Aeschylus was first introduced to me by The X-Files. There was an episode (I think in the fourth season) titled “The Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man”, which recounted the life of the black-lunged-son-of-a-bitch… In this episode we see how The Smoking Man became the man he was. We see him assassinate the President John F. Kennedy. Then we see him assassinate Martin Luther King, a man he always admired (“I’ll do it myself. I have too much respect for the man”)… Now here’s the interesting part. After he kills Luther King, he watches Robert F. Kennedy on TV making that superb and famous speech in Indianapolis. In this speech, Kennedy misquotes few lines of Edith Hamilton’s 1930
translation of Aeschylus’ Agamemnon… Here’s what Robert Kennedy said: “My favourite poet was Aeschylus. He once wrote: Even in our sleep, pain WHICH cannot forget falls drop by drop upon heart, UNTIL, in our own DESPAIR, against our will, comes wisdom through the awesome grace of God.” … In Edith Hamilton’s translation, instead of WHICH there was THAT. Then there was no UNTIL. And also Kennedy had omitted TO US. It should’ve been “comes wisdom TO US through the awesome grace of God.” But most importantly, it should’ve been DESPITE instead of DESPAIR… Although this last misquatation changes the meaning completely in my opinion, I think it makes it much more beautiful than the original translation by Hamilton… Okay. Now back to The X-Files. As he watches Kennedy make that speech and misquote Hamilton’s translation of Agamemnon, the Smoking Man recites those same lines along with Kennedy. He knows it by heart. How does he know Kennedy’s misquatation by heart? It was Glenn Morgan who wrote this episode. That’s a big mistake Glenn… Anyway, it was The X-Files that introduced Aeschylus to me. Since then he’s always been my favourite of great greek tragedians. Even when I later realised that Sophocles a was much better dramatist than he ever was, Aeschylus remained my favourite. Part of the reason was The X-Files. Part of the reason was the fact that I’m a quite religious man for a man who doesn’t have a religion.
I’m trying not to write about our newly appointed deputy minister of mass murder and misinformation. I don’t see the point of writing about him anymore. Mahinda is mocking us, all Sri Lankans. People like Rajiva Wijesinha and Sittingnut are, and will continue to be, silent on this matter. They have betrayed a nation. If I’m angry at anyone, it’s those UPFA, Gampaha idiots who voted for this guy… Hopeless. The End.
In the last couple of days, I read the seventh and the final book of the Harry Potter series for the second time. This was partly because right now I couldn’t concentrate on anything more serious than Harry Potter or The Lost Symbol… I found the book after searching for it for more than a hour but until I saw the epigraph page, I wasn’t even sure whether or not to read the book. I had completely forgotten that my favourite greek tragedian Aeschylus (sorry Sophocles) was there along with William Penn. Upon seeing their names, I decided I should re-read the novel and write something about it on this blog… I remember the first time I read the Deathly Hallows, when Ron left Harry and Hermione in the middle of the book I thought I must have been an idiot to not be able to predict what was going to happen between Harry and Hermione even after reading that Aeschylus piece from Libation Bearers. I thought they’d have sex (at least kiss). I mean they were alone in the middle of a wood… It seemed obvious. Rowling had obviously modelled Harry on Orestes. Even though Orestes didn’t have a scar on the forehead in Aeschylus’ version, in Euripides’ he did. Orestes was also prophesied and determined to avenge the murder of his father. According to one version of the legend, Orestes marries Hermione, his cousin and the daughter of Menelaus and Helen (yes, that Helen for whom Prince Paris let Troy burn)… But Harry and Hermione never get to have sex. Harry tells Ron that for him Hermione was like a sister. So Ron copulated with her and then married her, or married her and then copulated with her. Either way she had his babies (or Malfoy’s. Hah). Screw it. It was like a pregnant Scully marrying Walter Skinner when he’s romantically attached to religious Fox Mulder. Just crazy… I mean I really don’t get it. Why on earth did Harry marry Ginny? Unless she’s better than Hermione at faking orgasms, I really can’t see why. Ginny was unimportant to the story. I wouldn’t have given a damn if she died in the last book after being raped by one of those giants. Making Harry marry Ginny is the second greatest mistake Rowling ever made regarding Harry Potter, the first being that candy-ass epilogue she wrote. That epilogue must be the worst piece of literature I ever read… But I liked the book. Otherwise I wouldn’t read it twice. I mean, I always wanted Harry to go Rambo, single-handedly kill all the evil Death Eaters and defeat Voldemort in one epic battle. But I also knew that it would never happen, especially given his timidity, and that he’d need some cheap trick to kill Voldemort the greatest dark wizard of the modern times. So I’m okay with the ending. Yeah yeah. It seemed that it wasn’t Harry’s cleverness or Voldy’s inability to feel remorse but his stupidity and carelessness that cost him his life. And yes, Peeves, being stupid, sang a stupid song at the end, and somehow it found its way to the book. But I’m still okay with the end. But I just can’t stomach that epilogue… I liked the fact that religion played a big part in this last novel. I don’t believe in religion but still, even I can’t talk about death without talking about religion. So we had an epigram by William Penn, who was a Quaker. Then we had Harry and Hermione reading Bible verses on a Christmas Eve: “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:26) and “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:19). And all this time I waited for Harry and Hermione to kiss. That graveyard, when Harry began to cry, was the perfect time and place to do it (I know I know). But they never did. Dammit Harry. If you can’t do it, let….
