Four Years

My weblog is 4 years old today. It has changed a lot as it has grown. It is now more a personal blog than a political one. I don’t know where it’s going but I do plan on continuing writing about the usual mix of topics.

It has been four years since I started blogging. In that time, there have been a total of 916 posts and 5,527 comments on this weblog.

There have been many changes over the duration of this blog. My writing frequency is much less nowadays. The topics I post on are also different. This blog has become a lot more personal blog rather than a political one, though that might change as the midterm elections draw near. I still blog about politics, religion and current events but I don’t feel the urgency to post as soon as some news breaks. In some ways, I have also seceded from the blogosphere since I don’t read as many blogs as I used to nor do I link to or respond to a lot of the blog-chatter.

Because of the lack of urgency in posting about current events as well as the lack of free time from other activities, I have a few dozen unfinished draft entries some of which have no relevance any more. Who knows I might still post them in the near future.

According to Google Analytics, I got 22,462 visits and 38,195 page views in the last month. Overall in the 4 years, I am nearing a million page views.

The Magdalene Sisters

The Magdalene Sisters was a good movie which followed the plight of three girls at a Magdalene Assylum. Overall, I would rate the movie 7/10.

The Magdalene Sisters was a good movie which followed the plight of three girls at a Magdalene Assylum.

It is strange that the Roman Catholic Church would establish and run such degrading institutions and the clergy there would behave so atrociously towards the women committed there. Ok, so I didn’t find that part strange. However, I was surprised that such institutions survived in Ireland till only a decade or two ago. I thought such places were closed with the advent of the 20th century.

Overall, I would rate the movie 7/10.

In the Mood for Love

“In the Mood for Love” is a an okay movie, though not great. I would rate it 6/10.

In the Mood for Love is a movie about a guy and a woman who become neighbors and then friends. When they find out that their spouses are having an affair, they are shocked.

It is interesting, though a bit slow. I found it okay but Amber did not like it.

I would rate it 6/10.

Suicide as Asymmetric Warfare

Three prisoners commit suicide at Guantanamo Bay and the reaction of US officials is absolutely shameful, calling the suicides “asymmetric warfare,” “good PR move,” and “a tactic to further the jihadi cause.”

This statement is so crazy and broke my irony-meter that it needs to go into a quotable quotes book:

“They are smart, they are creative, they are committed,” Admiral Harris said. “They have no regard for life, neither ours nor their own. I believe this was not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us.”

What is he talking about?

Three detainees being held at the United States military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, committed suicide early on Saturday, the first deaths of detainees to be reported at the military prison since it opened in early 2002, United States military officials said.

Or try this:

A top US official has described the suicides of three detainees at the US base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as a “good PR move to draw attention”.

Colleen Graffy told the BBC the deaths were part of a strategy and “a tactic to further the jihadi cause”, but taking their own lives was unnecessary.

Who is Colleen Graffy? She is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy. Or is it truthiness?

Do read Katherine’s post on the topic at Obsidian Wings.

The 40-Year Old Virgin

The 40-Year Old Virgin is good as it makes you laugh. A lot. Steve Carell gives a good performance. I rate it 8/10.

The 40-Year Old Virgin is hilarious. Steve Carell is pretty good as the virgin guy. We had a good laugh at his expense.

I would recommend it and rate it 8/10.

We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda

A very good read, this book is well written and researched. It horrifies the reader since it deals with the Rwandan genocide of 1994. One is further distressed at the lack of action by the rest of the world. I recommend this book highly.

Reading We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda by Philip Gourevitch was definitely not fun despite it being very well written. My regular reading time is just before going to bed but this book kept me awake and horrified at what we humans can become.

I can’t describe the feelings of reading about the genocide of 800,000 people and realizing that the world looked on and did nothing. The Holocaust is too far back in the past for me, but the Rwandan genocide happened during my adult years. What should we have done? What could we do? Why didn’t we? All these questions were brought to life once more.

The “racial science” of the imperialist West of the late 19th century is once again shown clearly to be the fraud and bigotry it was.

The French Government also came off pretty badly in their handling of the genocide.

If there is one fault with this book, it is that the author is a bit too trusting of President Kagame of Rwanda and President Museveni of Uganda.

Firefly and Serenity

While Firefly is a sci-fi Western, Serenity is somewhat different. Overall, I think watching Firefly helped a lot in building the characters and the curiousity for Serenity. So I would recommend watching both. I would rate both 8/10.

I don’t know why I didn’t catch Firefly on television. While I don’t watch much TV, this was right up my alley. Firefly is a science fiction series in the tradition of Westerns. So, either you’ll love it or hate it. I liked it and I am surprised it didn’t run longer.

As a TV series, the episodes vary in quality. Some were pretty good while others felt like fillers. However, Amber was hooked on Firefly and couldn’t wait for the next DVD to arrive from Netflix (we have a single DVD plan).

The movie Serenity furthers the story and solves the mystery of the girl River. But it has a very different outlook and does not look or sound Western at all.

Overall, I think watching Firefly helped a lot in building the characters and the curiousity for Serenity. So I would recommend watching both Firefly and Serenity. I would rate both 8/10.