Wednesday, November 25, 2015
For the thousands of folks who packed into the Vatican's Basilica di Santa Maria last week, it was supposed to be a magical night. First, the Pope would give a special mass. Then, the crowd would exit to the piazza to the new Nativity scene. Finally, the holiday lights and decorations would suddenly brighten to every one's delight. Talk about a special moment! However, things are different this year. There's a new pope in town and he had a trick up his sleeve.
Rather than deliver the usual, humdrum...Blessed are those...type of sermon, Pope Francis changed the script. "The whole world is at war." the pontiff began "So this year, Christmas is just a charade." What? Maybe we lost something in translation. The Italian word in question is truccato. Which has a variety of meanings, like 'rigged' and 'falsify.' "There will be lights, parties, bright trees all decked out. Meanwhile, the world continues to wage war. The holiday is meaningless." Alright, it's true: The Pope just cancelled Christmas!
So should everyone really "not cover everything with tinsel and garlands and decorations" like the Pope said? Well, perhaps Francis' orders are a bit strict. But it certainly is time to look outside the box this holiday season. In addition to the above mentioned death toll, there are military conflicts being waged in retaliation. Whatever is left in Syria and Iraq is being destroyed. Migrants are flooding out, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Friday, November 20, 2015
It's been nearly 20 years since Hong Kong was formally ceded from the United Kingdom and became part of the People's Republic of China. Let's face it: This has not been a smooth transition. To summarize: First, the SARS "Bird Flu" epidemic instantly killed 300 people in 1997. A year later, the Asian Financial Crisis struck. People's fortunes disappeared overnight. The year 2003 saw mass pro-democracy demonstrations filling the streets. The Umbrella Revolution rocked Hong Kong last year, with some squares still being occupied today. In short, it has been a tension-fueled mess.
Yet none of these milestones compares to the events last week. During the World Cup qualifying match between Hong Kong and Mainland China, unruly fans defied warnings from FIFA and the police. Instead, they launched a massive protest. They booed mercilessly during the introductions, waving banners and signs. Things got testy during the national anthem. Since Hong Kong didn't have a 'National Song' as a British colony, the Chinese inserted their own dreaded tune as the official Hong Kong anthem. When "March of the Volunteers" began to play, all 6,071 fans let loose.
Today, Hong Kongers straddle a tenuous line. On one side, they have a surging economy, based on the principles of free enterprise. When the People's Republic took over Hong Kong, they were hesitant to alter the finely-tuned economic machine and...for the most part...left it alone. On the other side, Hong Kongers have a giant, power-hungry nation in control of their politics. Unwilling to mess with successful corporations, they have instead concentrated on slowly taking away the personal freedoms that lured entrepreneurs to the colony in the first place.
Friday, November 13, 2015
The staff of the DUNER BLOG was on assignment in Eugene, Oregon last week. We learned that many people call Eugene 'The City that Nike Built." Everywhere you turn, you see the omnipresent Nike swoosh. It's not just running shoes either. It's on sports bras, the OU football jerseys and the impressive Event Center. All of which got us thinking...Which are the most recognizable logos in the world?
#1. Nike. Year: 1971. Designer: Carolyn Davidson. When a tiny Oregon sports importing company decided to diversify into sneakers, they hired a local graphic designer to dream up a logo. She says she was inspired by the Greek goddess of Victory, who embodies movement and speed. Unfortunately, poor Carolyn only received $35 for her revolutionary design.