What happens when monkeys get the opportunity to vote? This is what happens. They elect Mervyn Silva, Duminda Silva, Sarana Gunawardena, and Janaka Bandara Thennakone to the parliament. I have nothing against those who voted for the UPFA. I mean it’s not like the past UNP governments governed the country super democratically. Besides, lot of people think Ranil was and is an appeaser. But I have a big, goddamn problem with those who voted guys like Mevyn Silva. Those nutters who vote to get fucked… This election is perfect to explain to someone the reasons behind the tension between democracy and liberalism. Democracy is majority rule. Liberals believe in democracy not because majority is always right, but because democratic traditions are the least evil of those we know. Even the people in countries where democratic traditions are strong and have been there for centuries make mistakes. In countries like ours, where democratic traditions are not very strong, where democracy is something that was imposed upon the people, people almost always make big, fucking mistakes like sending Duminda Silva to the parliament… I mean, you’d expect people in Colombo and Gampaha to be a little bit wiser than the rest of the country, right? But perhaps it was the village idiots who now live in Colombo and Gampaha voted those bastards. It happens all the time in rural districts. Janaka Bandara always come first in Matale. This time he came in second because of that Hora-Arakku guy named Laxman Perera who funded Mahinda’s campaign. I expected this. I even thought Duminda would come in first. But it’s still shocking… I don’t know. Maybe they are idiots. Maybe they just love to get fucked after every election.
It turns out my election predictions have been reasonably accurate. I predicted the best case scenario for the opposition will be UNP getting 65 seats, ITAK 15 and DNA 05. Usually best case scenarios do not actually happen. When the results of Kandy and Trincomalee districts are released and the number of seats they get from the National List is determined, we’ll see UNP getting little less than that and DNA getting a little more than I thought. If what I heard is right, DNA will get one from Kandy. National List will give them another. That would give them a total of 7 seats… Milinda Moragoda and Rohitha Bogollagama have got screwed. Hemakumara Nanayakkara got screwed long before the election. Great… Ranil got screwed two. Although he got 230 thousand something votes and became UNPs number one, Wimal screwed him with 50,000 more votes. Not bad Wimal. Ranjith Madduma Bandara screwed Ranil as well, in his own way… As I predicted (not in my blog, but in the comments I made on other blogs) the 3 f**kers (Duminda, Mervyn, and Sarana) all got elected. Those who voted them must have done so to get f**ked and get the government to pay for their rectal cancers… My sweetheart Upeksha Swarnamali got elected, while Geetha Kumarasinghe got her butt kicked. That’s probably the best thing about this election… Ranjan Ramanayaka, Manusha Nanayakkara, Buddhika Pathirana all got elected. Good for the country… Rajitha, Mahinda Samaraweera, Johnston, Indika Bandaranaike have got elected. Not so good for the country… Fernandopulle’s wife surprised me. I knew she’d get elected. But I never thought she’d only be second to Basil. It seems people loved her hubby a lot… It’s rumoured that S.B has come first in Kandy. Not sure whether this is true. But he, Aluthgamage, Keheliya, Lohan Ratwatte, and the Amunugama couple are bound to go to the parliament. From the UNP Hakeem and Mano will make it to the parliament. Don’t think Kiriella’s got a chance… Finally, all 4 Rajapakse’s (Basil, Namal, Chamal and Nirupama) got elected with flying colours. Mahinda will stay in power for at least another 20 years. Then those guys will rule the country for another 30 years. Fukk… And oh, Mahinda’s Hora-Arakku buddy Laxman Perera came in first in Matale.
