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Archive for July 27, 2012


52nd Post

English: World Athletics Championships 2007 in...

English: World Athletics Championships 2007 in Osaka – Jamaican 200 metres runner Usain Bolt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have done the golden jubilee, half-century or just plain 50.Now racing to the hundred. Actually sprinting, so Usain Bolt better watch out!

I thought to celebrate the grand occasion,I would review one of the best books I have read, and share my views.

KAFKA:  The Trial

The trial is about a man called Joseph K who, on his 30th birthday gets accosted by two ‘police officers’ and gets arrested for a ‘crime’ he never committed. A ‘crime’ he was not to know either. Josef K is a junior manager for a bank and lives by himself. He is of course very enraged and starts to wonder what is really happening around his world. Thus the nightmare begins.

The book is a detailed account of the trials and tribulations Josef K goes through until the day he is ‘judicially murdered’ a year from the day he was first arrested. It is like someone somewhere has been watching Josef K and is reminiscent of Big Brother (1984) in a way. Kafka is subjected to ‘Chinese water torture‘  for the whole year. The saying ‘those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad’ aptly describes the ordeal he had to suffer throughout that period. His life is turned upside down and he becomes a ‘prisoner’ and is told to ‘accept his situation’. The warders and the courts never tell him what his ‘crime’ is.

The bureaucracy and Invisible Law is staggering. He attends court, there are constant court appearances yet he does not know what the charge(s) is/are. The legal system is so crushing and it is hopeless. Maybe he should never have acknowledged that he had committed a ‘crime’. He is made to interminably wait and they simply mess up with his head. The court systems is at best very strange and yet at the same time there is such a bureaucratic mire he has to navigate. The court officials do not seem to have an acute understanding of cases and ‘consequently they could hardly ever quite follow in their further progress… ‘It looks like there is a psychological determination to destroy him.Perhaps its he way the bureaucratic system was perceived in early 1900s when the book was written. Joseph K is offered advise from ‘mentors’ and they all seemed to at times. He also tries to put his trust in females,but no one can help him with his case. He is marooned.  The psychological quagmire he is entrapped is so suffocating. ‘Guilt’ seems to be the overriding theme. Everyone assumes he is ‘guilty’ or else he would not be in that ‘situation’. When he tells court claim that he is ‘innocent’, he is asked in turn ‘innocent of what’? He has no human rights whatsoever and his life is at the mercy of the state apparatus.

It is not difficult to find oneself sympathising with this character. The state has pressed a self-destruct button and although he tries to keep level-headed, going to work and keeping to routines, he can not escape the knowledge that in the eyes of the law he is deemed  guilty. Its said Kafka did not finish the book and the end comes rather unexpectedly. Maybe that is why there seems to be a gap between the Cathedral  scene and his final demise. At the Cathedral he seemed to suggest to the priest he was going to fight to prove that he is not guilty. Yet when the two warders come to collect him and lead him to his death he does not protest. Joseph K ultimately dies at the hands of the state’s executioners. He accepts the inevitability of his death. Is this a final act to escape the nightmare or is it mere submission to authority yet again? At least the nightmare comes to an end.

The book seems to want to highlight the problems with bureaucracy. Even senior officials do not know the rules, they claim to work under. People who work in these bureaucracies might as well be robots. It also portrays the state as an organ that it can willy-nilly disregard the rights of  citizens. It is omnipresent and also destroys people’s lives. Kafka  also cleverly illustrates the human tendency to submit to authority. Even when the authority’s actions are questionable. However, one finds themselves wanting to support him, and or expose the state for what it is, a cold-hearted bully.

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lifesocommon

The three mates were having a good time . Chilling out and having fun. They had not been out together for a while and tonight it felt really good. Clare, Amanda and Jason were  best mates and they loved hanging out but most of their hanging out lately had been on the social network site  Facebook. Work and relationship pressures had made it nigh impossible to meet often.
‘Girls lets have some fun. We are gonna party tonite!’, enthused  Jason. Giggling as he brought 3 Flaming sambuccas to the table.
‘Wow Jase. You sure know how to get the party  started!’ trilled Clare.
TGIF!’ Responded Amanda. ‘I so needed this after the week I have had’, she continued.
‘Hear, hear. Girls this is just the appetizer. We are going to have a proper party tonight. Are you up for it?’ Jason enthusiastically enquired.
‘I have…

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Love

The internet can be an effective place to find love. According to a recent Pew Research study, about 37% of single people have used some form of internet dating site, and about 17% of online daters have found long-term love online. With well over a million paying members and 20,000 new members joining each day, Match.com is the leading online dating site. And, overall, online dating sites are expected to earn 1.9 billion in revenue this year alone.

When looking for love online, women seek men with high-paying jobs. In turn, men are more likely than women to reveal financial information about  than women are.

However, the most common answer that you will hear if you ask  women about what they want in a man; it would be either good looks or good sense of humor.

Grammar matters! Studies have shown that when it comes to online dating profiles and messages, grammar matters just as much as the content itself. Poor punctuation is a turn-off to both sexes.

In Qatar there are 307 men for every 100 women.

Olympics

The Olympic Torch relay was started by the Germans for the 1936 Olympics, as part of their propaganda onslaught

200

200 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

.

London is the first city to host the Olympics three times – 1908, 1948 and 2012.

London 2012 Olympics will run for 17 days.

Over 11000 athletes are competing at London 2012

The Olympic motto is citius, altius, fortius – Latin for faster, higher, stronger.

The five interlocking rings represent the five continents.

Greece’s athletes enter the stadium first at the opening ceremony.

541 athletes are representing Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics.

Track and field athletics dominates with 2,242 athletes, but after that (and excluding team games), there’s swimming (948), then shooting with 391 and Judo with 390.

As recently as 1984, women were barred from running marathons, and in 1996, 26 countries had no female athletes in the Games.

First Olympics ever where every country will be represented by at least one female.

The United States has more female athletes competing than male athletes, with 269 women competing, and 261 men.

Middle Eastern countries Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Brunei are sending women for the very first time.

Female participation in sport is banned in Saudi Arabia. Their female representative was born, raised, and trains in the USA.

Some 44% of all athletes are women (highest numbers from the UK). In terms of percentage of the major teams are: Japan (53%), Russia (52%), the US (51%), the UK is further down the list with 48%, behind Ethiopia.

Over 11000 athletes are competing at London 2012

150 000 condoms have been provided to the athletes at London 2012. 130 000 were supplied at the last Olympics in Athens.

4 billion viewers worldwide are expected to watch the Olympics

For the first time ever, 3D Live television will be screened at the Olympics.

The world’s biggest McDonald’s with seating for 1500 was constructed for the Olympics.

1948 Olympics-Athletes had to bring their own food.

Baked Bean is cockney rhyming slang for the Queen.

The Cook Islands’ eight athletes represent a rate of 40 per 100,000 inhabitants – the highest rate in the world.

Other

Though toilet paper is often thought of as a cornerstone of modern Western civilization, it was invented in China in the 6th century.

Toilet paper comes in two varieties: virgin, which is freshly made from chipped wood and non-virgin, which is recycled paper.

India’s population is set to grow by over 295 million, or 26% by 2025.

Italy has the highest rate of mobile phone subscribers in Europe.

In Japan nearly 30% of the population is aged 60 or over.

More than 30% of women and men in America are obese.

 

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