Here’s a fresh joke from my new Twitter:
“Hey, guys, two countries in Eastern Europe invaded another country and are genociding it away.”
“Ah, OK, let’s give them the Nobel Peace Prize.”
“OK, I’m confused, which one are we giving the Nobel?”
“Let’s just give it to all of them, and they can sort it out among themselves.”
Now Twitter banned me completely although I haven’t had a chance to post or comment anything else.
I’ve had to start a new account because I can no longer even read the feed in my previous two accounts.
It’s ok, I was kind of getting tired of my old feed anyway. But it’s interesting how Twitter gets its billions of accounts. They simply lock people out, forcing them to start new accounts which improves the numbers.
I need Twitter to follow the news, so I don’t care about follower numbers. But for people who are trying to build a group, this must be very annoying.
“You have turned the poor into a business opportunity,” says Miguel, a character in this novel, to his left-wing brother. “Before you took control of Venezuela, our country had many problems but at least we could talk about them. And now you have lost all capacity to criticize what’s going on. You have turned completely blind.”
As Miguel correctly observes, political extremists are impervious to reason because membership in their tribe requires that you blind yourself to obvious things. Venezuela in Barrera Tyszka’s novel (and even moreso in reality) is an absolute mess. But the faithful admirers of Chavismo and of the even more vicious Cuban socialism will not be persuaded by any arguments and will not see any evidence. As the famous Soviet slogan went, “Marxism is omnipotent because it’s true.” And how do you know it’s omnipotent? Because it’s true. And how do you know it’s true? Because it’s omnipotent.
The novel talks about the illness and death of Hugo Chávez and the ridiculous amount of secrecy that surrounded the dictator’s last months. Chávez was such a wounded macho that he couldn’t accept being sick. In January of 2012, after his diagnosis of cancer was made public, he gave a speech that lasted 9 hours 28 minutes with no breaks. He was convinced that his illness was caused by the evil Yankees who infected him but that he would live forever because the world needed him.
Like many dictators, Chávez believed that reality was created by his words. He agreed completely that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” with the caveat that God was Hugo Chávez.
In the end, what killed Chávez were his own lies. He believed that Cuba had the best medicine in the world when in reality Cuba was at least 3 decades behind the civilized world. He refused the possibility of treatment in a good hospital in Brazil and stuck with his Cuban treatment. There’s poetic justice in that but there’s no justice of any kind for the Venezuelans who are still suffering in Chavez’s socialist hell.
On Twitter I came across a group of Russians discussing which part of Ukraine Russia needs to hit with a nuclear strike first.
“Why don’t you hit yourselves over the head instead?” I replied. “Maybe that will make you smarter.”
Guess who was banned by Twitter for “promoting violence against a group” in this exchange? Yes, it was me. The Russians in question are still tweeting up a storm on the same subject.
I will never stop being surprised at the Nobel Prize going to writers I never heard about.
I don’t think it’s humanly possible to read more than I do. I browse new and notable books daily because it’s how I have fun. And I never heard this writer’s name.
If you want to go with France, the country does have a great writer with global name recognition. It’s Michel Houellebecq. Awarding the prize to anybody else from France is simply bizarre.
The Peace Nobel I don’t even want to discuss because it’s simply stupid.