Sunday, 28 September 2008

In this, the first edition of The Sunday Paper we take a look at the news around the world, which is - let's face it - not that far from home.



IRAN KEEPS CHINA IN A CHOKE HOLD

asserts the AsiaTimes. And here I thought that professional wrestling was strictly a Euro/North American phenomenon - and that the only Eastern representation one would find was played by Mexican and Vietnamese actors between industrial shoots. Not so.

And it seems the headline is not a reference to the individual ring master's respective names, but their countries' collective talents. And in this case, "Choke hold" isn't the ol' arm-round-the-neck move; it's apparently a metaphor for how well Iran matches up against the mighty free-market Communists. Maybe "The Sheik" was an actual Iranian? I'm sure the "Rev. Minh" is American because he used to work at the Indonesian place around the corner from a friend of my cousin's mother-in-law.

The rest is a bit confusing, but from what I can gather, this story is primarily about a huge tagteam event coming up. One of the Revolutionary Guard has said, "These crucial naval passages are so extensive that, in the case of an attack, not only the enemy but also all those who assist him will no doubt sustain [considerable] harm."

What I guess that means is that the Guard aren't above fighting outside of the ring. I'd love to see whatever kind of hold a "naval passage" is.

Anyway - as if that weren't merciless enough - the turnbuckle turban-titans have additionally warned that if they can manage to "[take] control of the Strait of Hormuz, the price of oil will spike considerably."

This I take to mean that the Strait of Hormuz is the most formidable foe from the Persian pummelers' point of view. I have to plead ignorance as to whether or not a "Strait" is a kind of sheik or the term for a group - like "a gaggle" - if you will. Whatever it is, I wouldn't bet against that considerable spiking being dished out by The Price of Oil.

You gotta love these international commonalities: It's so obvious that it's all fake, but the fans all play along anyway. And I thought the Americans were over the top. These guys are extreme! You gotta love it, even if you don't watch. It's world culture!
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GAS LINES OVERSHADOW BIG
WEEKEND EVENTS IN GEORGIA

attests The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. I've always preferred electric myself, even though it takes forever to heat up. With a gaslight, I'm always afraid there's gonna be a massive explosion, and this report only succeeds in confirming that fear. I didn't get beyond the overview on this one, sorry; I can't be bothered to read the ultra small print in the body.
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DISILLUSIONMENT IN AUSTRIA
shouts Süddeutsche Zeitung contributor Michael Frank about the land across the border. As is sometimes the case in European elections, it's possible that none of the so-called people's parties will manage more than thirty percent in today's national midterm. This means that the corresponding hand-wringing over which of the oppositional parties - which'd been unacceptable as a coalition partner before the election - will suddenly become their next "one-term-stand" prospect.

This is when you wanna be the guest in the house: So you can just slip out early Monday morning, for if you make up the majority of an administrative cooperation, whether you are culpable or not, you are bound to get blamed for everything that is unpopular, and there won't be any shortage of that.

On the other hand, if by some miracle the coalition survives, you could get stuck with the partnership forever.
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NOW THE BAVARIANS GET TO VOTE
flabbergasts the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) editors about their neighbors to the southeast. Directly translated that would read "Now the Bavarians have the vote" - which to me would indicate - either the state had just had its first selection of citizens reach voting age, or previously Bavaria had been excluded from the German Constitution - both of which are certainly not the case.

Insofar as Bavarians are known to impose their will on greater Germania, it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that they were exempt from the fundamental law of the land, but they definitely enjoy the safeguards. Of course, Bavarians say the same thing about "dem Preußen" to the north. No - I like the potential irony of the first translation.

The Christian Social Union Party (CSU) has been in control of Bavarian state-government since just after I was born in 1966, but the Allgemein surmises that they might pull in less than fifty percent for the first time in over forty years.

Germany is home to an interesting anomaly: The CSU - a party represented in only one state of the union - forms a federal fraction with the Christian Democrats (CDU) who - slightly less socially conservative than their sisters - are established in all sixteen states.

It took me a long time before I even began to understand parliamentary-style politics at all. But when you factor in two parties with "Union" in their name also referring to their cooperation nationally as a "Union" - it can get even more perplexing.

Bavaria is also nearly sixty percent Catholic, and old stompin' grounds to current Pope Benedict XVI, who was born in Upper Bavaria, which is in - that's right, you guessed it - the lower region of the state geographically.

When I ponder Bavaria's political position - and more specifically that of Catholics and the CSU - I can't help but think of Wyoming and her three electoral votes, which - despite the deceivingly low number - is actually indicative of disproportional representation.

Also, like the Republicans (GOP) in all those sparsely populated American states out west, the Christian Social Union fares best in rural territory. Indeed - when you listen to former long-time CSU Chairman and Minister-President Edmund Stoiber speak, you can only come to the conclusion that his party's base must hate intellectuals just as much as the GOP faithful do in the US.

We'll soon know whether or not they'll be forced to cooperate also at the state level - and form a coalition. It's a good thing Stoiber stepped down last year; he couldn't even form a complete sentence. Sound like anyone else you know?