Black Sunday! (or Monday morning, where I am)

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If you despise ridiculously overwrought segues, then by all means leave.  Otherwise, trust me: I shall get to the point.

Type “unfair treaty” in Google and you’ll get lots of hits, the great majority referring to the Treaty of Versailles.  Versailles ended World War I and has been denounced for putting to much of the burden of European reconstruction on defeated Germany.  The negative effects of the treaty were such as to foster the growth of the Nazi movement etc.  Still, I myself don’t really see the treaty as being unfair in this fundamental sense: Germany lost the war.  To the victor go the spoils and therefore I think you can accuse the Allies of being mean-spirited and (ultimately) stupid, but not really unfair.

So what would a truly unfair treaty be, IMO?  Well, it would reward the loser and punish the victor.  In other words, an unfair treaty (or what amounts to the same, an absurd treaty) is one in which the results of the battlefield are reversed.  This is much rarer than the Versailles type deal, but I can provide you with a good, historical example:

During the 19th century the Kingdom of Siam (today’s Thailand) found itself surrounded by two extremely hungry colonial powers: England and France.  The core Thai territory managed to stay independent but the country was forced to jettison a substantial amount of  land it had gained since a revival in the 18th century.  These cessions included areas of Laos and Cambodia lost to France after a number of wars.

Fast forward to 1940.  Hitler’s Blietzkrieg is striking fear into the hearts of Europe.  France falls and a weak, collaborationist government is set up in its stead (the so-called Vichy regime.)  Thailand sees an opportunity here.  It begins attack areas of French Indochina that once belonged to it.

Eventually war erupts.  In 1941 things seem to be going well for the Thais until a naval battle at Koh Chang brings a surprising, and quite crushing, Vichy French victory.  At this point, Japan, the big man around the block those days, intervenes.  Scared that Bangkok might lose this conflict, it arbitrates a treaty in which Thailand gets some (though not all) of the territory it was fighting for.

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So here we have a situation in which a third-party forces a treaty that denies the (latest) battlefield result: what I’m calling an unfair treaty for the purposes of this post.

Well, IMHO we sort of had a Battle of Koh Chang today.  I don’t know if many people have even heard about this, but one of the epic struggles of our time is being fought in the Caribbean: the so-called Miss Universal War.  Two superpowers, Venezuela and Puerto Rico, are duking it out for world supremacy in a no holds barred confrontation.  As of yesterday, the two nations were exactly even in the number of victories (5) [technically the United States is in the overall lead but for several reasons that I’m not going to go into, its record, especially in the early years, is pretty much invalid.]

So today it comes down to the last 5 contestants.  Questions are asked.  Venezuela’s answer is poor, and coupled with a couple of ugly gestures that went along with it, I was sure she’d end up fourth or fifth.  Puerto Rico and Australia did the  best job, and somehow ended up 5th and 4th respectively.  I actually was positively sure when I heard the results that they had messed up and reversed the order and that the announced number 5 position belonged to no. 1, no. 4 to no. 2.  There is simply no way Kosovo, who ended up third, answered her question better than Puerto Rico or Australia.  Seriously 😦

Then I thought that maybe the final decision was made on a score total (question, swimsuit and evening gown) but perusing the last two section’s scores, Venezuela did not do well enough to warrant a first place even then!

So in the end Mayra Matos, who’s on record as saying she felt sure she would win, must have felt a little bit like Vichy France today, as the results on the ground were denied by the “judging”.  See, I told you I’d get to the point!

UPDATE (2 DAYS LATER):

Evidently I’m not the only one thinking along the lines of some extreme mistake and/or hanky-panky at the end of the show.  Check out this petition and the comments:

UNIVERSAL INSULT

~ by Haloed Bane on August 24, 2009.

2 Responses to “Black Sunday! (or Monday morning, where I am)”

  1. “…Venezuela’s answer is poor, and coupled with a couple of ugly gestures”
    Well, now I’m really curious. Do you mean ugly as in ‘gawky and ungraceful’, or ugly as in “Wow, she flipped off the whole left half of the audience”?

  2. Ideally you’d see the tape, but basically what happened is this: she was answering in Spanish so she had an interpreter. When she started to answer, she said a couple of lines, and then nodded vigorously (downright impolitely) to the interpreter to order him to translate what she’d said so far. My wife and I immediately went: “OMG, she’s done for!!”

    As for the answer itself, even though she was asked about the obstacles that women still face today vis a vis men, she simply said that women are already completely equal to men and that that “struggle” is finished. hmmm…

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