Tagarchief: english

Penguin Island

The book about Human Nature, as experienced by Penguins

“As the great writer of Alca has said, the life of a people is a tissue of crime, wretchedness, and folly. Penguinia did not differ in this respect from other nations; nevertheless, its history contains some admirable sections upon which I hope that I have cast much fresh light”.

This piece of writing from the preface of Anatole France’s book Penguin Island fairly summarises the underlying message of the satirical story: people are bad, and they are bad because they are people. The story is about Penguin Island, inhabited by penguins that were transformed into humans. Their history satirically resembles that of France, or more broadly, Western Europe. Almost everything is ridiculed in the book written like a 18th or 19th century history book: from conservatism and progress to capitalism and socialism, and from law and custom to philosophy and theology; but also romance, revolution, history and even the future do not escape France’s critical view.

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Officer Sam Should the U.S. be the World's Police Force?

Whether you like it or not, the world is becoming smaller every day. When the global village becomes a global city, who will keep its citizens safe? One nation in particular has taken it upon itself to ostensibly fulfill this task. Could the United States possibly be justified in seeking the role of an international ‘police force’?

By Berend Pot

In 2004, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, better known as the creators of the renowned animation series South Park, released a movie named Team America: World Police. The movie involves a team of string puppet super soldiers who are tasked with neutralizing the then leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-Il. Now, I am not going to tell you whether or not they succeeded, nor am I going to review the film. Instead I will use the film to introduce a criticism that is often leveled at the general aim of United States foreign policy during the last century. For the most part, Stone and Parker’s film is a satire about the position the United States has taken within the international community, which has often been described as one comparable to that of a police force. Interestingly, such comparisons have been made in the spirit of heavy criticism as well as praise and advocacy.

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