Some Such Name
Who Is Maher Arar?
For one he is Time Canada's Newsmaker Of The Year
. A man detained by U.S. Officials, branded as a terrorist, tortured and imprisoned. Even his home country's Royal Canadian Mounted Police screwed up their end of the case, translating the horrific 'security regime that U.S. seems to have imposed on it's neighbours. Maher Arar is more than pissed off:
Arar has launched two gutsy lawsuits in 2004 targeting some of the most powerful people on the continent, including U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, fbi Director Robert Mueller, former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and r.c.m.p. Commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli.
After the Syrians declared him completely innocent, Arar described his 10 months of detainment:
He was held there without charge for 10 months and 10 days. During his first two weeks, he claims, he was interrogated about people he had known in Canada, sometimes for 18 hours at a time, and tortured. One punishment, he says, was repeated lashings with a 5-cm black metal cable on his palms, wrists, lower back and hips. The mental ordeal was also brutal, he said in November 2003 at one of the most dramatic press conferences ever televised in Canada. “The second and third days were the worst,” he told the world that day. “I could hear other prisoners being tortured, and screaming.” During his first week in prison, he says, he falsely confessed that he had received military training in Afghanistan.
More langers than you could shake a langer at
Following years of hard graft by the Irish people, dedicated participation at the highest level of government, and focused action on the part of the the United Nations, the Irish slang word 'langer
' has made it into the next edition of the Collins dictionary
It's all part of the living dictionary concept, which aims to invigorate the dusty dictionary by giving it a little Pop Idol appeal. Visitors to Collins' web site can suggest a word, make up a word, even steal two bits of other words, stick 'em together and demand inclusion in the dictionary. Seize the day!
Globe & Mail
The concept might not satisfy the purists but it should provide more solace than the current ritual of muttering and complaining at the annual announcement of the latest words to be added to the world's leading English-language dictionaries.
The process is at its heart democratic. The latest word to be added is langer
, Irish slang for idiot, drunk or penis that was fast-tracked into the dictionary after a vigorous campaign by its Hibernian advocates.
"I have never seen such passion about a single word before," said Jeremy Butterfield, editor of Collins Dictionaries. "This is exactly what the word exchange was built for and we are awed by the positive response we have had from Irish word fans."
In short, the Irish invent words like hubritotes bovel lerbats.
Lost In Space?
Friends often ask me often how is it to live in Bombay. I've thought about this for awhile and have come to the following conclusion.
Call this version 1.0 of an ongoing project if you will.
Well, parts of Bombay are closer to London than to the next slum a hundred meters away. And me, I have become bootstrapped to these seven mile boots. But the boots I wear are not these cute ones out of the old fairy tale I can hardly remember anymore. No, they are fucking turbocharged: I am ripped off the ground every moment, thrown into open space. One instance I am sitting in this air-condition cafe sipping cappucino somewhere between becoming-Seattle and Milan. Another and I am back on the crowded noisy street in a street cafe somewhere between becoming Punjab, South India, China. Yet another step and I am at a fusion bars somewhere in the cosmopolitan lalaland between Soho and becoming-Singapore while on the way home the children who beg behind the taxi window wear Santa Claus hats. And the window is only a few centimeters thick but the distance spans light years.
So, yes, parts of Bombay are closer to London than to the next chawl or slum. The geography of my life has become bent in strange ways. Its spatial configuration have nothing to do with the firm ground of Newtonian physics but instead form a twisted chaotic machine in which technology, culture, color of skin, money, language all form new and strange dimension and formulas yet to be imagined or dreamed off.
And then I am home in the honorable company of an Indian, and Irishman and many more writing to whomever wherever yet still close to me. Literally.
India, Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, Finland - 5/201 countries represented so far. And counting....
October 24, 2004
October 31, 2004
November 07, 2004
November 14, 2004
November 21, 2004
November 28, 2004
December 05, 2004
December 12, 2004
December 19, 2004
January 02, 2005
January 09, 2005
January 23, 2005
January 30, 2005
May 01, 2005
August 07, 2005
August 21, 2005
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