Sunday, 31 July 2011


Ecstasy is an excellent HARSH Canadian film that uses drug consumption as the vehicle to explore loneliness, fear, despair, beliefs, friendship... If you think "Requiem for a dream" is a tough film, be warned that it seems like a comedy when compared to "Ecstasy".

Apart from drugs, the other main topic in the film is Religion, and both of them serve a similar function: escaping from reality. The drugs induced escape lasts just for a short time before turning against the escapists and devouring them, the negative effects of the religious flight are not shown in the film, really, there's not an anti-religion stance in the film, except for the fact that the priest tries to keep up his audience by putting drugs in the wine used for the communion!!! the idea is interesting (reminds me of some old stories about food in Hare Krishna restaurants... well, I've been in several Govinda restaurants throughout Europe and I've never left there in an "altered state") and it fits pretty well with the idea of Religion as a collective hallucination...

I don't feel like writing anymore about the plot, you just should watch it and enjoy (or maybe suffer) it, so I will only add that the soundtrack is pretty good, both the "danceable electronic" themes and the "depressive introspective" ones.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Latvian Non citizens

A history-geography-politics freak like me needs to digest tons of information about any place he plans to visit in order to feel OK when he sets foot there (I understand travelling as a form of personal enrichment that goes far beyond the experiences lived in the few days that I can afford in whatever place I go), so as I'm planning a trip to Latvia and Lithuania I've started my search for all sorts of information, and I've come across this pretty interesting documentary about Latvia.

Well, I've said that it's pretty interesting, but first and foremost I need to warn you that it is terribly biased towards Russian interests. The hosting website (pretty interesting by the way) was formerly known as Russia Today, so it's easy to expect some proRussian stance...

Not that I want to show off, but I should say that few things in the video were new to me (apart from my general interest in European affairs, I paid a visit to Estonia in 2008, and learning about any of the "Baltic states" necessarily means learning about the other 2...), so I already knew about the Non citizens, the tensions between ethnic Latvians and ethnic Russians (and their huge percentage there, even larger than in Estonia), the economic difficulties that the country is going through, the Latvian SS thing, the Latvian NeoNazi scum... but what it seemed to me is that everything appeared like a bit distorted.
Well, what I had not a clue about was that the Latvian government had returned the previously "collectivized" properties to their old owners (even people living abroad).

The documentary does not explain how the 28% of Russians living there (not 50% as the documentary constantly claims) ended up in Latvia, probably they are skipping that in order to avoid inconvenient references to the occupation of the Baltic States. They do not explain either that the percentage of Russian population was also increased by the deportation of a 10% of the native population, as part of the population transfers conducted by the Soviet government.
They pay much attention to the disgusting Latvian NeoNazis, I guess they do this intending to demonstrate how ultraNationalistic and xenophobic the whole Latvian society is... but in doing so, they should also mention the huge number of NeoNazi shitheads in Russia itself, but well, following that logic that should lead us to think that the Russian society as a whole is the most nationalistic and fanatic in the world...

I don't want to sound antiRussian, I can understand part of the feelings of both communities,
from the Latvian SS member (that in most cases was not a blood thirsty fanatic, but a guy that had to choose between the Soviets, which brutality alredy knew pretty well after the initial occupation, and the Nazis, that in principle could seem more "Baltic friendly", after all, Nazis did not regard Baltic people as an "inferior race", and Germans had dominated the Baltic economy for centuries with no need of blood baths or brutal oppression of the natives
to the Soviet veteran that after being forced into the army was about to die in the Great Antifascist War, and that finally got relocated to an unknown land as a "prize" (better, as the following step in the construction of the perfect (and impossible) society)...
Sure it's hard to swallow that after having lived in a country for many years you are suddenly a second class citizen there, but it's also hard to swallow that you're not willing to do the effort to learn about the history and culture of the place that after all those years you should love.
Furthermore, at first sight it doesn't seem so complex to get naturalised.

