First of all, though, I would like to wish all of my visitors a happy new year for 2008. This site has now been viewed more than 300 times. While that doesn't exactly make me a big-time player on the innertubes, it does give me a certain satisfaction to know that I have contributed a bit of my own to the information pollution that we all enjoy so much.
If I could make a wish for the coming year, it would be for more comments on my posts. There have been ony two comments so far, both uncritical statements of adulation (or so they were perceived) from good friends of mine. So they don't really count. Sorry, Tom and Sergio.
In order to stimulate intellectual debate on this page, I would therefore like to announce the following incentive. The next person to submit a comment (on this or any past or future post) will (a) receive an original hand drawing done by myself, on the theme of a graffiti I noticed today on my way to a friend's house here in Zurich: "There is too much caffeine in my bloodstream and not enough spice in my life". My sentiment exactly. The next submitter of a comment will furthermore (b) get to suggest a topic for the next post. This may, but need not, be related to my areas of interests, which are language, security/defense, international relations, and religion (or any combination of these).
I do promise I will attempt to blog again more regularly in the coming year - how is that for a new year's resolution. One reason for my long absence was that I have moved to a new flat that features a nice big balcony, which the old one didn't have. This should allow me to catch more fresh air and take in a broader perspective... Furthermore, I will be working from a proper study room. Finally, I am happy to count myself as a newly converted Mac user, so you should be able to discern a new sense of stylishness and panache in this blog that could not be achieved courtesy of Bill Gates.
Although I must say that for some reason my new wireless keyboard has trouble with the letter "L".
What can we expect in 2008? It will be the last year in office for the Chimp-in-Chief, and then, hallelujah, we shall be released, unless Cheney decides to go for broke and install a military dictatorship. We also most likely won't see war between the US and Iran, now that the US intelligence community has rediscovered its cojones. China's invasion of Taiwan will also be postponed for another year so as not to disrupt the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which will no doubt be lovely and of course completely free of doping scandals.
Now if only we could bring the Olympics to Belgrade, the Serbs might feel a little less sore about the imminent declaration of independence by Kosovo. Then again, probably that wouldn't make much difference. Chinese irredentism towards "Formosa" is as nothing compared to Serbia's sentiment towards the good old Blackbird Field. Not even Olympic gold medals for Serbian athletes will suffice to bring them out of their sulk (and the prospect is unlikely, since Serbia's national sport of Muslim-Slaughtering is no longer an Olympic discipline). The good news is that invasion is out of the question for the foreseeable future. Now Serbia has announced it will refuse to join the EU if Kosovo's independence is recognized. While I do have a certain amount of sympathy for the Serbian point of view, this is a classic case of cutting off your nose to spite your face. Sorry, Serbs. Not that you would have been ready for EU accession for a long time yet.
Well, that's it for now. If the above is not controversial enough to get some comments going, remember the irresistible offer I made for the next commenter (free original artwork plus right to pick the topic for the next post - within reason; requests such as "Why Kosovars/Serbs/Taiwanese/Chinese weightlifters are subhuman scum" will not be considered). Have a great new year's party, and a terrific 2008... and remember: