Students Gone to Pot

Monday, July 6th, 2015

Greece, Greece, Greece! That is what is dominating today’s headlines, of course. As usual, though, my function here at €S is not to point out to you something you have probably already heard about from some other source, but rather to come up with material you likely would not ordinarily have run across (primarily due to language barriers).

There’s nothing along that line that I have found, yet, when it comes to Greece. Grease, though: that may be another matter. For who can resist this (well, if you read Spanish)?

Cannib
“Tribe of cannibals solicits more exchange students,” it says! And check out that picture – isn’t it a riot?

The Spanish press is not really known for parody publications along the lines of The Onion, but here you really have to wonder. To be sure, everything is laid out in the normal manner of an on-line news article. This one begins:

The chief of the Krilasha tribe of New Guinea, Mulumba Bra-Maldashiu, today asked the European Union to provide more support to exchange-student scholarships because, for some time now, “we have been getting less people, by which I mean fewer youths from abroad, and so it’s a shame that the scholarship system is breaking down.”

So far, so OK, although I wrote “people” there as a translation of género, which has many meanings, including “goods”; you wonder whether it might also mean “fresh meat.”

But then get this, the piece goes on:

“We are hungry. Hungry for knowledge,” the headman explained.

Really, don’t you start to doubt this story now? And then the chief continues, further down:

“They are new blood for us, and our tribe represents an unforgettable experience for them.”

And then:

“They don’t have to be brilliant students. Let them send us their most problematical ones, we will know what to do with them.”

The piece is topped off with a brief mention that this New Guinean tribe has put in an urgent request to meet with Angela Merkel, “to deal with this and other themes that are on the table.” Well, take a number: there are very many who want to meet with Chancellor Merkel these days, and about more urgent matters than feasting upon Western scholarly knowledge, or possibly just some Western scholars.

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Earthquake in Indonesia Also

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

I don’t mean at all to denigrate that devastating quake that hit Haiti on Tuesday. As you might imagine, I’ve found nothing interesting (i.e. “different”) about that in any foreign press to pass on here. Then again, it’s hard to think of any aspect of a quake that can be out-of-the-ordinary interesting: it’s usually just a monochrome tragedy, as hordes of people either die or lose the majority of whatever they own.

Unless, perhaps, a quake hits somewhere else while the world remains preoccupied with an earlier one. Berlin’s Der Tagesspiegel reminds us that just yesterday a 6.2 Richter-scale earthquake hit just off the coast near the Indonesian town of Manokwari. We don’t know anything about damage or deaths yet, but that’s mainly because we’re talking about the western part of that huge island of New Guinea – it hit just above the big piece of land that looks like some animal’s head, you know the one I mean, the Vogelkop Peninsula.

We do know, however, that no tsunami-warning was given, even though the quake’s epicenter was in the ocean. Is that because there truly was no tsunami, or because the judgment was made that there are not enough genuine population centers in the area to make any such warning worthwhile?

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