Getting a leg up

Heightened expectations.

I happened to drop by The Independent website and found this story about leg lengthening in China. I’ve also heard stories about kids being given plastic surgery to make them look more Western if they do well in their exams. Recently, the government declared a ban on the advertising of certain medical services, although I’m not sure whether that extends to banning the services themselves. I’ve seen a poster in town a few times which I’m sure is advertising implants.

To get back to the original story, the generation of kids I’m teaching will definitely be taller than their parents, and certainly many of them are as tall as me or taller (including some of the girls; then again, by current Western standards I’m about average height, which is still not quite as tall as we’d all like to think). On the other hand, I’ve also had quite a few pupils who are, well, very petite. There are quite a few old women around this district who are very short indeed.

Hanging’s too good for him.

Today’s big news is, of course, the sentencing of Saddam Hussein. Al­though I don’t agree with the death penalty, it’s hard not to say that he’s getting what he richly deserves. On the other hand, he can only be ex­ecut­ed once. If you think of the human rights abuses that occurred during his dictatorship, you want his death to be slow and lingering – dank dungeon in which he can’t even sit down, inadequate food and sanitation, rats, sleep deprivation, etc. You really want him to suffer for all the suffering he’s caused.

At least he’s going to be punished. Pol Pot escaped that; so did Mao, Hitler, Stalin, Kim Il-Jong and too many tyrants who are a disgrace to the human race.

There are questions over the fairness of the trial, but I doubt whether Saddam ever let fairness kept him awake at night when it came to the callous disposal of the lives of others. He got a trial. How many people skipped straight to the execution part?


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