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October 8, 2011 9:25 AM   Subscribe

The Dalai Lama was prevented from going to South Africa for Desmond Tutu's 80th birthday by visa problems. So they used Google+ to "Hangout" instead.
posted by desjardins (24 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Other tributes came from high profile figures such as Bono, who said Tutu is the biggest punk rock star he knows: "There’s only one rock star in this room. At 80 you are more punk rock than anyone I know. With sex appeal, yes, sex appeal. There’s a reason Leah is always smiling,” he said, with a cheeky smile while speaking at the book launch of Tutu: An Authorised Portrait at St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town yesterday.

Stay classy, Bono.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:30 AM on October 8, 2011


I always assumed world leaders and diplomats had special travel dispensations and didn't need to worry about things like visas?

Or does the Dalai Lama not count as a world leader?
posted by 256 at 9:32 AM on October 8, 2011


I would imagine no one who wants a good relationship with China would treat him as a head of state. If you do, you're saying you don't recognize China's sovereignty over Tibet, and they are very touchy about that.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:39 AM on October 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


you do, you're saying you don't recognize China's sovereignty over Tibet, and they are very touchy about that.

These Chinese people are well known for their emotional delicacy.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 9:47 AM on October 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Or does the Dalai Lama not count as a world leader?

He doesn't for diplomatic purposes. He's a religious leader, not the leader of a state.
posted by Dasein at 10:15 AM on October 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is nice and all, but as I'm sure my fellow G+ users will agree, the revolution can't really begin until they open up streaming video to their mobile clients.

If Google really wants to compete with Facebook, this is what they have to do. Because this is one thing Facebook simply can't compete with: live streaming video from mobile carriers would be absolutely impossible given their current infrastructure. The only people that could do it are Amazon or Google, and Amazon isn't interested in taking on FB. This would truly be the "killer" G+ app, if they were smart enough to realize it. They need to leverage what they've currently got if they are to stand a chance against FB, and right now, the one thing they've got in spades is bandwidth.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:18 AM on October 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Man, people will hate on Bono for anything.
posted by kmz at 10:21 AM on October 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Has anybody else noticed South Africa becoming more wrong in the last decade? When I was growing up they were the unambiguous good guys. Dodgy ANC leaders, continuing to recognize Qadaffi, not letting in the Dalai Lama... did I miss some key moment when they started to suck, or was it a gradual process? They are like the Sting of modern nation states.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:40 AM on October 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is nice and all, but as I'm sure my fellow G+ users will agree, the revolution can't really begin until they open up streaming video to their mobile clients.

From the iTunes store:
Version: 1.0.5.2346
Features: Mobile Hangouts allows you to video chat with up to 9 friends while you're on the go.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 10:51 AM on October 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


China's investment in South Africa is significant and they don't have the financial clout other countries do who have gone over China's wishes in this regard.

And the Dalai Lama was both head of state and head of religion - wiki's snippet (with all its angles)

The 14th Dalai Lama remained the head of state for the Central Tibetan Administration ("Tibetan government in exile") until his retirement on March 14, 2011. He has indicated that the institution of the Dalai Lama may be abolished in the future, and also that the next Dalai Lama may be found outside Tibet and may be female. [2] The Chinese communist government was very quick to reject this and claimed that only they have the authority to select the next Dalai Lama, despite being an officially atheist nation.


They have an elected prime minister now
posted by infini at 11:01 AM on October 8, 2011


When I was growing up they were the unambiguous good guys.

They were pro US and the media managed them accordingly. One wonders what that era would have been like with the kind of social media available today?
posted by infini at 11:02 AM on October 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just added the Dalai Lama to my circles, I put him in the "friend" circle. If he gets a mefi account I'll move him to the Metafilter circle.

When he adds me back, I'll let ya'll know! :)
posted by HuronBob at 11:10 AM on October 8, 2011


Meatbomb: "Has anybody else noticed South Africa becoming more wrong in the last decade? When I was growing up they were the unambiguous good guys. Dodgy ANC leaders, continuing to recognize Qadaffi, not letting in the Dalai Lama... did I miss some key moment when they started to suck, or was it a gradual process? They are like the Sting of modern nation states."

No no no, we're talking about BONO, not STING. Get your aging rock stars right.
posted by symbioid at 11:11 AM on October 8, 2011


BONO + STING = BING

If that's not unambiguous evidence of suckitude, I don't know what is.
posted by adamdschneider at 11:45 AM on October 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Has anybody else noticed South Africa becoming more wrong in the last decade?

