Monday, August 28, 2006

Chicken comb soup

Yesterday, a bodyboarder lost his flipper and a part of his right foot to a shark. Two weeks ago, a surfer lost his life after suffering the loss of an arm to a shark. Needless to say the press are enjoying winding up the masses and pointing fingers. This time it is the fault of the chickens. It would appear that terrorist chicken cells are organising suicide missions and flinging themselves into the waves to attract sharks to nearby humans. The African Press agancy, PANA, sees it differently and suspects it is due to the ritual sacrifice of chickens and the deposing of carcasses on the shore. The observant will have noticed that finger pointing is always at minorities, sects and people who don't think like "us". Maybe, just maybe, the sharks are just doing what sharks do and one should remember that 700,000+ people produce an awful lot of rubbish.

The African Press Agency said :

"The site of Pointe du Diable which recorded three shark attacks is reputed dangerous due to the remains of chickens Reunion inhabitants will leave as they hold some ritual sacrifices on the beach."

Of course this is not very good news for the tourist industry despite the vast sums of money the government are pumping in to keep it afloat after the Chikungunya crisis. Has the money helped? I am not sure, but there are an awful lot more sharks up here on dry land ruining a lot more lives than there are beyond the beaches.

Back to chigunkunya, and the worries of the coming wet season : "As far as officials of Reunion are concerned, the disease if far from being under control, for the virus carriers, i.e. mosquitoes, are developing in uninfected areas and are growing at a steady pace, adapting to their climatic environment." APA

Could it be that they are also adapting to warm showers of larvacide and insecticidal fog? Send in the chickens!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Sakifo - Sarkifo

This past weekend saw the third Sakifo music festival come to St Leu and it all passed off without too much of a to do, but...

... but, you thought that I wasn't going to have a moan. If only music festivals could be like Glastonbury used to be (which means it never really was like that and only ever existed in the dark woodstock of our imaginations). The interesting thing about the latest Sakifo music festival is that it managed to embrace several diverse realms of thought and politic between the crochets and the quavers. Sakifo is "run" by Orange - the phone people - and as such they offer discount tickets to their faithful; a discount of some 50% if you have the misfortune to buy your tickets on the night or during the week leading up to the festival. Much ado in the local press about the price of the tickets - 30€ on the night, 22€ before, but 15€ for Orange subscribers and Sechoir card holders. The interesting thing here is that Orange have managed a discriminatory coup of which Sarkozy would have been proud - Mmmmm! Maybe he has shares in Orange?

The ticket price is a polite way of saying, "Keep the riff raff out!" We only want nice, middle class, over-paid functionaires at our concerts, or those who have embraced the faith and subscribed to Orange. Isn't this a bit like saying that one can come to France if one has a jolly degree even if you just happen to come from Africa? If not, tough, listen to the radio.

I went to see Ziskakan and Susheela Raman on Sunday (and yes I did pay 22€) the concert was good - Ziskakan excellent even if a little cling film wrapped - whatever happened to protest songs? However, the strangest and most bizarre event of the evening was the confiscation of water bottle tops at the entrance. I was most perplexed. Why confiscate water bottle tops? Naw, even I cannot be that cynical - they are not trying to force you to buy "their" water? Perhaps, it is all due to security, afterall, three year old children could choke on a bottle top; not that there were that many three year olds there. Funny that they actually sold bottled water + the tops in the venue. Funnier still that on leaving the concert I passed a pile of bottle tops disgarded by the confiscators so it cannot have anything to do with protecting the environment.

What we are witnessing is a fine example of how milti-nationals are taking over from the state in controlling our lives and determining the rights and rewards. French neo-colonialism is not dead, the borg will assimilate us all and those found wanting will be assigned to clearing up the mess after the faithful have departed.

The future is definitely not bright, but the future is Orange.

hot rock mantis