Thursday, February 27, 2014

Anelka is Banned

Nicolas Anelka has been found guilty of breaking Football Association rules by making a quenelle gesture to celebrate a goal he scored for his team. The FA writes:

"An Independent Regulatory Commision has found an aggravated breach of FA Rule E3 against Nicolas Anelka proven and has issued a five-match suspension and a fine of 80,000 pounds, pending appeal.

The West Bromwich Albion player has also been ordered to complete a compulsory education course.

The Independent Regulatory Commission will provide written reasons for its decision in due course."

A summary of the decision may be found here.

The Guardian notes that:

"the punishment was the most lenient that the FA could have imposed under their new anti-discrimination rules. However, the governing body reported that the three-man panel 'did not find that Nicolas Anelka is an anti-Semite or that he intended to express or promote antisemitism by his use of the quenelle.'"

A link to the whole article is here.

The BBC website report quoted the response of the President of the Board of Deputies, Vivian Wineman, who told them that he welcomed the decision to make Anelka undergo a compulsory education course:

"That's one of the most attractive parts. We want to educate people. Anelka said he didn't realise it was anti-Semitic, well that kind of ignorance is dangerous … the quenelle is something that few of us in the UK recognise. In France it's known as being a vicious anti-Semitic gesture."

That article may be found here.

The Telegraph reports that Anelka continues to deny the charges and has asked for an appeal. Their coverage includes a quote from Dieudonné, supporting his friend:

"Anelka is a descendant of slaves and if he wants to remark on this history he has the right to - and we are all very proud of him doing so."

The Telegraph link is here.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Naughty Shirley Temple!

You may think that butter wouldn't melt in little miss Shirley Temple's mouth, but according to her obituary in the Times:

"In 1935 she was taken by her parents to Washington to meet President Roosevelt and his wife, Eleanor. The President invited the Temples to a barbecue at the Roosevelt home in Hyde Park, New York, where Eleanor, bending over a grill, proved too much of a temptation for the impish child star. Temple unleashed a pebble from the catapult she carried in her lace purse and hit the First Lady smartly on the rear."

I'm Not a Cartoonist But ...

What did I want to be when I grew up? Easy - a syndicated cartoonist. My hero was Charles M Schulz, and I covered my schoolbooks with Snoopy and Charlie Brown. I even created my own character, a round baby in a romper suit called Pomme de Terre.

So nu, what happened? I guess it depends how you look at things. On the one hand, I've always been pretty sure that I'm not much good at drawing. I consoled myself with the knowledge that SJ Perelman began as a cartoonist, and eventually the captions grew, the drawings dropped out, and he became a writer. On the other hand, I never did put in the time needed to create and develop Pomme's world.

These days I'm coming up to 18 years since rabbinic ordination. As you can see from the pic, cartoons are occasionally part of my work. And now that I've found Laydeez do Comics, it has crossed my mind that it may still be possible to try drawing some more ...

Wednesday, February 05, 2014


Blogger has this lovely page where one may see how many people have viewed one's posts and from which part of the world they have done this. I had a look at the breakdown today after a little surge in views, and saw that 52 people in Bulgaria have stopped by my blog in the last 24 hours. Or possibly one odd person 52 times. In any case, it made me think:  what do I know about Bulgaria?

The answer to this question is a bit embarrassing. Acknowledging that Geography has never been my strong suit (once I woke up in Geography class to find that the class had ended and I was alone in the room), all I could come up with was Sofia is the capital, people there shake their head for yes the way I shake my head for no, and Dimitar Berbatov.

I now feel the need to redress the balance a little. Here are ten things I just found out about Bulgaria:

1.  Bulgaria is Europe's 16th largest country by area (the UK is 11th & Belgium 34th out of 49)

2.  This is the Bulgarian coat of arms (I do love lions):

The motto says:  Saedinenieto pravi silata
(Unity is strength)

3.  the artist Christo is from Bulgaria. I enjoyed his Gates in Central Park a few years ago:

4.  The Bulgarian national airline is called Bulgaria Air.

5.  The Bulgarian monarchy was abolished in 1946.

6.  This is the flag of Bulgaria:

7.  Nestinarstvo, also known as Anastenaria, is an ancient Bulgarian fire ritual which involves dancing barefoot on smouldering embers.

8.  Bulgarian currency is the lev:

9.  According to the Divine Wiki, as of 2004 there were more than 10 million native speakers of Bulgarian in our world.

10. Rakia, popular across Southeastern Europe, is considered to be the national drink of Bulgaria:

I feel a bit better now. I hope you do also.

Приятен ден!