Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Today's News: British, Argentine old news.

Cue up Ronald Reagan saying "there you go again"...although in Argentina's case, things might change their position come October.  What happened: Argentina's opposition party won the latest election there and its current president is basically in lame duck territory, all the while sabre rattling has been revived over whose territory the Falkland Islands are supposed to be. This isn't the only ongoing conflict that Argentina has with Britain--there's also the Antarctica territory dispute.

Brits will argue that both the Falklands and Gibraltar are British by tradition and should remain so, but now Spain disagrees too, based on what Britain wants to do with it by way of its claimed property rights--namely, that business about installing an artificial reef.

Reuters--August update on Gibraltar

This, while all the while the U.S. puts its own resources into the dispute between Japan and China over the South China Sea and the Senkaku Isles (Japanese term; China calls them Diaoyu).

And there's a lot of time between now and October.  We'll see.

In other new old news is a new video of the same old tsunami that wiped out the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan.  At first, staying on the frontage road seemed like a good idea, and then it started to look like climbing up to the highest story of a nearby building might not be good enough.

Also--Happy Independence Day, India!

Now that the day's traffic to this blog has died down, I'm going to add an observation about my audience, which I know is primarily Asian (via Google Plus) up until I noticed traffic from World of Radio.  First: Hi guys, glad to see you. Second: you won't find a whole lot about radio except in the context of global situations or history, and I know it's the latter that some of you old timers would like.  But it's you old timers that also know that I've moved on since the mid 1980s, going into the computer hobby out of the radio hobby, and like a number of things I've left behind, I'm not going back even though I like to stay in touch via DXLD yg. I go where there's new adventures to be had and I've always been like that, sorry.

I "donated" all my old QSLs to Richard Wood's doorstep when I checked out of Cape Girardeau MO so I don't even have those to post outside of a few that escaped the purge, though I'll have to say that I wish I had hung onto my KGEI QSL and my old logging tapes.  NASWA old timers who have figured out my relation to Charlie Loudenboomer also know that I was into shortwave not so much for DXing for cards but for the music (hint: I briefly did a Music Page column just before I dropped out) and armchair traveling, which was the adventure part of that experience.  I still get a charge out of hearing McMurdo on that rare occasion, and in view of what I just posted about Argentina and Antarctica, you'd think I'd mention that the fact that it's in Spanish should be a point in Argentina's favor.  Nah.  It's incidental.

So, then--there's nothing new about history, which is necessarily old, and which renders my relatively recent interest in that to be an oxymoron of sorts.  Let me explain it to you this way: visiting a different time is almost like visiting a different planet, and the deal is that there are still adventures in exotic cultures to be had there just as there is (was) with armchair traveling via the shortwave radio, and let's face it, guys: shortwave right now is mostly a cesspool of wingnuts, religion and jammers (though I give China credit for having such interesting firedrakes out there and I'm sad to see them go).

I miss the OLD HCJB, Voice of the Andes, which did used to air regional cultural programs back in the day, amid those infernal religious sermons, and they've gotten more robotic about stuff now that they have a station in Australia.  Cultural content is what's missing, even on Radio Cairo these days.  I'm just not getting as much out of shortwave listening as I used to, and there are always new avenues of exploration in history when one avoids the musty classrooms. And there's this matter of how history affects current events, like the rift between Japan and S. Korea, the obstacle Turkey faces re: EU and the Armenian matter. Still, adventures are what I go on--life's too short to not.

One thing that hasn't changed over the decades, though: people abroad are more interested in American history than Americans are. And probably ever will be.  I write for them now, on this Asian-heavy blog.  As Leo Van der Walt used to say on the now-gone Radio RSA: tot siens. And remember--this too shall be history, eventually.  Tomorrow is just your future yesterday.

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