Saturday, June 18, 2011

Watching America

I just added the web site Watching America to my "blog roll." It is run by volunteers who translate into English opinion pieces from different media outlets around the world having to do with the United States. The pieces are commentaries on issues affecting relations between that country and the US, or about things the US is up to that affect everyone, or just about what is making news in the US that the author wants to weigh in on. For instance, there have been some pieces about Sarah Palin; what is the meaning of Sarah Palin, from their point of view.

Often you get very interesting conceptions of things American that are probably not even possible in an America that is largely self referential.

The pieces are, by and large, primarily written for local consumption, which is part of the fun. The web site simply translates the pieces and runs them, without commenting on them or providing any context, and it is up to you to try to figure out the world view or politics of the writer and what the writer means to convey to her or his countrymen. We, Americans, often take a slap in the face, but also, you see sometimes why the rest of the world, as is sometimes said, is "fascinated" by us.


The photo above, by the way, I did on a nice little free -- as in, absolutely free --  image editing program, that will run on almost any operating system, called HeliosPaint. Click here or simply Google HeliosPaint. It runs in Java. I don't know what the significance of that is, but it must be good because unlike a lot of freeware I have tried, this runs pretty well on my old Apple iBook G4, which came with a stripped down version of Apple's image editing program, iPhoto, that doesn't do much at all, and is the only thing I have found that is free and that also has as many tools as it does and that runs on a Mac.

Sometimes, if I have had my computer on a long time, it runs really slow, but if I shut everything down and restart the computer and then just run only the HeliosPaint program, it runs fine.


No comments:

Post a Comment