Posted this new mix on SoundCloud a few days ago:

Detailed tracklisting is unlikely, but in no particular order and with liberal addition of remixing and original productions by yours truly, the keen ear might discern in this mix: Philip Glass, Human League, Sven Väth, the Pixies, Eurythmics1, Music Go Music2, Silicon Soul and a crapload of more recent electro and deep house artists.

All other mixes are still on the Music Page.

  1. yes, I was in quite the 80s mood that day []
  2. These guys are awesome: check all their stuff []

And so it has come to pass, yet another towering political figure of the not-so-distant past is gone, her questionable legacy shielded from scrutiny by the buffer of a couple decades spent decaying into pitiful senility.

I hear it is bad form to speak ill of the dead (some disagree), so I will just let her give us some highlights in her own words:

  • On Nelson Mandela’s liberation movement: a “typical terrorist organization” (in 1987).
  • On Augusto Pinochet, her indefectible friend: “it is you who brought democracy to Chile” (in 1999, yes ninety-fucking-nine).
  • On the gays: “[a local authority] shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship” (Section 28 of the Local Government Act 1988).
  • On the immigrants: not keen on them at all (“If you want good race relations, you have got to allay peoples’ fears on numbers”), but “less objection to refugees such as Rhodesians, Poles and Hungarians, since they could more easily be assimilated into British society”: you know, the white ones (in 1979).
  • On feminism and women rights: “I hate feminism. It is poison.” (to her advisor), “The battle for women’s rights has largely been won. The days when they were demanded and discussed in strident tones should be gone forever. I hate those strident tones we hear from some Women’s Libbers.” (from a 1982 lecture).

All that without even getting into the disastrous economic legacy1, the annihilation of the British working class and the crushing of anything resembling solidarity or compassion (you can see the wince on her face at the mention of such horrible marxist concepts) in most aspects of British social policies.

I’ve never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.

Clarence Darrow
  1. As a bonus: the emergence of financial institutions with no checks or responsibilities, let free to run the world’s economy into the ground 20 years later. []

It was recently discovered that DPRK’s last semi-hilarious attempt at getting a front slot on Western news (a cheesy video depicting the fiery destruction of NYC by a proud North Korean-made nuclear missile) had been mainly lifted from a US videogame… Some poor official propaganda video editor is probably getting a free trip to Bukchang gulag for that one.

But this is not what I find most noteworthy in that video.

The soundtrack to that heartwarming tale of the victorious rise of the Juche over the pulverised radioactive ashes of imperialist Western children is, I jest not, a cheap instrumental synth version of We are the World.

If there ever was a less subtle way to say “Give us our annual dose of ‘humanitarian aidnow or we will throw a tantrum until you do”, I don’t know what it is.

The lyrics to the original USSR national anthem were written by Russian author Sergey Mikhalkov in 1943.

In the fifties, Comrad Nikita deemed the original lyrics a little too fixated on Staline’s awesomeness and ordered them changed. “No problem, never liked the guy in the first place”, Sergey Mikhalkov presumably chirped, while writing a new Staline-free version in 1977.

By the year 2000, Mother Russia, now a lot less communist but still short on funds to compose a new anthem from scratch, went looking for new lyrics again, preferably without mention of the great Lenin illuminating the path to freedom for the Union. A job that Sergey Mikhalkov gladly took, because really, he never cared for that communism stuff and was just in it for the music.

In 2020, when president-for-life Putin finally commissions a new version of the national anthem praising his skills at bear-fighting and bare-chested salmon-fishing, I have a good idea of who will be writing it.

Work discussion with my boss this morning:

– So, for this project, I think we should use the Cox regression model.
– Yes, let’s go with Cox.
– But the dimension of the data means we will need to adjust the model.
– Right, bigger Cox.
– That could work. Or perhaps smaller input.
– How about multiple Cox with wider input?

Don’t let the title on the door fool you: in my head, I am still in Junior High School.

Moving company guy came to my place this morning to give me a quote. Conversation went something like this:

Moving Company Guy: [taps random numbers on pocket calculator] Hmnn, let’s see… 20 boxes… Fridge… Guitar… Tokyo’s 23 wards… June… Migratory speed of African swallow… How about ¥80,000?

Dave the Negotiator: OK… huh… OtherMovingCompany Inc. gave me a very dodgy, phone-only quote of ¥60,000 that I really do not trust one bit.

