July 07, 2006

Got to draw the line somewhere

I have a new personal policy. I won't stand in a convenience store behind people queued up to buy lotto tickets. Twice in the last day and a half, I've put my purchases down, and walked out and over to the next store. Not that it's a very far walk in Toronto.

I'm sorry, but lotteries are a deeply stupid pastime. I'm not going to say or do anything to the idiots themselves, but I have no reason to subsidize the pastime with my time, or the stores that prey upon these morons with my business, either. There is absolutely nothing available for purchase in a convenience store that warrants it.

Posted by BruceR at 02:20 PM

What to do with Zidane

If I were the French foreign minister right now, right after the World Cup I'd be thinking of finding a way to send Zinedine (originally, "Zin ad-Din") Zidane, right now pretty much the most famous member of the country's Algerian immigrant community, on a good will trip to French forces overseas (and by extension, to the local Muslim populations in the same areas) in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, the Chad-Sudan border, Lebanon and the Sinai. Let Al-Jazeera run extended coverage of some streetball session in Kandahar with the guy. He's retired as of Sunday, so it's not like he doesn't have some time on his hands.

It has been documented of course, that jihadists frown on football and other sports. There's really no better military "info op" than one that helps place your foe in the position of opposing something the public happens to like, without being able to coherently explain why. This would qualify.

UPDATE: Oh, I suppose I should say something about the head-butt. I was stunned when I watched it live. Incredibly bad sportsmanship, but it doesn't necessarily hurt the idea expressed above of deploying a retired Zizou as a French goodwill ambassador to Islam. If anything it probably frees him up from some sponsorship responsibilities he could have expected otherwise, so he'll have some more time on his hands. Plus, he's contrite, so maybe he'll see more value in doing something for his country now. That said, you'd have to make sure you could exercise a little more message discipline on the guy than his coach could. A more difficult info op task than I'd originally thought, but far from impossible.

Posted by BruceR at 10:14 AM