I like elections. Even though the party I’m voting for is bound to lose, I love elections. I love to vote… Today the UNP will lose. After they lose, they will blame the Election Commissinor for not allowing election monitoring personnel inside counting centres. That’s a legitimate reason to blame the sick, old guy. But not an excuse to lose. The truth is, UNP will lose no matter what… Best case scenario for them I think them getting 65 seats, TNA getting 15, and DNA getting 5. I highly doubt this will happen. Even if this happens, it’s only a matter of time before opposition MPs begin selling their own souls and the metaphorical virginity of their mothers… With a 2/3 majority, Mahinda will f**k us upside down. Look what the last 2 governments with 2/3 majority did to the democracy and good governance of this country. There’s no reason to believe that the next government will do otherwise if they get 2/3, especially with the Royal Family and Mervyn Silva around… Perhaps a 2/3 majority won’t make any difference. It’s not like we have a written constitution at present. The constitution in use is an unwritten one kept inside Mahinda’s head. Only, if he gets 2/3, this unwritten constitution will get written, and the rest of us will have to abide by it for the rest of our lives. Make no mistake, Human Rights will have no place in the new constitution. I’m serious. They don’t like Human Rights. Ask Prof. Nalin de Silva if you don’t believe me… I like the UNP, and hope one day they will come to power. This is because it is the closest party to my ideology. Since I’m a social liberal I support public healthcare and so on. But I think there’s too much welfare is going on in Sri Lanka. That’s bad. It makes governments too powerful. Ranil’s was the only government which actually tried to reduce its size (Look what that did to him. Job cutting and privatising is not very popular around here). Although I prefer a social market economy to a free market economy I think there’s too much manipulations, interventions and regulations are going on. Ranil tried to fix that too… Doesn’t matter. He’ll lose.
On Monday, Wikileaks released a 17 minute video of a US helicopter gunship attack on a group of Iraqi men in New Baghdad in 2007. The pilots mistakenly or intentionally identifies the camera of a photographer who was with the men as a rocket propelled grenade launcher(RPG), and the US attack kills two civilian Reuters news personnel, and wounds two children. A US military man dismissed the children’s death as the fault of those who had been killed, saying , “well it’s their fault for bringing their kids into a battle.” ………. This isn’t the sad part of this whole episode. The really sad part is, the worst worst worst thing about this episode is, is the cover-up. A war crime has definitely happened, even if the pilots only made a mistake. The pilots fired at the armed men (At least three of them were actually armed). But they have no excuse for shooting the van. The van was trying to pick up the wounded and it is illegal to fire on the wounded or the vehicles that carry them. Of course the vehicle bore no markings of a rescue vehicle. But didn’t those pilots see that it was trying to rescue the wounded? But again, the saddest thing about all this is the cover-up. Whether those US soldiers broke rules of engagement or not, this kind of incidents shouldn not happen. Those pilots should be investigated and if punishable, should be punished. Mistaking a camera for a RPG from thousands of feet is perhaps understandable. Covering-up the regrettable consequences is not. There’s no excuse for that. ASSHOLES………. The second saddest thing about this whole episode, from a Sri Lankan perspective, is that the majority of Sri Lankans have absolutely no moral right to condemn this bastardly act. Those people who support the Sri Lanka Government in protecting alleged war criminals have absolutely no right to condemn the war crimes committed by the USA or any other country for that matter. That’s what happen when you “transform” yourselves into bastards…… Now all those bastards can do is laughing at the USA and shout that we have a free pass to commit war crimes because even the Americans commit them. BASTARDS…… By the way, the fact that Wikileaks was able to release this video in a press conference held in Washington D.C. tells something.
Sittingnut wrote “now i fully support american war against terrorism and use of military violence in the process…what i cannot stand is hypocrisy…why is sri lanka and sri lankan military accused of all sorts of war crimes in its fight against tamil tiger terrorists (with almost no credible and authentic evidence to back up the charges) while western government aren’t (even with much more solid evidence for their alleged crimes)? accusations are certainly not made on the same level…even when they are made there is a telling difference in how the accusations are framed. it is never the ‘americans’, ‘british’ etc., or their governments, who are committing ‘war crimes’ but some specific soldiers, ‘bad apples’ etc., but in accusations against sri lanka it is always ‘sri lankans’, ‘sinhalese’, ‘tamils’, and sl government, who are committing the alleged war crimes.” …. The thing is, one of the reasons for this difference in the words used is the fact that people like sittingnut protect war criminals …. Now I believe accusations aren’t made on the same level. There’s no disagreement there. But I directly accuse men like sittingnut for the way those accusations are framed against us… Sri Lankan government protect alleged war criminals and with the help of its propagandists like sittingnut, brands those who voices against war crimes as traitors… The wikileak video sittingnut wrote about, was presented at a 9.00 a.m. press conference at the National Press Club in Washington D.C… Can you imagine something like that happening in Sri Lanka? All the men and women who wants to attend that press conference will be dead by the day before. And with the help of propagandists like sittingnut, they will brand them all as traitors… So when a government protects war criminals, of course it gets accused of war crimes. I’m not saying racism and some other factors do not have an effect on how the accusations against us are framed. But people like sittingnut are responsible… About his so-called libertarianism, ahh. Human Rights have no part in it.
