Friday, February 28, 2003
Thursday, February 27, 2003
FROM SUBLIME TO RIDICULOUS
Took the tadpoles out this morning before the temperatures rose to build a snowfrog and an ig (like an eskimo's home but without a loo).
This afternoon we had to suffer the embarrassing spectacle of the Presentation of the New Government. Yes, democracy is a great thing and there's nothing wrong with effective opposition, but there is also such a thing as decorum and respectable behaviour. Interrupting and jeering as the PM presents the list of new ministers is hardly a way of showing respect for the democratic process. Moreover, it doesn't make for effective opposition; it makes the opposition look like a bunch of nursery school children who dream of being football hooligans when they grow up.
I think I'll stick to the ig next time.
LEADING STORY IN ARABIC PRESS
The leading story on the Arabic news-site Aljazeera is the impending war on Iraq. For once, the Israeli-Arab conflict is taking a back seat. All four of the top stories deal with the issue; you have to hunt for a reference to the new Israeli government, which in other circumstances would have been the centre of attention.
The leading story on Bush's speech was quite fairly reported. Similarly, the site yesterday carried a story about the meeting of the Iraqi opposition groups in Arbel (also known as Arbil or Arwil; it all depends upon which language you speak, Arabic, Aramaic or Kurdish; more on that another time), which fairly represented the different parties. Don't forget that Aljazeera was published in the Gulf, and the Gulf states have not forgotten what Saddam did to Kuwait. They'd be absolutely delighted to see him go, provided that Iraq gets a genuinely local regime afterwards.
Wednesday, February 26, 2003
I have finally realised why Africa is so poor. It's got nothing to do with the environment or natural resources or the traditional society or lack of education or western exploitation or whatever. It's because systematically, over the years, African army generals, deputy Prime Ministers, opposition leaders' wives etc. etc. have been secretly stashing away millions - neh, billions - of dollars in secret bank accounts. I know this because this Frog has personally been privy to this incredible information, and has uniquely been offered a humble portion of this accumulated fortune. Now owing to my own high moral standards, I have personally declined to partake any share of these ill-gotten gains. But just imagine how Africa could be transformed if these secret bank accounts were only to be made available for redevelopment and renewal. So to Mrs. Numbugo and all those others who have written to me I say: return the money now! Make a clean slate of things! As King Solomon wrote, íçåøé áæåòå äãåî! Repent and you shall be forgiven!
A LONG HOP FOR FROGKIND
The Ribbitzen and I just went for an hour-long hop through snow-filled streets. The weather was lovely, the snow was crunchy, and we finally got to stretch our frog-legs for the first time in days. (No work again today - I tried for three hours this morning to leave the city before giving up and calling in to work to tell them I couldn't come.)
It was a wonderful change from the usual sorrows that plague us here. äáøé ïë[PS: if you don't have Hebrew Unicode on your explorer you won't be able to read this last comment.]
Tuesday, February 25, 2003
Today's Le Monde reports this tragic story:
Célèbre figure de la gastronomie française, internationalement reconnu, Bernard Loiseau a été retrouvé mort, victime d'une décharge de fusil de chasse, dans sa chambre, en son domicile de Saulieu (Côte-d'Or), lundi 24 février en fin d'après-midi. La thèse du suicide est privilégiée par les services de police. Une autopsie a été réclamée afin de confirmer cette hypothèse.
Apparently, the poor chef decided to end his life when the presigious gastronomic guide GaultMillau reduced his rating from 20 (via 19) to a mere 17 golden forks.
Perhaps we could just give Chirac a 17 rating and tell him to fork off?
MORE OF THE MONOLOGUES
I had the great pleasure of watching Amram "monologues" Mitznah on the television tonight, as a squirmed his way around the question of why he had driven Sharon into forming a right-wing coalition (apparently it was in the interests of the country or somthing) and why his own party have launched, in the interviewer's words, an intifada against him. (This term is a little strong in my mind; presumably, this means they are going to shooting at him, bombing him, murdering his children etc. I know that emotions run high in the Israeli Labour Party but I can't believe that even Fu'ad Ben Eliezer is planning all those things.) It was reported that Ephraim Sneh had even said - shock horror - that Mitznah is as bad as Barak. He certainly seems to be emulating him.
CRUEL AND CRUDE BUT FUNNY
The Ribbitzen went last night to see the famed Vagina Monologues. I stayed at home because I've already seen the related Anus Monologues, in a brilliant performance by Amram Mitznah both before and after the Israeli elections.
I'm frozen into my home! It's snowing here. As I write, a nice little yellow tractor is clearing the roads. At least I don't have to go to work today! Ribbit ribbit!!!