydor – they're hunched inside their own-brand tracksuits looking morose. Then Ninja starts expounding on the meaning of "zef" and he comes alive. "It's like the underbelly of Afrikaans; an embarrassing thing they want to hide away. The zef swearing, for me, is so fucking extreme that it's like cartoon language – this weird, like, freak mode fungus style. Because it's not just a language, it's..."

A whole culture?

"Ja and we just, like, dived into that and made that our thing."

"Zef's kind of like you don't give a fuck and you have your own flavour and you're on your own mission," says Yolandi. "It's associated with people who soup their cars up and rock gold and shit. Zef is, you're poor but you're fancy. You're poor but you're sexy, you've got style."

Ninja – or rather Watkin – has long been involved in hip-hop groups ("I've been fucking around with lots of, like, conceptual stuff for a while"), but the thinking behind Die Antwoord, as the 36-year-old explains, "was kinda throw away the conceptual stuff and just let it be South Africa and South African style. Yolandi sort of pushed me because it was right there and sometimes you can't see what's right in front of your face". Yolandi, whose age remains a secret, "was doing nothing" before Die Antwoord except, as Ninja adds with some pride, "causing trouble, going to rehab and getting expelled".

Ninja's engaged in an anecdote about their beef with one of the producer Diplo's DJs when he lets slip that he has a daughter. A daughter? "Ja, ja" he says, impatiently. With Yolandi? "Ja, we're just friends, but we had this kid by accident. We're a good fucking mum and dad on that level, whatever." I'm reeling at the image of either of these two changing nappies. Ninja, however, is speeding on. "A lot of people wanted to ban the interweb to stop us getting known. And you can't stop it. We've got this fierce fucking following – like the cutest, most freak-mode, wildest kids, and also older people who are super-duper in tune with what we're doing, and that's not going away – it's getting bigger fucking fast. Bigger and bigger.

"It's, like," he continues, "is this [Die Antwoord] fucking terrible, like fucking retardedly the worst thing ever or the most amazing thing in the entire universe?" I'm with David Lynch et al on the answer.