Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Three years of blogging

The three year anniversary of the first entry on this blog just passed. How time flies.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Life insurance crooks

I had the unfortunate experience of dealing with someone who wanted to sell me a life insurance policy this week, who works for a huge "respectable" insurance company (which lately seems to be developing a reputation for ripping people off).

The high pressure tactics he used were quite remarkable (even resorting to emotional blackmail at times); although I didn't fall victim to his tactics, the experience left me very angry. A lot of innocent, less-savvy people are being ripped off.

Although most of the other people I've dealt wth in the financial services industry were relatively decent, people like him give the whole industry a bad name.

The sooner the (literally) blood-sucking bastards are brought under control, the better for all concerned.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Holy war hotting up?

The pope-Islam hostilities appear to be heating up again, ahead of his visit to Turkey.

The Time article contains the following rather interesting fact:

In late October, Benedict received a different kind of validation in an open "Your Holiness" letter from 38 of the best-known names in Islamic theology. The missive politely eviscerated his Regensburg speech but went on to "applaud" the Pope's "efforts to oppose the dominance of positivism and materialism in human life" and expressed a desire for "frank and sincere dialogue."

The article refers, of course, to the speech the pope gave a few months ago, that got (small) parts of the Muslim world foaming at the mouth, which was praised by many of those who read it.

Now, in case you missed it, the letter from the Muslim heavyweights to the pope can be found here (by the way, Muslims need to improve their PR operations - it was fairly difficult to find this).

Unfortunately for the pope, it appears that his controversial speech contained some glaring errors, and wasn't as well thought-out as many of us first assumed. If he wants to confront Islam and impress Muslims as much as he impresses the chattering classes in the West, the holy father needs to up his game a little.

Borat movie: disappointing

I had high expectations for the Borat movie, but instead of rolling in the aisles with the rest of the people in the cinema, I was disappointed.

The movie is basically a collection of the usual Borat humour, as found on the TV show, unfortunately made so over-the-top and dumbed-down that it becomes embarrassing.

An example, I have seen a few funny clips where Borat meets with high society types for dinner, and there is also such a scene in the movie. However, in the movie he goes absolutely over the top, and after visiting the toilet he actually brings a turd back to the dinner table. Instead of talking about a prostitute as he did in the TV series, he brings one to dinner. Instead of exposing the latent prejudices of his hosts he just acts like a jackass, and when he gets kicked out, it's less funny than inevitable.

The scripted scenes could have been written by a cruder version of Leon Schuster, and were tedious as hell.

A few laughs don't make this movie worthy of the hype it has generated.