Yes, after Mandela left office. There was Thabo Mbeki, who denied that HIV causes AIDS and appointed a health minister whose opposition to anti-retrovirals cost untold lives. He also stood up for Robert Mugabe.

Then there's Jacob Zuma, with his appalling ideas about how women who dress sexy are asking for it, and who thinks that a shower is sufficient protection from HIV (I wonder if his multiple wives agree). He did, however, get rid of the idiot health minister, so that's progress.

Then there's the ANC Youth leader, Julius Malema, who seems to want a race war in South Africa. His base of support is troublingly large.
posted by Dasein at 11:56 AM on October 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


These aging rock stars are about to give birth ... nurse, bring in the machine that goes Bing!
posted by mannequito at 12:12 PM on October 8, 2011


China pays for the ANC's electoral campaigns. There's a reason SA has no campaign finance regulation.
posted by PenDevil at 1:25 PM on October 8, 2011


If we're banishing people for their association with Robert Mugabe, can we start with Bob Marley, who played at his inauguration? Anything to eliminate "Legend" from the universe is self-validating.
posted by rhizome at 1:51 PM on October 8, 2011


I always assumed world leaders and diplomats had special travel dispensations and didn't need to worry about things like visas?

HHDL is no longer the Head of Government/State for Tibet. However, even HoG/HoS may require visas depending on the bilateral arrangement between the two countries and the specifics of that particular visit (state visit; working visit; private visit; with/without spouse and/or other family members). Of course, even if they need a visa, it would be done gratis and without submitting much paperwork.

And diplomats need visas all the time, especially when traveling for work. Most countries do not extend diplomatic immunity to diplomats on private visits, even if they are traveling on diplomatic passports. For working trips, therefore, diplomats usually get appropriate visas that recognize their diplomatic status.
posted by vidur at 1:59 PM on October 8, 2011


Features: Mobile Hangouts allows you to video chat with up to 9 friends while you're on the go.

No. You can join a "hangout" with the mobile client. That's not fucking revolutionary. I can "join" a YouTube video. Big fucking deal. What you still cannot do from their mobile client is start a video hangout from mobile. In other words, you can subscribe to an existing live stream, but you can't start your own stream from a mobile client. So if you're in the middle of the middle east and you want to show the world a protest that's currently under way, or you're in some third world country and you're trying to show the world a food riot in progress… well, you can't do that. You can join an existing stream, and then those 5 or 10 people can see what's happening on your side of the world, but there's no way to arbitrarily open up a stream to the world.

That's fucking dumb.

Google+ has the opportunity to usurp not only Facebook, but also Twitter, because you can subscribe to people and only get their public posts ("tweets") except with no arbitrary limit in length. But what if you could open up a live video feed to the world. That would really be something. And that's something Facebook has no possible way to implement. Only a service with ludicrous bandwidth could support something like this. Only Google could do it. And they're struggling right now, trying to figure out how they can steal eyeballs from Facebook. Well, copying Facebook ain't going to do it. Because no one is going to post shit twice—once for their FB account, and again to their G+ account. The regular user won't do it because it's a pain in the ass, and the geek won't do it because, well, why bother supporting FB? I mean, they suck.

But if you offer people the chance to stream their lives to the world—hell, that's the ultimate in digital narcissism. Google needs to offer more to steal eyeballs from FB, and this could be it. If they are smart enough to see.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:11 PM on October 8, 2011


I so want to hangout with the Dalai Lama. I'm kind of a groupie, but what can I say? Man rocks those maroon robes.

(Also: the Dalai Lama's laugh is pretty much the greatest laugh in the history of laughs.)

I follow his Twitter, but I wish he'd tweet more about his dog and fewer canned inspirational soundbites.
posted by sonika at 5:24 PM on October 8, 2011


I don't think the Dalai Lama has a diplomatic passport, certainly not one issued by India. Reason: holders of diplomatic passports issued by India are allowed visa-free entry into South Africa for 90 days.

Here's an application he made two years back for a South African visa. The nationality (which, in the context of a visa application, should be synonymous with citizenship) listed here is clearly "Tibetan"; don't think he carries any travel document issued by India, for instance, which is what I thought he would, having stayed on Indian soil for so long.

His honorary Canadian citizenship also probably doesn't account for much when it comes to international border control, given that "regular" Canadian passport holders can enter South Africa without visas for 90 days.

Instead, it appears that he may be carrying a document issued by the Tibetan government in exile called the Green Book. No word if it is machine-readable / biometric etc.
posted by the cydonian at 3:33 AM on October 9, 2011


Here's the full video of their session.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:05 AM on October 10, 2011


Er, rather, here is the full version. Clipboard fail.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:06 AM on October 10, 2011


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