Monthly Archives: April 2004

Manji Schmanji

I’ve written about Manjis before, how they resemble swastikas, and how I have no problem with their appearance in Japanese art, Anime Trading Cards, or anime toys.

However, there’s a nice little controversy brewing over at St. Louis University

There’s a painting by an Italian painter with a design that evokes a swastika.

According to the artist, an Italian priest named Renato Laffranchi, the painting depicts four rivers flowing from the Garden of Eden, forming four gardens that humanity is to tend. However, the rivers are depicted in the shape of a swastika, which is the cause of concern.

The Student Government resolved it should be removed

College President resolved it wouldn’t be

Saint Louis University President Lawrence Biondi, S.J. has responded to the Faculty Senate’s and Student Government Association’s repeated requests for the removal of the painting, Four Rivers, currently hanging in the John Cook Business School Atrium. It appears that, contrary to both governing bodies’ wishes, the painting will remain, until it is scheduled to be rotated.

A Post Dispatch
article mentions that the swastika is an ancient symbol of good fortune, according to the artist. It’s a reminder of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust for some jolted viewers. The University News articles don’t mention the artist gave that excuse. I don’t accept it. It’s an ancient symbol of good fortune in Asian cultures, and Native American cultures. The artist is an Italian Priest.

I would actually accept the excuse, “I was drawing the rivers flowing from the Garden of Eden, the evocation of a swastika was purely unintentional.” If the Post is correct in the artist’s explanation, it suggests he was thinking about the swastika as he painted it. And considering his geographical location, he wasn’t thinking of it solely based on its history as a symbol of good fortune. I can’t believe he’s ignorant of his nation’s history.

Sorry, location matters. From an Italian Priest it’s not a manji, it’s a swastika.

Fun with Photoshop

This is something I received in my email a year or so ago, and I decided I had to put it up on my site. Someone took pictures of a handful of actresses, and added a few pounds with photoshop – or some other graphics program.

here’s the results.

Call me crazy, but Sandra Bullock still looks great. Maybe it’s the red dress.

PETA, the Padres, PetCo, and Poetry

Angelweave mentions on her blog the latest prank by the people at PETA.

For a donation, you could have a brick in the San Diego Padres new PetCo Stadium engraved with a message. PETA jumped at the chance.

The inscription read: “Break Open Your Cold Ones! Toast The Padres! Enjoy This Championship Organization!” � the first letters of which spell out “Boycott Petco.”

PETA isn’t too fond of the pet-store chain. Complaints about how pet stores mistreat animals are legion.

I agree with Angelweave in that it is a childish prank — but it certainly gets their message across. And its poetry during National Poetry Month! (Well…some people consider acrostics as poetry.) PETA is quite good at getting their message heard, love it or hate it. I actually find myself agreeing with much of what they say — though I don’t always agree with their tactics, and I’m not a vegetarian. Having extremists out there doing extreme things is actually good. It makes the moderates seem more…well…moderate. Without the extremists, the moderates look extreme. Not a good thing. (Which is why we need Michael Moore on Air America, not Al Franken. Or at least in addition to Al Franken)

Editorial Disclaimer of Possible Bias: I was the roommate of “PETA Director of Vegan Outreach”, Bruce Friedrich for several months. (Actually, we had separate rooms of a 4-room suite in college Sophomore year. Though I left the college the following January, so it was only for 4 months or so.)

Holocaust on Our Plates – a poem I wrote a while back about a PETA campaign. My blog entry on the same campaign.

Similar Holidays

Today is Patriot’s Day…the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord. (Longfellow’s poem often misleads people to think the anniversary is April 18th, but the poem referred to the midnight ride of Paul Revere. The battles occurred the next morning.

It’s also Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day. Observed on the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising – April 19th (Nissan 27). The Hebrew and Roman calendars are pretty much aligned this year as they were in 1943…just one day off. The holiday was observed by many in the US yesterday. However, Israel is observing it today. (Not, of course, because of the Roman date, but for the same reason we in the US observe national holidays on the “Monday following”.)

Both holidays commemmorate a battle for freedom. Resistance against tyranny. Yes, tyrants on a totally different scale — unfair taxes can’t be compared to genocide. And while on Yom HaShoah we do recall the events of the entire holocaust = the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was picked for the date to emphasize resistance, and fighting back.

Finally!

It’s no longer Rock music, or D&D that’s causing the world’s ills.

It’s Soap Operas!

I knew there had to be something sinister and evil about them. (Even though they’ve stopped reporting on the Royals, Ananova can still be counted on for something, at least.)

sigh…

Ananova used to be such a great resource for news on the British Royal Family.

You could search for news stories about the Royals in general, Princess Diana, Prince Charles, Prince Harry, or Prince William. I link to all searches just to illustrate all stories now stop at the end of February 2004. Is it possible Ananova chose to stop reporting on the Royal Family entirely?

They still have their wonderful Quirkies section, and are a good source of gossip on Celebrities. But I fear either the British Royal Family was dissolved…and I am sure they’d have reported that, or someone on their editorial staff decided to stop chasing the Royal Family around, and give them a little space. What a shame.

I may go through their archive of news stories and see if they’ve truly stopped reporting on them, or if you just can’t search for them anymore.

sigh…

Ananova used to be such a great resource for news on the British Royal Family.

You could search for news stories about the Royals in general, Princess Diana, Prince Charles, Prince Harry, or Prince William. I link to all searches just to illustrate all stories now stop at the end of February 2004. Is it possible Ananova chose to stop reporting on the Royal Family entirely?

They still have their wonderful Quirkies section, and are a good source of gossip on Celebrities. But I fear either the British Royal Family was dissolved…and I am sure they’d have reported that, or someone on their editorial staff decided to stop chasing the Royal Family around, and give them a little space. What a shame.

I may go through their archive of news stories and see if they’ve truly stopped reporting on them, or if you just can’t search for them anymore.

No connection…

The St. Louis Post Dispatch runs an editorial calling the Missouri House a “House of Hypocrites”

A Representative tacks on an ammendment to a bill that would eliminate the sales tax exemption for the Post.

Legislators insist there is no connection between the two, and this isn’t retaliatory legislation against the newspaper for criticizing them.

Yeah, Right.

No connection…

The St. Louis Post Dispatch runs an editorial calling the Missouri House a “House of Hypocrites”

A Representative tacks on an ammendment to a bill that would eliminate the sales tax exemption for the Post.

Legislators insist there is no connection between the two, and this isn’t retaliatory legislation against the newspaper for criticizing them.

Yeah, Right.