anotherlongshot (anotherlongshot) wrote,
anotherlongshot
anotherlongshot

You're my star.

Today's UN Law class has, in one fell swoop, spectacularly stamped out whatever little idealism I still harboured with regard to the United Nations Security Council. In the first place the Security Council was the UN institution that I was most cynical about; in the first place, it wasn't like I was ever under some grand illusion that the Security Council acts on a moral impetus, that it is the bringer of salvation to conflicts-infested states. I knew already that member states vote on resolutions based principally and primarily on their own national interests and not the interests of the parties involved in the conflict with which the proposed resolutions deals. In other words, all the hoopla about international peace and security in the UN Charter, while strong rhetoric on paper that does its job to inspire confidence in the average person, doesn't amount to much, if anything, in practice.

I don't know if anyone has caught on yet, but for all my cynicism, I truly believe in the United Nations - or at least, the idea of and behind the United Nations. It's fashionable to dismiss the UN as useless and I know many people who do exactly that; but I wonder if they'd ever stopped to consider what alternatives we have, if any, and why they'd possibly think that those alternatives would be better than the United Nations. On the lowest level of usefulness the UN serves as a symbolic moral police and its presence creates the existence of some flimsy hope that injustice in the world would not be tolerated. Of course, that assertion itself is open to many attacks, and I'm all too aware that the second part of the sentence is more false than true; but at least symbolically, it's what the UN is.

After today's class, though, this UN apologist is finding it harder to defend the institution against accusations of incompetency and irrelevance. The Security Council is probably its weakest link and the one institution that is in most urgent need of reform. It's all a power play, and politics have everything to do with it. In fact, politics is the only thing that counts. If you want the United States to come to your rescue in the future, better make sure that you never, ever vote against the US' national interest; because of the influence and veto of the permanent five members, some conflicts, some genocides, will always be more pressing than others, and therefore, some lives will always be more worthy of saving than others.

There's a lot more but I won't go into details. Suffice it to say, then, that I find it all absolutely disgusting. It makes me wonder how I can still purport to believe in an organisation that stood idly by and let Rwanda happen, that is standing idly by and letting Darfur continue to happen. And it's not because these situations aren't worth saving, it's not because Rwanda and Darfur are enemies of the civilised world and therefore they can go and rot and die; it's solely because the agenda conflicts with the interest of one of the permanent five members. Is it worse to deny that a genocide was taking place in Rwanda, or worse to recognise that there was a genocide and do absolutely nothing about it?

Maybe the UN has never been altruistic; maybe the Charter is a crock of shit. But I don't believe that. The idea of the United Nations, its principles, these things are immutable; what fails it is its members, its actors, and human weaknesses and selfishness. The United Nations is, after all, an organisation of Nations; when we speak of it as a single unit, we tend to forget that.

Or at least, I do. Still, despite all its shortcomings though, despite the disillusionment that arose from today's class, I'm not ready to give up on the UN yet. Much as I'd like to see the world functioning without the UN, I can't imagine a world without the UN.

***

Along a slightly similar vein, I caught a bit of the US presidential debates on Saturday. Prior to this I didn't give a shit who won as long as it wasn't another Republican; I didn't give a shit whether Clinton or Obama got the Democrat nomination. Okay, it's too late to care now with regard to the latter, but after watching the debates, I'm going on record to say that Barack Obama will save the world.

Okay, I exaggerate. But, much as McCain wanted to paint him as naive and inexperienced (those subtle digs weren't so subtle), and maybe I'M naive and dumb, I find Obama's idealism refreshing. I find it unusual that someone from the United States who's possibly and probably going to be President, actually said that he wasn't going to continue with the US' "my way or the high way" approach towards foreign policy. I obviously soak up a lot of American culture, but the one thing that has always pissed me off about the United States, besides the average American's ignorance of the parts of the world not named United States of America (which, as a whole, is actually, gasp, bigger than the US), is its arrogant and muscle-flexing approach towards foreign policy. Just because you're the most powerful country in the world, doesn't mean you can, or ought to, use that to make everyone else fall in line - and falling in line usually means falling in line with your own interests. Of course, I'm saying this based purely on those 30 minutes of the debate I watched, but Obama won me over anyway, and McCain was arguably the better orator.

