People

A Crash Course in Newsworthiness

This is a tweet from the official Real Madrid account before today’s game against Real Betis.

https://twitter.com/realmadriden/status/325640502219268096 : A minute of silence in the memory of the victims of the Boston marathon bombings. #halamadrid

I may be alone in this, but I blinked twice, then thrice, when I saw this. Why on earth is Real Madrid, one of the world’s foremost sport brands, commenting on an incident in the United States? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been watching all the coverage of the stories emerging from the Boston bombings, just like everyone else. And that’s for 2 reasons. One is that I was searching for answers about why this happened. The second reason is because that is the only thing any news outlet is talking about.

But here’s a glimpse of other events in the world that would have had more airplay if the marathon ended without incident: the Sichuan earthquake which killed 100+ persons and injured 5000+ others (yes folks, that’s thousands injured and over one hundred dead); the bomb blast targeting a candidate in the upcoming Pakistani elections which killed 3 of his family members and injured 7 others; random Syrians are still being killed in the civil war crossfire. I would look for positive headlines, but that’s becoming as scarce as pygmy elephants.

So why is a Spanish organization which is ranked by Forbes as the of most valuable football club in the world, observing a minute’s silence for the victims of the Boston bombings and not every other “significant” disaster in the world? I mean, one does not become globally successful by such myopic pandering. I guess American victims are more interesting than Chinese or Pakistani or Syrian victims. And it helps that #PrayForBoston was trending. Better than that, Madrid.

That brings us to this gem. Quite a lot of folks saw this as heartfelt condolences. I think that’s a gross misunderstanding. Let us think for a second what it must be like to live in terror… real terror… everyday. Not one Monday at a large public event. Everyday. Think about something as routine as going to find something for your family and being very uncertain to make it back home.

And so with tongue firmly in cheek, and armed with très American “peace” signs, the Syrian Revolution sends condolences to the first world.

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People

L’eau des nuages

Il a quitté mon cœur

Sur son retour à lui-même

Il a mis son cœur

Dans une boîte, cachée

Il a l’oublié, je me pense

Dans la tempête forte

Avec les vents de peine.

Il a parlé,

Il a parlé des choses simple

Et il a satisfait

Content, sans me voir.

Il a regardé

Les jeux.

Il a ri

Avec ses amis, un sourire.

Il a travaillé

Comme rien n’a changé.

Sans me parler,

Sans me regarder

Il s’est senti de moins en moins

Il ne l’a pas vu

Ses mots ont se assis comme les nuages

Où sont les profondeurs de tu?

J’ai espéré avoir de ses paroles les plus vraies

Parce que je les aime

Et j’ai su que je te ai connu

On veut quoi d’autre?

Sans tout le cœur

Sans les deux mains

Et moi, je suis me souvenu

Les temps de parler,

De nous nous sommes compris.

Je reappelle. C’était un décembre.

For those of you who are familiar, this is clearly a tribute to “Déjeuner du matin” by Jacques Prévert. Déjeuner du matin is the first French poem I have read (last week, in fact), and I immediately loved it. The Frenchies may correct my mistakes, and suggest better or more poetic phrasing. I hope you enjoyed it, and I look forward to your thoughts.

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