Grip gripe (updated)

Is it tight yet?

Chavez tightens grip in PDVSA shake up, removes CFO
Editorial: Chavez tightens grip on power
Venezuela’s Chavez Tightens Grip On Judiciary : NPR
Chavez tightens grip on media
Chavez tightens grip on economy
Venezuela’s Chávez tightens grip
Chávez tightens grip on Venezuela economy
Chavez tightens grip on energy resources
Chavez tightens his grip on power
Venezuela’s leftists in turmoil as Chavez tightens grip
Chavez tightens grip on foreign oil
Chávez tightens grip on petrochemicals sector
Venezuela’s Chavez tightens grip on power
Worrying Trends In Venezuela As Chavez Tightens Grip
Hugo Chavez Tightens Grip on Venezuela’s Oil

“Chavez tightens grip” gets 19,000 Google hits
“China tightens grip” gets almost 300,000
“Obama tightens grip” gets 647
“Bush tightens grip” gets 276
That is fewer than “Stalin tightens grip”, at 398.

PS, ok, I’ll go there. “Hitler tightens grip” gets 2 hits.

UPDATE: Take a look at what real grip-tightening looks like. And take it from me, this doesn’t happen in Venezuela. Here’s what happens if you dare to dance in Washington, DC:

19 thoughts on “Grip gripe (updated)

  1. otto

    You, sir, are obviously a Communist. How dare you take issue with the semantics of the Free World press in their description of an unelected despot like Chávez….errr, hold on….when just this week it was announced the bodies of 10,000 disappeared people had been identified…..oh…no wait…that was Colombia.

    Can I delete this message?

  2. boz

    “Gaddafi tightens grip” gets 32,500. Chavez has some catching up to do, but he’s also had a few less years to grip tighter.

    “Lula tightens grip” gets zero.

  3. Gary

    I am proud of our police getting a grip on some low life, maggot infested professional activist provocateurs in such a sacred place.
    Way to go and keep it up!

    1. sapitosetty Post author

      Wait, are you writing from China and talking about Tiananmen Square? From Saudi Arabia and talking about Mecca? Or from the US and talking about the shrine to the guy who wrote the first amendment to your constitution?

      Please be clearer about what you’re talking about. The Web is global, and this site in particular is read by people around the world. Thanks.

    2. Kepler

      ¿Lugar sagrado? Joder…acabas de llegar a este tiempo en una máquina de tiempo desde el Moscú del siglo XV?
      What kind of crappy cops are those? Instead of annoying people having fun, they should try to keep an eye on real crime. That is why the USA has a murder rate that is twice Western Europe’s rate and it has an incarciration rate of 743 per 100 000, which is over 10 times more prisoners per 100 000 citizens than in Western Europe.
      Cops behaving like pigs seems like a big business in the States. Pity, the country where MIT and Harvard are…
      I just passed today in front of this, it was nice to see it…even if the chicks were not dancing, just sun-bathing

      Europa me encanta.

      Those names are funny but you have to remember some words become fashionable during certain times. So: it is always better to compare only verb|noun linked to figures/locations of the same period.
      Robert Fisk has written very insightful articles about the use of language to refer to terrorism and other crimes committed by one or the other group.

  4. sapitosetty Post author

    OK, fair enough on Hitler & Genghis Khan, but Bush & Obama seem like fair game. Also, why do so many flash mobs use such crap music?

  5. Kepler

    Obama more than Bush. Remember: those fashions really can last just a couple of years.
    Here you have an ngram viewer on “Hitler” in Russian
    Обама ужесточает контроль and (Obama)
    Чавес ужесточает контроль (Chávez)
    You will get few full matches but in the first case you get lots of “Obama approved a law for griping (literally) control…”
    whereas for Chávez you will find that the one doing the griping is someone else (Venezuela or anything)

    Now “Путин ужесточает контроль” (Putin) has A LOT.

    About silly music,
    Well, you know: if they were dancing to Salsa someone could say “mamaciiiiita”. And if it’s too heavy Or perhaps as it’s mostly girls it’s the kind of thing they dance at the gyms
    I have to say I think non-dancing mobs are funnier. There was one where people in Brazil crossing a huge avenue suddenly stopped, took off one shoe and started to hit the road with it for 30 seconds and then walked away. The effect lasts longer.

