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On Syria

This might sound callous - but why are we getting involved in Syria? For sure, it takes a certain sort of batshit crazy to use chemical weapons on your own people, however this is a conflict that Syria is having with itself. Think of it like an Arab Spring gone horribly wrong.
What I cannot envisage is a way that we, the West, can intervene without picking sides. Both parties involved in the conflict believe that they are right. A struggle for freedom from a power-crazed dictator, or a government desperately trying to hold down order in the face of a massive insurrection? Which is the truth? The situation is further complicated by the Syrian regime being supported by two large and influential countries - Russia and China - both of which could be said to have dictatorship issues of their own. And the situation is yet further complicated by the Americans thinking that the use of force may be the solution, a view seemingly only shared by France, although people at work I have spoken to it about seem to be largely against the use of military intervention.
The newspapers and media in Britain (and France) are painting this as "the humanitarian crisis of the century". To this, I must point out that when I used to work night shift, I would pipe Radio Four's "The World Tonight" into my lugholes (either streaming live, or as a podcast) to hear Robin and Sha (if that's how you spell her name) talking about the annihilation of Homs. Again. And again. This situation has been ongoing for something like two years, and only NOW is the West starting to pay more attention. The cynical could say that the West is frightened of a regime with chemical weapons and a certain hatred for Israel, and that nobody really gave a crap before then because Syria isn't exactly replete with natural resources. Indeed, the humanitarian crisis is perhaps defined by the level of our own hypocrisy. We are showing up to the party way too late, in the deluded belief that we can waltz in now and fix things. If this in the case, then maybe the blood of the tens of thousands of dead are on our hands for our failure to get up off our asses earlier. Or, perhaps, there is no blood on our hands because we cannot simply march in and proclaim "Me? Aaahm the laaarw!" and expect to sort everything out in a weekend. It sure as hell didn't work in Iraq and it isn't going to work here. Essentially, asides from us helping in a humanitarian capacity, how is this our problem, exactly? Why is it to be our responsibility to fix a country tearing itself apart? Is this so both sides have somebody else to blame?

In short, about the only solution that might have viability is if we cut a deal with the Syrians to provide medical support, food, and evacuation to citizens regardless of which side they are on. And otherwise? Let them fight it out themselves. It is tragic, yes. But then most civil wars are. To take sides could be detrimental both now and in the future; not to mention that we have our own issues (Israel, Northern Ireland, Gibraltar, the Falklands...) so it isn't as if we can claim moral high ground.

Autumn Animé

As of late I have always felt "tired". Lacking concentration. It is why I have not done much in the way of programming or indeed writing blog posts. For that reason, the only series I picked up to follow was "Kiniro Mosaic" [PV, in Japanese], although I did also enjoy the four "Corpse Party" OVAs [not an official PV and pretty lame quality video, but it does a good job of illustrating the horror/gore which the official PV skips over; in Japanese].

For the coming season, my selection is as follows:

  • Freezing Vibration [PV, no dialogue, too much fanservice] - this is the sequel to Freezing from several years back, I may or may not follow this, I'll see if the first few episodes grab me.
  • Non Non Boyori [PV, no dialogue, looks quite sweet] - sounds an interesting premise. I wondered how a country school such as that in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni could work when it seems like everybody is in the same class together regardless of age, but unfortunately being Hinamizawa there were more important issues at hand!
  • Coppelion [PV1, no dialogue; PV2, no dialogue] - having read some of the manga, this sounded impressive and was due for an animated release. Unfortunately Fukushima Daichi happened, and it became a case of too-damn-soon and was "cancelled indefinitely". Thankfully Tokyo does not glow in the dark (well, it does, but not as a direct result of isotopes) so this interesting concept has been given another chance.

This is also a good time for movies and OVAs:

  • Mahō Shōjo Madoka Magica [PV, no dialogue; and this will make no sense to you if you don't know the story so far (but welcome to Shaft's art style in any case), not to mention a pile of Kajiuran music]
  • Steins;Gate: Fuka Ryōiki no Déjà vu [PV, subtitled]
  • Kara no Kyōkai - Mirai Fukuin [PV, a smattering of Japanese, and you'd spot that Kajiuran soundtrack a mile off]
  • Sakasama no Patema [PV, in Japanese] - looks interesting.
  • Chūnibyō Demo Koi ga Shitai! [retells season one from Rikka's POV, season two to come in 2014]

Can't wait!


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