Conan for President

Arnold Schwartzeneggar announced he would be running for governor last night on Jay Leno and managed to work in quotes from movies he has starred in such as The Terminator and movies he has NOT starred in such as Network… But notice Arnold isn’t quoting from Conan the Barbarian. It might be because he didn’t want to bring up the massively violent nature of most of his movies… Maybe.

Anyway it turns out one of the best-known quotes isn’t even very original. Check this out:

GENGHIS KHAN: The greatest happiness is to vanquish your enemies, to chase them
before you, to rob them of their wealth, to see those dear to them
bathed in tears, to clasp to your bosom their wives and daughters.

Compare to this excerpt from
Conan the Barbarian:

MONGOL GENERAL: Conan, what is best in life?
CONAN: To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of the women!

Notice it’s tightened up a little. My speculation is that the “fuck their daughters” aspect of the original was omitted on purpose.

If you want to be REALLY alienated from our beloved would-be commander watch the bodybuilding documentary Pumping Iron. It’s kind of an exploration of the weird mentality you need to embrace to be a successful body-builder (See also Samuel W. Fussell’s book Muscle: Confessions of an Unlikely Bodybuilder). Bear in mind Arnold is not reciting lines here; those are his own words:

ARNOLD: Feeling the pump and rush I get in my muscles when pumping iron. I love it. To me it is better than orgasm.

In case you care, yes Arnold is from Austria and his dad was a member of the Nazi Party. Although since he has lived for the past few decades in Hollywood it seems unlikely he would survive if he himself was an anti-Semite.

Our Dark God

News from Hiroshima: ‘Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba said the United States worshipped nuclear weapons as “God” and blamed it for jeopardising the global nuclear non-proliferation regime.’

Note there is some cultural significance to death anniversaries at this time of year, because it’s around now that you have Obon, which is when traditionally the ghosts of the dead come back to visit the living.

But you know what this reminds me of? The psychic mutants in “Beneath the Planet of the Apes” who don’t have any skin and worship a nuclear weapon in their underground ruins of the New York subway system.

talking spleen

There is also a short by Philip Hunt called “Ah-Pook Is Here,” featured in the Spike & Mike Festival of Animation which is a short poem/dialog written by William S Burroughs about authority and control… The short is a stop-motion animation with these talking spleen things with Burroughs’ voice… in the beginning he enumerates a variety of Aztec (Mayan?) goddesses of destruction (including “Ah-Pook”) and they are all represented by falling bombs. Here’s a link to the German propmaker who made the “bombs”. Listed below is the news article about the Mayor of Hiroshima.

HIROSHIMA, Japan (AFP) – Hiroshima’s mayor lashed out at the United States’ nuclear weapons policy during ceremonies marking the 58th anniversary of the city’s atomic bombing, which caused the deaths of over 230,000 people.

Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba said the United States worshipped nuclear weapons as “God” and blamed it for jeopardising the global nuclear non-proliferation regime.

“The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the central international agreement guiding the elimination of nuclear weapons, is on the verge of collapse,” Akiba said Wednesday in an address to some 40,000 people.

“The chief cause is US nuclear policy that, by openly declaring the possibility of a pre-emptive nuclear first strike and calling for resumed research into mini-nukes and other so-called ‘useable nuclear weapons,’ appears to worship nuclear weapons as God,” he said.

The mayor also slammed as unjust the US-led war on Iraq (news – web sites), which he blamed for killing innocent civilians. “The weapons of mass destruction that served as the excuse for the war have yet to be found,” he said.

Akiba strongly urged US President George W. Bush (news – web sites) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il to personally visit Hiroshima and “confront the reality of nuclear war”.

As the clock clicked onto 8:15 am (2315 GMT Tuesday), the exact time the United States dropped the bomb on August 6, 1945, those at the ceremony at Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park bowed their heads for a minute’s silence in memory of the victims of the attack.

During the 45-minute ceremony, officials added 5,050 names to the register of victims who died immediately or from the after-effects of radiation exposure in the bombing, bringing the total toll to 231,920, an official said.

The Hiroshima bombing was followed by the dropping of a second atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, which killed another estimated 74,000 people.

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi told the service that Japan would stick by its pacifist constitution and its non-nuclear principles because the tragedies of Hiroshima and Nagasaki “can never be repeated.”

This year’s ceremony came ahead of six-nation talks over North Korea (news – web sites)’s nuclear weapons development programme, which Pyongyang agreed to last week.

Koizumi told reporters after the ceremony that North Korea’s abduction of Japanese nationals would be a high priority at the talks.

“At the six-nation talks, obviously, nuclear weapons will be the focus, but for Japan, the abduction issue is just as important,” he said.

“We will naturally have close cooperation with the United States and South Korea (news – web sites), but we must make efforts to have China and Russia understand our position as well,” he said.

Last week, North Korea said it would accept six-way talks to include North and South Korea, Russia, Japan, China and the United States to end the nuclear crisis that began in October last year.

Washington had accused the Stalinist state of reneging on a 1994 bilateral nuclear freeze accord by running a clandestine nuclear programme based on enriched uranium.

Random Stuff about Tatu

Although some of the radio announcers are pronouncing their name “T.A.T.U.” in Russia and in the clubs they are known as “Tatu” like “tattoo.”

Why this makes sense:

  • it is not an acronym- in Russia they are “taty,” and there the “y” character makes an “oo” sound
  • “tatu” can be translated as
    “this one” (subject) “that one” (direct object)
    that is “this one does that one”
    get it? They’re teenaged lesbians.

Also:

  • although they were underage at the beginning of their career,
    they were “legal” in Russia, where the age of consent is 16
  • you probably won’t see their video “Nas Ne Dogonyet” = “They’re
    not gonna catch us” on MTV- it features them killing gaurds,
    stealing a giant truck, and running over people.