Sir, yes sir!
Well, all right. If you like. I have an American student in PAL 2 who needs to be doing native-speaker English and not the pale (but practical) shadow of the English language which is the mainstay of the IGCSE ESL course. Fred and I decided to have her read Heart of Darkness.
I thought I’d (be a good boy and) go online in search of study questions for the book, but apart from brief visits to the usual sites (thisnotes and thatnotes), I was getting nowhere and I’m not sure why. At best the sites were only loading in part, but seemed to be tripping up on ad. serving which, failing to get through, was jamming everything up.
There was a story on the Register which said that Google had had some problems, which may be why Google Reader and Google Bookmarks were misbehaving (more with Firefox than with Chrome). The fault is supposed to have been fixed, but that doesn’t seem to have happened in the Empire where Reader has been there one moment and gone the next.
Of course, the current dog turd in the imperial soup bowl is the story about the obscenely huge amounts of lolly which Wen Jiabao’s family is supposed to have made, which has led to all or some of the NYT website being blocked. I had thought that that might be why Reader wasn’t working, but I don’t know.
Actually, that’s what’s bothering me: my ignorance. If I knew what was causing the problem, I might be able to find a solution or at least know and accept that there’s no solution. Instead, I get more and more annoyed as a consequence of my frustration. Instead, I’m more likely to start blaming Nanny when the mad old bat may not be responsible.
As for the big China story, I’ve long wonder how much the boys at the top might have. I knew it would be large sums, but I didn’t know how much. I don’t know why anyone’s really that bothered about it. It’s been happening in China since forever. If my sources aren’t unreliable, eunuchs used to set fire to imperial palaces and make a killing on the insurance and the rebuilding. In other words, the Wen family is following an age-old practice. It doesn’t excuse them, but it’s the way things are here.
It would probably be better if the Party embraced corruption as part of the Empire’s culture and stopped feigning horror every time it became public knowledge. A little more “Yeah, whatever” and a little less “Think of the children!” Since everyone knows the Party boys are corrupt, where’s the story?