So well, all in all, good stuff to further investigate and think about, and sure a great topic to discuss before a coffee with some ethnic Latvian and some Latvian Non-citizen (and preferably young single females :-D
but so far I'll have to resign myself with the comments below the video, that provide pretty different takes on this topic and are well worth a read.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

The enemy within

Well, seems like it's been a long time since my last "Islamophobic" post, so it was about time :-)
Yesterday I found this excellent documentary about how muslim children are indoctrinated in hatred and despite towards us, Westerns, "Kafirs". Said this way it sounds like nothing too special, we all know how Radical, fundamentalist and senseless Islam is taught in Madrassas all over the Muslim world, the interesting (and particularly revolting) thing is that these Madrassas are in UK, yes, our enemy is being raised in our own soil (I'm not British, but as a European proud if his Western culture and values this is an attack that absolutely affects me, cause it's an attack on our civilization and our way to understand the world).

It's rather disgusting to think that apart from the petrodollars from Saudi Arabia, these "Westernphobic factories" could probably be getting funds from the British government as part of some integration policy. Well done, let's waste public money trying to integrate those whose main purpose in life is disintegrating our society and ruling us (if they have not behaded us) with their Sharia...

"Lessons in Hate and Violence" is almost like a follow up to "Undercover Mosque" another eye-opener shot 4 years ago, in fact, I think "Undercover Madrasah" would have been a rather proper name, as all the filming is done undercover in order to show us the truth of Fundamentalism in its pure raw form, without any of the "sweetener lies" with which these fanatics tend to attempt to conceal their real intentions when needed, does the word "Taqiyya" ring a bell?

As usual, some normal, moderate, integrated Muslims also appear in the film showing their disconform and rejection to the madness happening in those madrassas.
I've always thought that it's these people, normal muslims, the first that should confront Radicals and help us kicking them off Europe. Normal muslims are doubly harmed by these radical shitheads, on one side they would suffer as much as us under a Sharia world, on the other side, they are the targets for those rightwing idiots that can't distinguish normal muslims from fundamentalist ones or that just try to leverage the situation to justify their hatred toward anyone that is different.

So, moderate muslims, please, wake up and make a clear stand against fundamentalists so we can clearly know on which side you are.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Last Months' interesting stuff (May-June 2011)

As I've been pretty busy lately and haven't had much time for posting, I'll put together the interesting stuff of the last 2 months in a single entry:

  • Pretty interesting "article" (well, it's an answer in StackOverflow, but it qualifies as an article for me) about the implementation (and negligible performance differences) between ViewBag and ViewData

  • One more of the many jQuery tricks that I've learned lately:
    jQuery, .text() will remove all nodes inside the node, if I just want to remove a text node but respect its siblings use .contents():
    Stackoverflow discussion

  • Deferred is one of those jQuery novelties from some months ago which I read about some time ago but that I didn't have time to fully understand. Last week I could spare some minutes to read some related stuff and get a clearer idea of what it can be useful for and how it works:
    Moreover, this time I found the jQuery documentation on the subject pretty well done

    In short, think of deferred as Observable Execution Units with several events to which you can queue your callbacks. These queued functions will get called once the Execution unit gets resolved.

  • Even when you more or less know how to implement something it's good to check how others have done it (that way you're reminded of that beautiful Function.prototype... idiom that I had seen for first time years ago in the prototype.js code, for example for bind)
    A good article on JavaScript memoization

  • It's not that I'm a fan, but I like people that do amazing, innovative things, and I love companies who treat their workers as human beings deserving a worthy salary that allows them to carry on their lives with dignity... so well, this said I can proudly state that I very much like Microsoft.
    In the last years they've been taking very wise decisions one after another, creating some of the most innovative programming languages and technologies, approaching the Open Source community and contributing to it, hiring some incredible developers....
    In this direction, some great news for all the Microsofties out there:
    Eric Gamma (one of the GoF guys) has joined MS
    Microsoft will be exponsoring Node.js for windows
    Version 1.0 of the Reactive Framework has just been released. I'd read something about it last year, when the initial releases came into life, and it seems really interesting. One more thing to my list of things I want to give a try.

  • This collection of JavaScript gotchas is a real must. Even very experienced JavaScript developers will find something useful there for sure

  • I had no time for writing a full review after watching it, so I just will briefly mention here that Unknwon is an excellent thriller, a pretty good story with good action. Moreover, it's set in Berlin, and I love watching films set in places that I've been lucky to pay a visit, cause it brings me tons of good memories.