We all know that the world can be a fairly ghastly place..
… and it’s no use blaming this on any of the many human monsters, the various political ideologies and religions…
… though all of them have their blighted moments in the sun.
No, it’s just us – all of us. The human heart and all of that…
… and almost any news story will do to expose man’s inhumanity to man…
… though this one serves exemplary well:
‘Studies in mice in the 1960s showedthat aspirin slowed the spread of cancer, but the research never made it into clinics, partly because aspirin was off patent, so companies had little to gain from funding trials.’
We already knew Republicans aren’t really that much into poor people – especially poor people who want to do an Eddie Murphy, so, their veneration of the founding fathers notwithstanding, this is one of those quotes that doesn’t feature highly in their from C to shining C Convention alphabet:
‘Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!’
Even so, the following story takes the Republican ‘Fuck off to where you came from – and die – and rot in Hell’ policy a tad far:
‘Come late August, you won’t be able to movefor government ministers lavishing patronising praise on our paralympians, apparently able to reconcile this position with cutting the living allowances of other disabled people to the point where incontinence pads become an unaffordable luxury.’
Okay, that story appeared in the Guardian ten days ago but I was reminded of it (and not for the first time) while reading some other old & new news stories.
‘While the IOC has criticized Saudi Arabiafor failing to send women athletes to the Olympics, it has not conditioned the kingdom’s participation on ending discrimination against women in sports. In July 2011, IOC spokeswoman Sandrine Tonge said that the IOC governing body “does not give ultimatums nor deadlines but rather believes that a lot can be achieved through dialogue.”’
Apart from when the IOC governing body does so, of course…:
Yes, where would the whole news industry be if the default position of most politicians, priests, sports players, tabloids and celebrity parasites (and, of course, the rest of us – but we don’t make the news that often) wasn’t that of the rankest hypocrisy…?
Here’s my Quote Of The Day for you, with thanks to Bruce Springsteen and the Telegraph:
‘[T]he most sensual music ever made,the sound of raw sex, silk stockings brushing across upholstery, bras popping, running mascara, tears on your pillow. [Doo wop] dripped from the late night gas stations and pool halls, the temples of life and mystery in my home town.’
I mean, when us people still hang low-fruitily from trees one protoprimate would ask the other, ‘Would you rather get bitten by a poisonous spider than eaten by a leopard?’ or some such.
Today, people (and tabloids) still play this game enthusiastically, with questions like:
-Would you rather ‘do’ Angelina Jolie (or Angela Merkel) than Kate Moss (or Kathy Bates)?
-Would you rather be ruled by Muammar Gaddafi than Bashar al-Assad or, to combine the two categories:
-Would you rather be fucked over by David Cameron than by David Miliband?
This following news story, obviously, also belongs in that ‘Would you rather have/do/be A than B’ category:
Now, I’m Dutch, so I would, indeed, rather have a highly indifferent or even plain bad supermarket pizza than watch a game of basketball…
… but have a vasectomy rather than watch this bore fest for an excruciatingly slow-moving afternoon? Perhaps not.
Then again, if I really-and-gun-against-my-head-y had to choose between a vasectomy and a whole bloody season of watching bloody basketball, I would, no doubt, with Jesus*, say: ‘You know what, sod & suffer the little children’!
*I know, I know – but if you think I’m callously & mischievously misquoting Jesus, just lookwhat the Roman Chatholic church did with that ‘suffer the children’ remark…
Right, time to do another one of those ‘Who said that?’ columns.
Again, these quotes are perfectly unrelated but you can have a perfectly agreeable time connecting them and knotting them into your inner Zentrails.
1) ‘Most serious novelists are wary of including ninjas in their writing. That’s a shame, because many much-admired works of modern fiction could benefit from a few.’
2) ‘[I]t is one of those strange facts of life that there are more common birds than rare ones.’
3) ‘Build a man a fire, and he’ll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he’ll be warm for the rest of his life.’
4) ‘Life is a disease: sexually transmitted, and invariably fatal.’
5) ‘In Europe and Japan, bourgeois life lingers on. In Britain and America it has become the stuff of theme parks. The middle class is a luxury capitalism can no longer afford.’
6) ‘People don’t die from the old diseases any more. They die from new ones, but that’s Progress, isn’t it?’
7) ‘Well, allow me to introduce myself to you as an advocate of Ornamental Knowledge. You like the mind to be a neat machine, equipped to work efficiently, if narrowly, and with no extra bits or useless parts. I like the mind to be a dustbin of scraps of brilliant fabric, odd gems, worthless but fascinating curiosities, tinsel, quaint bits of carving, and a reasonable amount of healthy dirt. Shake the machine and it goes out of order; shake the dustbin and it adjusts itself beautifully to its new position.’
1) Nick Harkaway
2) John Barnes
3) Terry Pratchett
4) Neil Gaiman
5) John Gray
6) Harlan Ellison
7) Robertson Davies
You can see why Madonna loves Wallis Simpson so much.
This from a memoir by Charles Pick, who worked as a publisher and literary agent during seven decades:
‘As she rose to greet me[W.S.'s] opening remark was, ‘Can you please tell me who Marilyn Monroe’s publicity agent is?’ ‘I had to confess I had no idea but enquired as to why she wanted to know. ‘Look,’ she said, ‘I have all the newspapers each day and I was generally on the front page. But now I see that Marilyn Monroe is on the front page. Well, somebody has pushed me off!’’
Of course, stupidity, priggishness, a lack of humour and a monstrous sense of entitlement & self-centeredness didn’t die out with la Wallis.
It will take more than a few swimming pools filled with Kabbala water to remove those character traits from the (celebrity) gene pool…
… and that leads us, as ruthlessly efficient as Varus led his three legions through the Teutoburg forest, to this burning question:
Which of the two parties described in the following stories should walk away with this month’s Moron Of The Month reward?
It’s by no means an easy one – both candidates are equally qualified, I’d say and, in their own way, perfectly loathsome.
2) ‘Imran Khan, the Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician, has pulled out of a conference in Delhi because of the expected attendance of Salman Rushdie. Shireen Mazari, who advises Khan on foreign affairs, said: “He categorically rejected participating in any programme that included Salman Rushdie, who has caused immeasurable hurt to Muslims across the globe.”‘
Useless wankers of the world, unite – and all of that.