I have hopes, both for myself and for my country. I hope for a day we can trust our elected officials not to betray us. I hope for a government which is truly of the people, by the people, for the people. So when our elected officials and dishonest propagandists speak utter nonsense about an international conspiracy in order to deceive my fellow cititzens and thereby retain their power, that makes me mad… What is a conspiracy? How do these men define it? I believe a conspiracy is a secret plan or agreement between two or more people to commit an illegal or subversive act. The key word here is “secret.” I bet if you ask those conspiracists to define a conspiracy, the word “secret” won’t be in the definition. For if there indeed is an conspiracy, and if all those conspiracy theorists (MPs, Newspaper reporters, three wheel drivers) know about it, it should happen out in the open… This conspircy theory was first developed by the leftists. They talked about a CIA conspiracy. It was people like Champika Ranawaka and the JVP that transformed it into a Western/International conspiracy. So now the whole free world is against us, as if the West has nothing else to do than trying to ruin our country… As is the case with any conspiracy theory, sometimes it gets funny. The idea that the West is in it to get at our oil reserves, Trincomalee harbour, is as funny as anything in The X-Files. These were ideas developed as a response to the question “why there’s a conspiracy against us.” Since there’s no conspiracy, and therefore no true answer to this question, they developed those ridiculous ideas… Another answer to this question is that the Tamils/Tamil Separatists have mustered vote blocks and lobby groups large enough to significantly influence Western foreign policy. That’s crazy. What about the Muslims who have much larger vote blocks and much more powerful lobby groups? Have they influenced Western foreign policies? No. Why? Is it simply because of 9/11? What about the time before 9/11? Did the West had a Muslim friendly foreign policy back then? … I am not, even for a moment, saying that the West haven’t interfered with our plans for our country. But to say there’s an worldwide conspiracy against us is both misleading and preposterous. People like Champika Ranawaka know what they do. It’s all about retaining power. The rest, simply believe it because they lack in grey matter.
Victor Ivan started a debate in his newspaper last month about the Sri Lankan media. The title of the article was “Is only politics uncivilised.” … In the Part Two of his article titled “Media Mafia”, he trashes the assassinated journalist Lasantha Wickrematunga. He writes “Lasantha Wickrematunga repeatedly attacked Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse not only on the MIG issue but even before that. Thinking that he should not remain silent anymore he went to Courts when article alleging irregularities in the MIG purchase was published. Lasantha never expected something like that. He did not possess evidence to prove the charges he had made against the Defence Secretary. When he realised that he has got trapped and cannot come out of it easily, he attempted to renew his ruptured friendship with his former friend President Mahinda Rajapakse. Lasantha who followed a policy of severely and mercilessly attacking media organisations that went for discussions with the President went to the extent of meeting President Rajapakse at night, and having long discussions with him. Although the President attempted to summon Gotabhaya , and call off the Court case against Lasantha, Gota was not willing to forget the sustained attacks against him. It was not only the Defence Secretary who were subjected to strong attacks by Lasantha. The Army Commander was also a person who was subjected to nasty attacks by him.” … It is obvious that the implication here is that it was the then Army Commander, General Sarath Fonseka who killed Lasantha Wickrematunga…. Victor Ivan however should answer these questions. President Rajapakse called Lasantha a “terrorist journalist” during an interview with a Reporters Without Borders representative in Colombo in October 2008, three months before Lasantha’s assassination. After Lasantha’s death, the President said Lasantha was a good friend of his. So it must be as you say, Lasantha had managed to renew his friendship with the President… Now I ask you, did Mahinda have terrorist friends (people Mahinda considers to be terrorists. I wonder how many other such friends he has and who they might be), or did he simply lie about Lasantha being a terrorist? He should be either of those, right? … So, if Mahinda’s either a liar or a “friend” of people he considers to be terrorists, why do you go on National Television attacking former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva, and become a part of that liar’s/terrorist’s propaganda machinery? I am not questioning about you attacking Sarath N. Silva. I’m questioning about you doing it on Jathika Rupavahini… Say for the sake of the argument that it was Sarath Fonseka who killed Lasantha. Why have you become a part of the propaganda machine of the Government which offered him a ministry? … How does it feel to sell your soul?