Moving Company Guy: I see… err…

Dave the Negotiator: [prays very hard for any quote south of ¥70,000. Would probably still sign for ¥75,000]

Moving Company Guy: [emphatically taps on calculator some more] Let’s see… with super special extra rebate… because I somehow unexplainably really like the cut of your jib… How about ¥55,000?

Dave the Negotiator: [struggles to remain composed] Yes, I think that will do.

I am a negotiation genius…

Today is the day we remember.

Japanese, Japan residents and pretty much anybody who has been exposed to images and testimonies of the astounding amount of death and destruction that befell the north of Japan a year ago to the day…

Today is also the day I must remember more than ever not to read a single foreign news site (particularly these enduring bastions of journalistic incompetence that have become French and German newspapers). Because I know that, even on this most symbolic day, they will not fail to make their front page on the largely unrelated and comparatively irrelevant aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear accident.

After all: why bother with the death of 15,000 people in some remote part of the world, when you can instead focus on a political issue that resonates with your local readership…

Oh Sinnerman, where you gonna run to?
Sinnerman, where you gonna run to?
Where you gonna run to?
All on that day

It has been nearly two weeks and it is now time to move on a little.

Don’t worry: I am not off Mr. De Angelis’s case and will keep posting updates to his dedicated page as they keep coming.

But I need to start resuming a normal life, one where I do not spend hours replying to emails and comments about this affair. You know there is something wrong when I am probably losing more sleep over all this than the rapist himself.

Anyway, I am sure my thesis advisor and my girlfriend will both appreciate regaining my undivided attention. And the three regular readers of this blog who come for pictures of cats and wacky Engrish signs will be happy to read about non-rape-related stuff again…

Before I temporarily close this chapter (and also because I cannot see myself following the last post directly with pictures of kitties doing adorable things, or some post about my love of bacon for breakfast), I felt there were a couple things I should share. A mixed bag of reflections, observations and justifications. It is long, rantish and all over the place, so you will be forgiven for skimming through to the parts you are interested in (that’s what the section titles are for).

At any rate, please stay topical in your comments and keep any remarks specifically about Mr. De Angelis’s case for the appropriate post.

(Also, I haven’t had time to edit it yet. Expect plenty of tpyos)

Here we go:
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My previous post and the publicity around the name of Cristiano De Angelis have uncovered a staggering number of testimonials from people throughout Asia. All of whom without exception had negative (sometimes very negative) things to say about the man and his behaviour1.

To clearly show that my friend’s incident in Kyoto is not an isolated claim, I have taken the liberty to gather all sourced testimonials posted on CS threads or in the comments to my original blog post, and copy them below in chronological order. People (understandably) concerned about the credibility of my sole voice may want to look through these: while they may not fall under criminal law, they all paint an unambiguously negative portrait of a rude, untrustworthy, sexually aggressive and deceitful individual.

There is also a clear evolution: as he gets farther from home (and, presumably, from people who may recognise him and report his behaviour to his friends and family), Mr. De Angelis becomes increasingly rude and aggressive in his encounters.

Every single quote comes with a link to the source and to the poster’s public Couchsurfing profile (every single one of them have themselves flawless profiles, sometimes totaling hundreds of positive reviews from visitors):

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  1. As an aside, the fact that he was able to so easily slip from one person to the next and leave such a trail of universally negative experiences, without anybody successfully connecting the dots until now, raises some serious question about the safety mechanisms built into Couchsurfing. []

Update: Looking for information about Cristiano de Angelis and the charges against him? please read this (probably far-from-exhaustive) long list of testimonies.

Update (Feb. 2016): Rather than taking a strong look in a mirror and reflect on his life choices, Mr. De Angelis has been spending a large amount of time and resources trying to make these pages disappear from the web (and somewhat succeeding). Good thing URLs can be changed.

Meet the Rapist: Cristiano De Angelis

Cristiano De Angelis is an Italian-Brazilian “professor” of economics who enjoys travelling.

Cristiano De Angelis is also a sociopathic sexual predator, who raped a 20-year-old woman in Kyoto, sexually assaulted at least one other person and generally behaved like a pathetic excuse for a human being toward all the people unlucky enough to cross his path during his travels through South-East Asia.

Continue reading