Archive for August 22nd, 2006

Aug 22 2006

The Random Yak

British Television Bans Cartoon Smoking


Dateline: Great Britain.

The British government agency responsible for monitoring television content has banned smoking scenes from Tom and Jerry cartoons played on British television. Prompted by “an anonymous complaint,” the ban covers all scenes “deemed to glamorise or condone smoking.”

Depite the stylized nature of smoking appearing in the cartoons (e.g., the big cigar-smoking bulldog who frequently appears just in time to save mouse Jerry from large, bat-wielding tomcat Tom) the British government has decided the works lack the “editorial justification” required to demonstrate smoking on television.

Crushing your enemy with an anvil, blowing him up with dynamite, squishing him under a large book, placing him a frying pan over “high” with a couple of fried eggs and beating him to a pulp with a baseball bat, however, are still permitted. (And justifiably so…after all, dynamite is dangerous, but smoking can kill you…)

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Aug 22 2006

The Random Yak

The Wise Man, The Fool and the Family of Nations

Filed under News.., This~n~That

Stayed up too late last night reading Plato’s Republic and considering the difference between the just man and the unjust man. (Yeah, I know, much more of that and people will be making fun of me. Like that’s never happened before. Or to better people than me.)

Woke up this morning to discover that the nutcases are at it again. Not that they ever really stopped.

Non sequitur? Not really.

You see, one of the points made early in the Republic has to do with the difference between the just and the unjust, and the way they view a fellow man. (Quick point of reference for the unfamiliar: The Republic, written by Plato, involves a “dialogue” between Socrates and others on a variety of subjects, including justice.) Days could be spent on the topic, but in the interest of brevity (and recognition of the fact that most of you clicked away the minute you saw the word “Plato”) let’s skip to the point: one of Socrates’ methods of exploring the difference between justice and injustice (or the just and unjust man) involves a comparison between wisdom and foolishness. Translated and interpreted slightly for our purposes: the wise man wishes to equal his peers in wisdom, whereas the fool wishes to be better (to “have more”) than fools and wise men alike - he seeks to be better than all.

True wisdom requires a person to acknowledge personal failings and the achievements of others. It mandates a level of humility not seen in the fool - whose very foolishness generally prevents him from acknowledging failure unless he finds it externally. The wise man seeks to better himself by learning from others. The fool attempts to better himself (realistically or in his own mind) at their expense.

But what does this have to do with the price of enriched uranium in Iran? Simple. Continue Reading »

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Aug 22 2006

The Random Yak

Not That Anyone Was Looking…

Filed under This~n~That

..but does anyone think it’s even a little bit weird that the first thing I see when I log into Pet’s blog this morning is an advertisement for painkillers? (No, I’m not naming the spammer, on both general and very, very specific principles) Still, the Yak is in the house and, as always, irony reigns. Intentionally or unintentionally.

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