Thursday, October 04, 2007

Free Burma with every purchase (terms and conditions apply)

I shouldn't really be here. You see, it's International Bloggers' Day for Burma, and to demonstrate my support for the brave people of that land in their battles with the oppressive and corrupt junta, I'm supposed to stick up a banner instead of a proper post.

Which is all well and good. Like LC, I'm always in two minds about the benefit of gesture politics, but this can't do any harm, and a collective blog strike might help to keep the subject in people's minds, even if it doesn't impinge on the thoughts of Burma's rulers at all.

And then I saw the banner we're supposed to use:

Free Burma!

"10/04/07"??? Hell, 9/11 was bad enough, but I really don't like sullying my blog with perverse transatlantic date ordering conventions. I'm perfectly prepared to support the cause, despite the allegation made by one of my more fruitloopy commenters that the Burmese resistance is riddled with CIA stooges. But I'm not going to pretend that today's the 10th of April for anyone. Not even if Aung San Suu Kyi comes round personally and makes me one of her legendary curries. So it's business as usual here.

Moreover, if the blogosphere is gagging itself, wouldn't it be a splendid day for the generals to do something really atrocious on the streets of Rangoon, leaving us impotently waving our fists as the MSM puts its usual tired, establishment spin on things? Nice sentiment, but maybe a bit more think-through next time, chaps.

PS: Talking of thinking, Sylvester Stallone has some views on the subject.


St. Anthony said...

Don't get me started - the way everybody goes on about "nine one one" really gets my goat. It's almost as bad as "the war on turr."

Billy said...

If you don't put that banner up, does that mean you support military dictatorships?

Ye Gods...

Rimshot said...

Tim, you're fast becoming one of my favorite people (or borg, or symbiot or piece of software or whatever you actually are)

and St. A: it's "Nine Eleven", not Nine One One". I hope none of your family was in the world trade center when they flew a plane into it. If not, I'm terribly sorry to put you out with my horror at the tragic event. Hope it hasn't spoiled your otherwise idyllic day.

Here is a goat, just for you, so that you no longer need to have it gotten for you.

llewtrah said...

Can't you edit the image to put the date in correct format?

It's all fun and games over that way right now. Indonesia and Malaysia are having a spat over a folksong according to

Tim F said...

Is that nuculer terr, Anthony, or just the normal kind?

That's right, Billy. It's like poppies and AIDS ribbons.

Thank you Rimshot. Now, I don't presume to speak for Anthony, but I don't think his point was to minimise the horror of the event: but to suggest that the way it has become branded as shorthand for an act of terror has, through its very repetition, threatens at the same time to overstate its impact, and to make it banal. It's become a sort of dog-whistle for some politicians, to justify all manner of actions, from the debacle in Iraq, to crackdowns on civil liberties in the domestic arena.

If I were to refer to the horrors of 26/12 (or maybe 12/26) many people would take a while to work out what I was talking about. I've got a nasty feeling that quite a few would never get it. It rarely gets invoked as an excuse for war or repression. But that disaster killed 80 times as many people as 9/11 did.

Beyond my crappy IT skills, Llewtrah. I'd probably turn it into a big pro-Beijing homily, with a bit about what nice chaps the generals are.

And the only thing that will ever unite Malaysia and Indonesia is their permanent chippiness about the Chinese.

Anonymous said...

FREE Burma!!!

Bush slammed the UN and the rulers of Myanmar in his UN speech last week.

The UN must do something, but they never use military force to fight.
That is a huge problem.

Illegal drug fortunes are a BIG part of this.

absurd thought -
God of the Universe wants
complete narco states

criminals in power
loving the corrupt drug war

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
shoot peaceful protesters

calling for democracy
which you must never allow

absurd thought -
God of the Universe thinks
keep trying communism

you can never KILL too much
pursuing Utopia...


St. Anthony said...

Once politicos take the language, everything else goes along with it.
Standard defence line from Rimshot there ... he/she will be calling me a fascist next.

Rimshot said...


Dick Headley said...

You're right about 911 becoming a brand name. Don Giuliani is selling the franchises I hear.

Tim F said...

Thank you, uspace. No, really.

Anthony, Rimshot: a little decorum, please, ladies.

Yes, Dick, he's going to make the American people an offer they can't refuse. As distinct from the current incumbent, who made them an offer they couldn't understand.

Noel Boivin said...

I also did not post anything on the blog -- not so much due to date conventions, but more because the effect of the post would probably have been lost if I put it above a large pic of the band "Loverboy".

2bangkok has put up a page of Stephff's Burma cartoons, including some that were too bloody to make the paper:

He's been told that's enough already about Burma so, sadly, one on Monday will be the last.