Oye como va
Whilst we are being mesmerised by British politicians telling massive lies, something rather significant has taken place across the pond where a man once had a plan about a canal in Panama. Some bloke called Raul sat down for a chat with another bloke called Obama and after the brief mano y mano discussion actually shook hands. This might not seem important but if you were born in the 50s and remember childhood nightmares caused by the Bay of Pigs fiasco and the Cuban missile crisis, this rapprochement between the US and Cuba is nothing short of remarkable.
Cuba is more than crumbling buildings, ancient Chevrolets, cigars hand rolled on the thighs of young beauties and a tenacious clinging obsession with Marxism; it has the best rum and some of the best music ever created. Setting aside Guantanamo Bay, it looks like Fidel won the waiting game. It seems Cuba is no longer considered to be a rogue state cynically sponsoring and encouraging terrorism but has instead been transformed into a lucrative market. Perhaps the next POTUS, who might actually be a woman, will take a look at lifting the sanctions and embargos placed on Vietnam for having the downright cheek to defeat a global superpower in a war that ended 40 years ago. (more…)
Even after less than a week and with the Easter egg feeding frenzy in full flow, the election campaign is spoiling us with irresistible treats of ludicrous hysteria and delicious confections lovingly crafted in abject desperation. Having triumphed at the rather ridiculous television debate by being marginally less evasive than her male counterparts, Nicola Sturgeon has managed to frighten the life out of Cameron and Miliband. (more…)
Nemtsov image via Sergei Ilnitsky-EPA
The really big problem with attempting to convey a really big idea is the necessity to form a really meaningless sound bite or, in this increasingly digital age, a stupid hash tag. The reduction of collective human intelligence to a bullet point is, however, nothing new. Some might point to Plato with his syllogistic “all men are mortal” meme or to Rene Descartes who proclaimed “cogito ergo sum”. It is worth pointing out at this point that Plato and Descartes are long dead and so are probably indifferent to “likes” or “RTs” on social media. My advice is to find out about stuff before you endorse things that might or might not be true. (more…)
There are elements of Europe`s small but supremely powerful ruling elite that are of the opinion that by electing Syriza, the people of Greece have gone stark, raving bonkers. Universally described as “far-left” or “radical far-left”, the leader of Syriza has been given a new first name by almost all European media. Prior to being elected Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras was known as “Alexis Tsipras” but now in the spotlight of media ubiquity he is known by his new, full name; “Ex-Communist Alexis Tsipras”.
The Greeks are obviously flirting with this crazy fad called Democracy that is certain to result in tears before bedtime. After all, it was the Greeks who cooked up all this nonsense about representing the will of the citizenry and the preposterous notion that the populous should have a say in how a nation is run. (more…)
Globalization, for all its efficacious benefits, has resulted in some odd consequences. Once we realise that a reduction in the milk chocolate content in a Cadbury Cream Egg is nothing more than a marketing ploy to flog Easter confections in January, we can understand that global economics is not a plot but is merely market driven.
Consider the latest marketing ploy regarding Newcastle Brown Ale. The pride of the Tyne and Student Union favourite; this fine ale once slaked the thirsts of coal miners, shipwrights and engineers. Sadly, ships are now built in Taiwan and coal is carried to Newcastle all the way from China. However, unlike the Silk Road or the Slave Trade, it`s not all one way traffic. (more…)