On the bright side, I cannot see America electing another Republican...wait, then again, maybe I shouldn't underestimate the infectious nature of stupidity. HAHA.

On a shallow note, I swear McCain doesn't look 70-whatever he is. He looks late 50s, early 60s. What's his secret? Or maybe it was just the studio's lighting.

***

Back to regular programming now.

OMG STEREOPHONICS HAS A NEW SONG.

It's a bit different from their usual singles. It's not quite as introspective and deep as It Means Nothing, and it's definitely not as pointless and fun as Pass the Buck. And it's definitely no Dakota. But I love it! It's mellow without being boring, and, like Dakota, it evokes images of long, seemingly never-ending rides down an empty, uncluttered free way, wind in your hair, feet resting against the dashboard, your shades on, and looking out of the window and living in the present.

I love Stereophonics. Love. It actually makes the Cookie single an even bigger disappointment. I don't expect - indeed, don't want - my bands and rock singers to come up with ground-breaking, "original" music; more likely than not, originality is an excuse for incoherence and the lack of any and all semblance to music that the "original" artist produces. I like my songs to actually sound like songs...but I don't like them generic and formulaic and radio-ready and perhaps American and boring. The Cookie single, unfortunately, is exactly all of those things.

Oh well, whatever.

Does this mean I have to buy the Best Of album? For one new song? But I have all their albums, dammit! I hate these cheat-money best-of CDs. Loyal fans like me end up getting the short end of the stick, paying the same price for a CD when I already own most of the songs.

But I'm gonna buy it anyway. I love You're My Star. Lyrics!

You fly with angels wings
You've got my blood in your veins
And your eyes see everything
And they shine like diamond rings

You're my Sunday
Make my Monday come alive
Just like Tuesday
You're a new day that wakes me up
Wednesday's raining
Thursday's yearning
Friday nights
Then it all ends at the weekend
You're my star

At times I cave right in (at time I cave right in)
But there's fights we have to win (the fights we have to win)
And your songs we love to sing (la la la la la, la la la la)
May your dreams forever live (la la la la, la la la la)

You're my Sunday
Make my Monday come alive
Just like Tuesday
You're a new day that wakes me up
Wednesday's raining
Thursday's yearning
Friday nights
Then it all ends at the weekend
You're my star

You're my star
Yes you are

It's a thrill to see your imagination
Just watching you is an education
What's in your mind is my fascination
It blows my mind and sets my heart a racing

You're my Sunday
Make my Monday come alive (you make me come alive)
Just like Tuesday
You're a new day that wakes me up (you make me come alive)
Wednesday's raining
Thursday's yearning
Friday nights (you make me come alive)
Then it all ends at the weekend

You're my star

Right, need to do actual, proper work. Oh wait, I can't post an entry without mentioning Roger. I was downloading the first set of his first ever grand slam win (2003 Wimbledon) and I was at 51% when my Internet decided that it was a good time to die on me. And because Megaupload is a money-sucking machine, I couldn't reconnect to the server because I'm not a premium member or some shit. So my download died. And for some reason, my Internet connection has decided that it really enjoys pissing the living shit out of me (and it knows I get damn riled up at these things because I've sworn at it on more than a few occasions) by fucking up the speed and crawling at a bloody slow rate. It's just so primitive that a 400MB file takes 2 hours to download. I NEED A BETTER ISP. Fuck this shit.

On a brighter note, I just downloaded his victory against Nadal in last year's Master Cup Shanghai semi (I forgot which one). I want to see him win Nadal on clay so I'll be getting the Hamburg one soon. Rog dropped the first set so I'll also be watching him lose to Nadal without actually watching him lose. I still haven't seen him lose to Nadal 'cause I'm only downloading his victories (takes long enough as it is; why download matches where he lost and make myself sad?) and he didn't face Nadal at all when I started following him, so I don't know what it's like when he plays against Nadal. And no, those few minutes of the Wimbledon 2008 final don't count; I don't even remember any part of it, or who was winning, etc.

Oh my god, Starhub is really testing my patience. My download has just dropped to 3 kb/s, 12 hours remaining. FUCK YOU STARHUB YOU PIECE OF SHIT.

DAMN PISSED.
Tags: america, law school, politics, rant, roger federer, stereophonics, united nations
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