In an infinite, expanding and increasingly bizarre universe where strangeness and what once passed for normality have become blurred, the prospect of George Clooney forming a ZZ Top tribute band to perform at the inauguration of a racist con man as the President of the United States would, astonishingly, not be considered as much of a surprise.
The days when presidential indiscretions were quietly ignored are long gone and the American people have decided, with a little helpful persuasion from a former KGB gangster who is now a presidential gangster, that a shameless sexual predator who uses his fame to molest women is the right man for the job. It would seem that the cruel mockery of a journalist with disabilities is acceptable and that a deeply disturbing attitude towards his own daughter is, in some way, normal and that overt racism encouraging hatred is somehow appropriate in the second decade of the 21st century. When a president elect claims that he will be the greatest president ever created by God and gives responsibility for a massive arsenal of lethal weaponry to a character who likes to be known as “mad dog” and when that same president elect is happy to be endorsed by the KKK, then it might be time to start stocking up tinned foods, candles and toilet paper. (more…)
Exit pursued by a nightmare
Thank heavens, thank goodness, thank all our lucky stars and thank you sweet baby Jesus for giving us at long last some clarity and a time scale as to how the British government is systematically taking leave of its senses.
The Conservative MP for Maidenhead who, through a combination of good fortune and good old-fashioned skulduggery woke up one morning to discover that she was Prime Minister, delivered a rather odd speech to fellow Tory ministers and bemused foreign ambassadors at the historically significant Lancaster House in that there London. Lancaster House, a mere diamond`s throw from the almost derelict Buckingham Palace, was the venue for various conferences that led to the independence of fine, upstanding incorruptible democracies such as Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe but is probably best remembered for a rousing speech given by one of Mrs May`s less emotionally stable predecessors extolling the virtues of the European Single Market. It is fair to say that in the end Margaret Thatcher had completely lost her mind (more…)
Unless you are considering a purchase of, say, car insurance, an aubergine, a refrigerator, a holiday or a selection of racy under garments, arbitrary comparison can sometimes be futile. Obviously a soft aubergine should be avoided as should a refrigerator that keeps things warm and a vacation to the Sahara should not be taken if one is heat averse. Similarly, in a northern European maritime temperate climate, nothing beats a pair of Damart Long Johns when the central heating is on the blink.
Comparing inanimate objects might be of some value but comparing subjective taste and preference can be a futile exercise especially when asked to name a favourite. It might be possible to make a binary choice between Judi Dench and Meryl Streep, the Beatles or the Stones, Oasis or Blur or (for younger viewers) Ed Sheeran or Jack Garratt but to prefer one to the other imposes an artificial hierarchy. Shakespeare is not necessarily “better” than Christopher Marlowe; Rod Hull and Emu are not necessarily funnier than Bernie Clifton and his comedy ostrich and Lobster Thermidor served with a chilled 2005 Coche-DuryCorton-Charlemagne Grande Cru does not necessarily taste nicer than egg and chips accompanied by a bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale. (more…)
In her strides
If ghosts actually exist and if they do exist are capable of exhaling, then the ghost of Frederick North, second Earl of Guilford and Tory Prime Minister between 1770 and 1782 will be expelling an enormous sigh of relief at the moment. After 235 years of being generally considered as the most useless, indolent, weak and shallow British Prime Minister devoid of any leadership quality, he now finds himself in third place in that particular race to the bottom.
Lord North might be remembered as the Prime Minister who lost the Americas and fought numerous European wars against the French, Spanish, Dutch and just about anybody else. He even manufactured his own Falkland crisis in 1770 in order to fuel tensions between former allies France and Spain and won the conflict simply because of the dominance of the Royal Navy. Sadly, the Royal Navy, built on the proceeds of plunder, slavery and brutal colonialism could not secure victory in the American War of Independence. The irony that the American Navy some 242 years later could not defend America`s independence will not be lost on Vladimir Putin. (more…)
There are and will be many eloquent eulogies, obituaries and retrospectives of those who breathed their last during 2016 and although some might find the deification of dead celebrities somewhat mawkish, this years` harvest of notable souls has been almost relentless. It is statistically unlikely that 2016 has seen a spike in the demise of the not so rich and rich and famous but it does feel like a lot of the good ones have fallen off the perch and gone beyond and too many of the bad ones are still alive and kicking. (more…)