I am too tired to blog. Its not that I have blogger’s fatigue even though I’ve been using this space for over six years now. Its because of that bloody electricity breakdown – which The News is calling The Great Blackout – but I fondly like to refer to it as Apocalypse v.2. My head hurts from the heat, my back hurts because of all the tossing and turning and my eyes hurt because I’ve been going around staring wide-eyed at all the working electrical appliances, rejoicing in the simple delight of them working. Never take anything for granted in Pakistan.
But back to the matter at hand. Since I can’t be f**ked with presenting an opinion on any of the grave issues facing the country or the world, I’m going to revert back to being lazy and just write out my list of must-reads for the week.
Ayaz Amir writes about General Ashfaq Kayani’s Top Gun moment:
Flying into the danger zone.
The army chief, Gen Ashfaq Kayani, has grown on the job and is definitely a more confident man than when he took over from Musharraf. The Malakand operation and preparations for an assault on Waziristan have to a large extent rehabilitated the army’s image, badly tarnished by Musharraf’s policies. But it would be a pity if any of this went to Kayani’s head. We need good and able military commanders. But we’ve had enough of military saviours and can do without more in the future. And, perhaps, we can do without army chiefs trying to become F-16 aces. A flight through the clouds of Waziristan — a final victory lap, so to speak — may be in order once Baitullah Mehsud is beaten. Before that it would look a bit like President George Bush’s landing on the flight deck of the USS Constellation with a banner at the back proclaiming “Mission Accomplished” when, as events in Iraq were to prove, the mission had barely started.
Beirut-based blog Qifa Nabki provided the two gems of the week. The first – their sarcastic take on Lebanon’s national dialogue talks and how they probably go down
Raad: Ahh, actually… yes we can. In my capacity as the representative of Hizbullah, I have a proposal to make.
Raad: Yes. We have drawn up a national defense strategy. If we could just pass these papers around, you will see what it is that we’re talking about. Basically, we’re willing to dismantle the resistance entirely or incorporate it into the Lebanese Army… whatever works for everyone else.
Raad: We think that this is what makes the most sense for Lebanon, at this stage.
Hariri: Wait, really?
Raad: No! I’m just messing with you! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…!!!
Hariri: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…!!!
Geagea: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…!!!
(10 minutes later)
Everyone: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…!!!
Raad: You should… have seen… the look on … your face… Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…!!!
Hariri: (wiping tears of laughter away) Oh my God. You had me there man. Oh damn, that was funny!
The second gem - Twitter’s 140 character limit causes a major fail.
One opposition supporter who goes by the Twitter username “MousaviRulez” is alleging that the character limit prevented him from communicating a major discovery that could have provided proof for the opposition’s claims that the election was rigged.
“I came upon a huge warehouse in the outskirts of Tehran, and it was full of unopened ballot boxes from different districts all around the country. There must have been a several million votes in there,” MousaviRulez told QNION correspondent Jacob Tafnis. “As soon as I figured out what I’d found, I immediately sent a message to my Twitter followers with the directions to the warehouse. But I ran out of space.”
MousaviRulez says that when he realized he couldn’t fit the entire set of directions into one tweet, he tried to break it up across many smaller ones.
“But by then, it was too late,” he said. “People were re-tweeting my original tweet, then re-tweeting my staggered tweets. It was a huge mess. And then someone in the government who was following my tweets realized what was going on and they shut down the Twitter servers in the country.”
MousaviRulez says that within ten minutes, several officers arrived at the warehouse, cuffed him, and took him to jail. When he was released the following day, he made his way back to the warehouse only to find that it was empty.
“Ten more characters. That’s all I needed to get my message across,” he said sadly, sipping tea in a Tehran cafe.
“If only I’d used Facebook, things might have been so different.”
Ever thought what you’d do if you suddenly came upon Baitullah Mehsud? KABOBfest discovered a patent has been registered for a device that could give the words ‘switching channels’ a whole new meaning:
Screenwriters take note, this would make an awesome plot for another one of those CIA agent in the Middle East type movies Hollywood loves so much…
Germany’s The Local recently reported that a Saudi inventor filed for a patent with the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) for a killer GPS-like microchip that would allow governments to locate and terminate known extremists and criminals (and possibly political opponents and dissenters?) at the push of a button.
The device is sort of like that nifty house-arrest ankle bracelet that we use here in the states, except for two important things: (1) it is surgically implanted; and (2) it will release a poisonous toxin into the carrier’s body if he/she’s ever deemed a security risk.
The letter of the week:
SMS for IDPs:
Thousands of posters have been put up in Lahore citing ‘an appeal from the chief minister to send an SMS for a ten-rupee donation’ for the IDPs. Will the provincial government kindly explain how many SMSs are required to cover the cost of one poster and how much will be left over for the IDPs?
Five Rupees finds Zardari rapping to the EU:
Asif Zardari contradicts just about every statement he has made over the past three months without sacrificing his arrogance. For best effect, read this rhyming statement with some P. Diddy beats playing in the background:
‘What I need is trade, not aid. I’m looking for MOUs (memoranda of understanding) and not IOUs and I intend to get them,’
Have a great weekend everyone. Pray there isn’t a thunderstorm in interior Sindh again. Also thank the Pakistani cricket team for single-handedly distracting the country from the apocalypse by their spectacular win against South Africa last night.