Sunday, 5 October 2008

Diana Watch

Just how stupid is OJ Simpson? If you had been acquitted of killing your wife and you were really famous would you not keep your head down and live a very quiet life?
Anyway, to the news cave! I wasn’t going to talk about the US election or the financial problems this week as they have dominated this for many weeks but two things happened this week that need a little comment. The US congress passed the bail out bill this week and another $150 billion had been added to it for small company tax breaks etc but I think we need some context, again, for this huge amount of money. This will, possibly, cost the US tax payer $850 billion, there are an estimated 300 million people within the US, now works out at $2800 per person I think; it depends on the number of zeros you use obviously. That is a lot of money; why not give that to American families and what they do with it. My hunch is that they would save it, in a bank, therefore democratically saving the banking system. They probably won’t buy shares or derivative products. Just remember how many times various nice policies have been vetoed by Bush saying “We can’t afford it.”
The second thing that happened was perhaps the best joke I have heard all year and it was by significant other who wondered aloud if Sarah Palin was in fact a contestant in the ultimate episode of the Channel 4 series “faking it”. For those not familiar with the concept behind the show it was very simple, take a member of the public and teach them to do something they couldn’t do before and then get them judged, with 2 other people who normal carry out this skill, before a panel of experts who try and pick out the fake. Usually they did things like DJing or one I remember was turning a big bloke from the navy into a drag act but this, this is their hardest challenge to date. Can they convince an electorate of 300 million that a simple, poorly informed, religious zealot, moose shooter is in fact a politician you can vote for and make Vice President? Let us hope not. Another quick Sarah Palin story, Larry Flint, publisher of Hustle magazine, has been advertising for a Sarah Palin-a-like to star in a porn film with the slightly disappointing title of “Nailin’ Palin”. He could have done so much better than that, suggested in the paper were, “Drill, Baby, Drill”, “Polar Bare” and “Northern XXX-posure”, all better I think, any other suggestions gratefully received.

British politics has been shocked this week by the surprise return of Peter Mendelson to the Government. The man who has had to resign twice before heading off to the EU was brought back by Gordon Brown this week on the same day that he published a small article in the Guardian entitled “In defence of Globalisation” so I think we can see in which direction the Government is going to go in the next few months. I sure that he hasn’t just returned to be Trade and Industry Secretary; I think his electioneering skills may be called upon at some time. I think that this may be a stroke of genius from Gordon Brown, as long as Peter doesn’t have to resign again, because he is a skilled politician and he now has tremendous experience of world trade which might be useful during these troubled times.
Also this week Boris honey monster Johnston, mayor of London, managed to force Sir Ian Blair, head of the Metropolitan police, to resign. Is this the politicization of the Police force? Well no because it was already happening but it is a new high. This is a worrying development and a slide towards the American style of political patronage for high office which is a really bad idea. I appreciate that that wasn’t the most eloquently argued point but it is a really bad idea as you end up having the law “interpreted” through politics-tinted glasses and people start making decisions based not on the law but on career opportunities.
Sometime I defend society because I don’t think it is as bad as we are all told by the news media, they take one or two examples and extrapolate it to the whole country and decide that we are all a bunch of bastards yet we still purchase their newspapers and watch their 24hr news channels, but sometimes there is a story that is just so depressing and upsetting that I crushes your optimistic world view. This is one of those times. This is how the story appeared in the Daily Mirror,

A tormented teenager plunged 60ft to his death from a multi-storey car park after a callous crowd of onlookers cruelly urged him to jump.
Police and community leaders yesterday condemned the “horrifying” behaviour of the jeering mob as Shaun Dykes, 17, hovered on the brink of suicide.
Trained negotiators spent three hours patiently trying to coax him down as he threatened to leap.
Meanwhile, several hundred people gathered outside the busy Westfield centre in Derby – with “a small but significant minority” egging him on.
Sickeningly, some yelled: “Go on, jump,” and “How far can you bounce?”
Supt Andy Hough admitted he was shocked by some of the comments hurled at the teenager on Saturday.
He said: “They were shouting for him to jump. I find it a disturbing reflection on society when people feel inclined to do that. It’s very disappointing.” Shaun, of Kilburn, near Derby, is believed to have been suffering from depression and is thought to have recently had a relationship breakdown. Yesterday his distraught parents were too upset to comment.
His headteacher Rob Howard said: “One or two students were standing near people goading him to jump.
“One student told me he could not believe people place such little value on life. It’s almost like they are in a television show. The sad thing is that a couple of the students, if they could have got close enough, felt that they could have made a difference.”
The Bishop of Derby, the Rt Rev Dr Alastair Redfern, added: “I’m horrified. I hope these people feel deeply ashamed. Here was a very troubled person crying out for help.”
Yesterday flowers and tributes were laid at the scene by friends of the former John Flamsteed school pupil, who was studying at the city’s Heanor Gate science college.
Lindsey Reid, 17, Shaun’s best friend since he was four, said: “He was the joker, always smiling. He’s not the sort of person you’d expect to do this.”

It has also been reported that people were taking photos and filming the event on their mobile phones and after he jumped they rushed forward to photograph his corpse. What can you say about this that hasn’t been said before? Nothing can be added to this.
Sorry for the depressing story but it needs reporting, lets try and lighten the mood a bit,

The Awards now,

The Award for Most Satisfying Thing of the Week,

This award goes to the moment when I wrote the word “Twat” on the forehead of Claire Rayner as pictured in the paper. I know it’s childish but she is really annoying.

The Award for Most Changed Views Over the Course of a Lifetime,

This goes to John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten from the Sex Pistols. You may remember the Sex Pistols as an anti-establishment punk band from the 70’s, the decade that taste forgot, swearing on the Bill Grundy show and releasing some half decent singles. Then John appeared on “I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here” and managed to say “Cunt” on live TV, an admirable thing to do if you ask me but last night upon my television he appeared advertising butter. Dear god!

Will Self was great by the way on Monday, very funny indeed.

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