  6. firepigette

    Here is a flash mob with some decent music here in the US.

    Sorry Setty but you are suffering from some cognitive dissonance here :)

  7. Gary

    Of course, it had to be Kepler, the omnipresent, all knowing, all judging, Chavez-like intolerant, US hating, multi-lingual pretending, Überblogger / commenter and always ad-hominem attack-ready Besserwisser. I said “multi-lingual pretending”, because the grammar of his writings in German is deplorable. Google does a better job translating.
    Ever been to this monument, Kepler? Ever read the signs about what you are not allowed to do there? I didn’t think so. But I guess behaving respectfully IN SUCH A SACRED PLACE, is not your kind of thing. Next time, when you are in Caracas, try the monkey dance stunt at Plaza Bolivar. I’ll send flowers to your funeral.
    So if you want to “disobey” at this place in the US (see one of the anarchist’s hippie wannabe t-shirt), you’ll end up cuffed and spend a couple of nights in jail. Those are the rules my man. If you don’t like them, don’t come here. Simple, isn’t it?
    Loved it when the small stature cop had enough being ridiculed (after all, he was quite tolerant for a while) grabbed the one doing the idiotic monkey dance like a sack of potatoes and body-slammed the whimp on the marble floor. Ouch!
    And Setty, no need to be sarcastic, or am I not allowed to have an opinion here? Or are you going to allow Kepler to be the judge what can and cannot be commented on YOUR blog, as he constantly tries to do on the the other popular English blogs, typicaly with low blow ad- hominem attacks, and then pretending to be the blogger’s buddy.
    I think you are a great journalist and therefore better than that.

    btw Kepler: flash mobs were invented in the USA, but seems like you don’t even know what true flash mobs are. They are NOT choreographed, unlike the one in the video you posted. And then your comment about the “chicks” sunbathing? Sounds like pretty inapropriate (to say the least) given that many of the dancing “chicks” are children.

      1. Gary

        That’s all you got? I guess I was wrong stating you are great journalist.
        If I were you, I’d erase your comment, might cost you some paid work.

        1. sapitosetty Post author

          I think I have a way to bring the discussion back home. I’ve never met you or Kepler. But he sends me a decent press clipping or story idea almost every week, and posts links to this site on his site. You show up laying into him with personal attacks and give me this nice little compliment. In your comment, you said he cozies up to bloggers and pretends to be their buddy. But he has never done that with me. He’s just been a helpful source. On the other hand, that looks like what you are doing. Am I failing to remember something? Because I really don’t think we’ve ever communicated before, and here you are calling me a “great journalist” and offering me the helpful advice of which thoughts to delete from my blog.

          This matters. The lack of self-awareness in your comment is exactly the same lack of self-awareness that this blog post was about. I have taken part in a Critical Mass bike ride that spent time in Plaza Bolivar in Caracas center (Libertador) and I organized a hula-hooping flash mob at Plaza Bolivar in Chacao. We were approached by some (unarmed, ill-uniformed) guys who weren’t amused in the Libertador plaza, but they didn’t threaten us or arrest us — and certainly didn’t body slam us. I’ve heard that the main Plaza Bolivar used to be considered a sacred space free of any men in shorts or people standing in front of Bolivar’s horse, but that has chilled out a lot.

          Now, where has the grip been tightening more — Caracas or Washington? I think the answer is clear. And that was the point of my post. It’s fine if you are in favor of the tightening US grip, and I’m sure many good arguments exist in its favor — 9/11, propriety, 9/11, basic crowd control, 9/11 — but that’s not the point here. It’s simply to point out that the grip is tightening.

          But “tightens grip” is a phrase that gets applied only to official enemies. And it’s a phrase that in my experience is almost always inserted by editors who are not in Venezuela — perhaps because if they were there, they’d know that “tight grip” doesn’t describe that government’s control over just about anything.

          PS I agree with you that choreographed flash mobs are lame, but nobody has the right to say that they aren’t flash mobs.

