About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

26 January 2007

Rock on Morning Radio

In a previous post, I mentioned that I got fed up with 5FM and Garteh Cliff, and was looking for an alternative. Anyway, over December, I was listening to the cricket on Radio 2000 on my alarm clock/radio; and then forgot to change over. The following day, I woke up to Barney Simon ... and for the rest of December, waking up was a pleasure. Sadly, Barney is no longer doing the morning show; but Mo G and Ray White (yet another ex 5FM person) also play rock, and morning radio is pleasurable once again.

For the record, Barney hosts a great 4 hour, South African music show on Tuesday evenings. Radio 2000 is now my favorite music station!

24 January 2007

Movie: Shooting Dogs

According to the plot summary, the movie is:

Based on a true story. An exhausted Catholic priest (Hurt) and a young idealistic English teacher (Dancy) finds themselves caught in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. They must now choose whether to stay with the thousands of Tutsis about to be massacred or to flee for safety.

While this certainly gives the structure of the plot of how the movie unfolds, it is certainly a deeper movie, and possibly one of the strongest criticisms of the United Nations, ever.

The fact that the UN did nothing for 100 days is well known. The movie shows how far the UN went to do nothing; and how much the UN could be held accountable as assistants to the carnage, just as much as the Hutu militia. The story takes place in Ecole Technique Officielle (ETO), a high school in Kigali, where the UN has set up a military base. When the violence starts, about 2500 Tutsi refugees take up shelter in the school, where the UN provides a sense of protection, while the school is completely surrounded by the Hutu militias. But even then, while Tutsis are massacred with machetes metres infront of the UN soldiers, the UN cannot intervene - because the UN security council has refused to change their mandate from monitoring to peace keeping. In fact, the only thing the UN soldiers can do is shoot the dogs that are feeding on the human corpses, because it "is a health issue". But the ultimate insult is not that the UN did not do more, but that in the end they pulled out of the school leaving all the Tutsi refugees, including children, to face the Hutu militias. What followed, is one massive bloodshed ...

One would have thought that, 12 years on, the UN would have learnt their lesson. That, instead of fighting over the definition of what constitutes genocide (which is what the US were arguing about in the security council), we would do something to prevent such acts in the future. Instead, we have continuing violence in Darfur, unrest in Somalia; and let's not forget the Middle East. The Americans are right - the UN is pointless; but not because they do not bend to the wishes of the Americans; but because the so called super powers have no accountability on their actions.