An old Chinese proverb once caught my eye, making me wonder if it had been incorrectly categorized as a curse as it seem more akin to a blessing. During the past year or so I have however began to grasp the meaning of the saying: „May you live in interesting times“. Not only have I been enightened when it comes to understanding the meaning of the words, by national developments, but I have also come to learn that the saying is most likely not Chinese at all but a western creation, incorrectly contributed to the Chinese, probably to give it increased punch as they seem to have a lot of thought out wisdom to offer, sayings-wise. Further to this I found a sister saying to this first, better know, curse: “May you come to the attention of those in authority”. This one takes no contemplation, bank collapse or other catastrophe to understand – it suffices to have handed in a tax return with a figure accidentally placed in the wrong box or having planted a shrub a meter outside the dotted line on a planning commission’s hallowed diagram. Despite never having planted anything within or outside any dotted lines, I am an unwilling pen-pal of the Icelandic tax authorities and thus probably cursed by someone familiar with the latter proverb. Too bad no anti-curse appears to be out there.
I hope the year starts off better in other places of the world than here and ask all who read this to take any dramatised reports regarding our president’s overturning of the parliament’s decision to provide a modified guarantee on the Icesave (locally called Iceslave) commitment, with a grain of salt. Despite what you might have read this ruling has nothing to with an unwillingness to pay but relates to the conditions of such payments which are in their present form considered by many to be unusually harsh and more unfortunately, not attainable. I guess the sound bite – Iceland vetoes paying debts – makes for more viewers, listeners or readers than: Iceland sticks to the previous guarantee conditions. But I will not annoy you with this further aside from the general observation that it must be difficult to be a politician. In a country like mine where God or any sort of almighty do not have much of a role, it almost feels as if religious fervour has been replaced with political fervour. People choose a political side and stick to it no matter what, at the same time hating the other side with a tangible rage that makes one wonder. Usually both or all political sides/parties have a point or two and probably agree at heart on the things that matter the most to voters. It is most unfortunate that the way politics are engineered this can never be stated by the politicians themselves and it seems that opposing parties cannot be allies – no matter what the crisis. Maybe a temporary dictator would be the easiest solution for us here if we are to become internally united, at least while the worst of this stampedes through our usually docile society – I would assume it preferable if this person were a lunatic and as such not susceptible to being railroaded by rationality. Such a figure might also provide a few laughs which always help when things look bleak.
This article was followed up by another in which the title “worst suspect sketch” was contested, see drawings below. I will let you be the judge of which sketch is most deserving but the Michael Jackson lookalike gets my vote for Suspect Sketch Mr. Congeniality. Anyway I think it would be a great idea if these criminals would team up and form a gang. Bolivian guy would however not be eligible for membership which is unfortunate. Despite the feeling that the Bolivian police might have been better off using a Mr. Potatohead to make their likeness they apparently apprehended the man after he was recognised by someone - who must be the most perceptive person in Bolivia – if not further afield.
Yrsa - Wednesday