  8. westslope

    Keplar: Americans are the biggest patriotudos of the bunch. But even in other countries, certain kinds of national monuments are off limits to protest or at best generate noisy polarization and not much else.

    Protesters who continue moving and resisting arrest are asking for a violent response. In many instances of disciplined, organized civil disobedience, protesters stop resisting once security forces move to physically detain them.

    I love the shoe-tapping event idea! Brilliant.

    So gang, how many years are we going to have to wait before US activists launch a large baloon representation of an Obama-drone? The Cold War I understood. Killing simple mountain folks raises the usually thorny ethical questions but also questions the strategical logic. Maybe American activists have simply become immune to the fact that the USA is now the premier terrorist organization in the world?

  9. Gary

    Appreciate your “bringing the discussion home” comments, but I simply cannot let certain things stand without clarifying:
    – we have never directly communicated and I had nor have any intent to pretend to be your buddy. If you perceived it otherwise, I apologize
    – my “helpful advice to delete my [your] thoughts” was meant to be at least partially sarcastic. However, I don’t understand where the “thought” part is when calling one of your readers, i.e. me, a “dick”. A professional journalist doesn’t call a reader names because he expresses a different opinion than his own, therefore I believe this comment will not enhance your resumee, but, as you correctly state, that’s none of my business.
    – If you are American, and I believe you are, then you know that the first amendment / free speech, in all of its forms, kicks in precisely when it hurts the most. Most people, incl. Kepler, do not understand this.
    – so if Plaza Bolivar is safe again as you say, let’s try something else: burn a Venezuelan flag in front of Miraflores.
    – where have I personally ATTACKED Kepler? Where have I called him names? Yes, my description of him is not precisely, shall we say, flowery, but I am able to substantiate every single characterization I used in my opening paragraph.
    – sorry, but as an American, I can’t let him get away with “Lugar sagrado? Joder….”, it’s simply a nasty, offensive statement when talking about the Jefferson Memorial no less (he probably didn’t even know where this video was shot!). I won’t comment about the rest of the nonsense he writes in his typical anti-US fashion.
    – now, it seems like YOU see random visitors dancig at the Jefferson Memorial. But sorry, no, they were Fidel and Chavez adoring Medea Benjamin of Code Pink fame and other mostly professional activist commie buddies who’s stated (lunatic) goal is to overthrow the US government.
    – I see anarchist type provocation (t-shirt “disobey” – nothing per se wrong with that, but a clue nevertheless). Both behaviors are inappropriate, and, as a matter of fact, dancing IS illegal:
    Oberwetter v. Hilliard – May 17, 2011
    ”D.C. Circuit affirms there is no constitutional right to dance at the Jefferson Memorial”.
    – therefore, your statement introducing the video “Here’s what happens if you dare to dance in Washington, DC”, is totally misleading. Maybe, as an investigating reporter, you should have checked the facts a bit more carefully if you want to continue to be a credible source, and a correction would certainly be in order in my humble opinion, but again, that is your decision, not mine.
    – equally, YOU seem to see police brutality (tightening the grip), I see them getting what they deserve after they were clearly warned several times about dancing at JM being illegal. I wish you had posted the whole video, incl. the clip where people applaud when police arrest the “dancers” and not just the somewhat out of context part of the poor “victims”.
    – sorry, but I don’t get the point of your 2nd paragraph, but if you are somehow and generically trying to say that there is greater justice in Venezuela, because of less grip tightening than in the US, then maybe what it takes to change your mind is that you need to experience the Venzuelan version by getting harrassed and detained for a few hours and until out of desperation, te bajas de la mula to get your freedom back, as it happened a couple of times at Maiquetia Airport to me.
    – maybe the US is tightening the grip. I actually hope so, because as a law abiding citizen, I doubt that I will ever get arrested and therefore have nothing to fear. Can’t say the same about Venezuela. And believe me, there is a lot of stuff happening in the US that I passionately dislike.

    BTW, tomorrow, June 4 at 12m, Code Pink and others are organizing “Dance Party @TJ.” at the Memorial, expecting about 1,500 participants.

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