{un/compliant}

2006/01/29

Bogotá's Dream Comes True

Can a city of 7'000.000 really leave its cars behind one workday a year, without causing major disruption and economic harm? Is this a social experiment at a massive scale? What does this say about the collective dreams of such a people?

We Bogotans have come to expect more from those who govern us. We wanted a vision, and we now have one. We want a city where the air is cleaner, the sidewalks large and inviting, and the buses clean and reliable; not a city where an oppressive minority pushes through its agenda promoting the use of an inefficient and misanthropic mode of transportation - the private car.

So, the answer to my earlier question is, yes. A city of 7'000.000 people has decided to leave its private cars behind, once a year, during a workday. It's called Bogotá. And I am proud to say that I belong there. That it is my city. And this Thursday, it will act upon the wishes of the majority of its citizens and remind the world that collective dreams do exist, and that they can actually come true.

2006/01/25

Teflon-Praesident nicht mehr...

Ciertamente, la estupidez se paga caro. El McCartismo de la Administración Uribe le está haciendo perder la reelección. A muchos colombianos nos gusta la idea que Uribe sea presidente, pero el hecho que salga a perseguir a otros (pre) candidatos acusándolos de guerrilleros (o de lo que sea) sin evidencia alguna, es inaceptable. Y acusarlos a través del micrófono en vez del sistema legal (en caso que la evidencia, de hecho, si exista) también es inaceptable.

En fin. No me parecería mal que perdiera y que quedara uno de los presidenciables moderados que hay por ahí. Si se le va a subir el puesto a la cabeza es mejor quitárselo de una vez a tener que ver como se convierte en un pseudo-Chávez que cree que la mejor manera de acabar con un contrincante en las elecciones es "acusarlo" (de oligarca, de guerrillero, de anti-revolucionario, etc.) en vez de proceder a demoler sus argumentos por medio del debate. Hasta estaría dispuesto a votar por un Mockus si no sale demasiado socialista a la hora de la política económica.

2006/01/16

An Americaphile's Lament (1 of 2)

I have been in a sombre mood lately. I don't really know what to blame: the German winter, the food at the Mensa (a university cafeteria in Germany) or my own taciturn nature.

But I do know that one of the components of the mild depression I am going through is undoubtedly, disappointment. Disappointment with America. And quite a little bit of shame for having been such a fervent supporter without even stopping to think about the warnings that were not heeded, and the consequences that ensued thereafter. I don't know if this is because I have become a frequent Spiegel reader, a magazine that takes a very, shall we say, "continental" approach to international relations. I do realise that Spiegel is undoubtedly skeptical of the United States and at times it seems to be posessed by that "reflexive anti-Americanism" that seems to abound here, but I have come to the point where I must decide whether I should continue my course as a staunch and unquestioning pro-American neo-liberal, or actually stop for a second and realise that, after all, the country which issued my passport is not the U.S., and that in fact, I really owe no allegiance to it.

Many of you have been reading me for a while. I trust that now you have seen that I have become a little bit less of a firebrand than in my halcyon days. But the real kicker for me has been the recent CIA "flying-torture-chamber" scandal which became the hot potato in the European press for several weeks, and which threatens to destroy the last vestiges of the trans-Atlantic relationship which has recently become something more of a photo-op and less of a reality, for a variety of reasons. I still find Europe's attitude towards human rights and the U.S. quite hypocritical, and I agree with this op-ed published in the Journal, but that doesn't mean that America should wield its power in ways reminiscent of the very enemies that it has vowed to fight.

Torturing a prisoner has proven to be an ineffective, cruel and degrading way to obtain intelligence about possible terrorist attacks from a suspect. Let's not kid ourselves. This is not "24". Placing suspects along with known terrorists in orange jumpsuits, in a foreign country and outside of any legal system is quite simply downright stupid. Abducting people off the street in Europe or wherever instead of exhausting the proper diplomatic channels which have worked in the past simply makes it next to impossible to assure the international community that, when the time comes, and after they have spent enough time in their barbed-wire cages under the Cuban sun, they will actually be given a fair trial.

Don't kid yourself. I understand the nature of the enemy. I understand that he's changing, mobile, and that he uses our own freedoms against us. I understand that some countries will not be willing to co-operate, and that many of their politicians will use their opposition to the U.S. as a means to further their own domestic lust for power. I understand that he's savage, fascistic and that he strives to kill the innocent. But his nature makes it all even more important that we do not emulate him, but that we remain in every way morally superior to him. Asymmetrical enemies are not defeated by military power alone, but also by the power of ideas. An America, or for that matter, a Colombia that foregoes decency and humanity during its righteous fight against terrorist murder risks losing the battle for the hearts and minds of the citizens of the world which it so desperately needs to ensure the safety of its interests around the world.

2006/01/07

DISCLAIMER, o De Ministro a Pelagatos Estrato 7 en Menos de Un Minuto

En referencia a los eventos de la pequeña gran polvareda que se ha arma'o por aquí, me gustaría aclararle a la opinión pública que:

  1. La naturaleza técnica de mi carrera muy probablemente me prevendrá el ejercer como Ministro de la República bajo cualquier gobierno dado que ninguna de las carteras que conozco exigen conocimientos en óptica, física del estado sólido o en sistemas microelectromecánicos. Sin embargo, su aplicación será considerada por nuestro personal de Recursos Humanos. Gracias por su interés en el autor de {un/compliant}.

  2. Creo que es un poco difícil realizar cualquier tipo de conclusión acerca de mi status socioeconómico en base al material que pueden leer en éste weblog. Lastimosamente, quisiera confesarles que no soy estrato 7. Tampoco soy estrato 1. Ni 2. Ni 3, 4, 5 o 6. El número de mi estrato, el cual no revelo con alegría, es el siguiente:



    Para que aprendan que en la blogosfera, y en la vida real, lo que cuenta no es el estrato de la persona (una construcción totalmente abstracta e imaginaria, por cierto) sino su carácter. No creo que sea necesario que las discusiones que se llevan a cabo por internet tengan que pasar al plano personal en la manera en que lo hacen en tantas ocasiones. Una cosa es un debate político, pero otra muy distinta una pelea de gallos a punta de referencias filosóficas y de insultos personales que al final de cuentas le amarga el día a todo el mundo.

All we are saying,
is give peace a chance....


Altamente preocupado por su peleadera tan hijuemadre la equidad y la justicia social la falta de una buena rubia en mi vida, se despide Su Servidor:

2006/01/03

The Peter Jackson Twilight

I had the chance to see "King Kong" yesterday night and I noticed something about the lighting in the movie. In the scene where Naomi Watts and the Great Ape are sitting together by the cliff at night, we see a silvery shimmer around the characters; it looks a little bit like exaggerated moonlight. The lighting in that scene is very, but very similar to the lighting in many of the scenes in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. For instance, the scene in "The Two Towers" when Legolas and Aragorn are looking at the stars (while Pippin is playing with the Palantír) has a very similar if not identical lighting to the scene with Naomi and King Kong on the cliffside. The scene in Lórien and the evening scene at Rivendell also have the same silvery lighting. It seems that Mr. Jackson likes to use his "twilight" for scenes that involve melancholy, remembrance or a general feeling of safety and tranquility, and thus, I wanna give it an official "name" - the Peter Jackson twilight.