Monday, February 26, 2007

My Trip to London

Last week I was in London with my friend Sue Lines. Here's what we did....

First, we visited the Tate Modern, and I only whinged a little bit about how far we had to walk. Luckily, the long walk was rewarded with a slide down the slippery slope of one of Carsen Hollier's cork screw slide installations. I love the Tate Modern. The spaces are vast and standing in the room with the Rothko, Monet and Pollock always sends shivers down my spine.

We saw some rude comedy at a theatre near Trafalgar Square, saw some films, (One of which was the new CIA drama starring Angelina Jolie and Matt Damon. There were some teenagers in the theatre whom I'm sure thought they were seeing a Mr and Mrs Smithesque blockbuster but were sorely mistaken, and thus interrupted by talking throughout the entire film. How dare they!) and did a lot of walking....Sue said I was very good not whinging much.

Then we visited the V&A museum, and Sue's lefty credentials went up a notch because she visited the Uncomfortable Truths exhibition about the abolition of slavery. I lost all left credentials by snubbing this for the much more funner but no less controversial Kylie exhibition where I got to view all her frocks and dungarees. After seeing this exhibition, I so wanted to be Koily's best friend...

I gained back some lefty points by attending the anti-war, anti-Trident march in London on Saturday. These were promptly lost, however, as there were far too many hippies in one place for my liking and I had to leave. I held a Socialist Worker poster for five minutes, shouted that I hated Bush, and then went shopping in the High St for some new Clinique facial scrub because, frankly, I'm worried about fine lines appearing like the Grand Canyon on my face.

And that was my trip to London with Sue.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Newspaper headline :War on Terror! Terror Wins!

This from The Guardian:
"In the summer of 2004, as Lewis Paul Bremer III, America's viceroy to Iraq and head of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), which had run Iraq's government for 14 months, prepared to depart, electricity generation remained stuck at around 4,000 megawatts. This resulted in less than nine hours of power a day to most Baghdad homes - instead of the 6,000 megawatts he had pledged to provide. The new army had fewer than 4,000 trained soldiers, a third of what he had promised. Seventy per cent of police officers on the street had not received any CPA-funded training. Attacks on American forces and foreign civilians averaged more than 40 a day, a threefold increase since January. Assassinations of political leaders and sabotage of the country's oil and electricity infrastructure occurred almost daily. In a CPA-sponsored poll of Iraqis taken a few weeks before the handover of sovereignty, 85% of respondents said they lacked confidence in Bremer's occupation administration."

I can't believe the utter crap, and that is only what it can be described as, coming from Lewis Paul Bremer the Third.... there is no doubt that Saddam was a shit, but to say that Iraq is better place? I wouldn't want to live there and hats off to all who do by choice.

Thankfully,Tony Blair has finally committed to systematically taking his troops out of Iraq (hmmm....May 1st council elections must be fast approaching). Yet, Howard is committing more troops to Afghanistan (yes, I know it's slightly different, but it's still the War on Terror). John Howard's commitment to Iraq and Afghanstan makes me feel like I should be doing more to stop this madness, but as I've said on this blog before, I feel helpless.

I have just read this horror story in Vanity Fair (if I'm travelling on a plane I tend to buy a random magazine), which cited a paper from a neo con think tank called "A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm". Essentially the paper asserted that "by waging wars against Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon... Israel and the U.S. could stabilize the region" and "the neoconservatives argued that this policy could democratize the Middle East". So, Iraq and Lebanon have happened, I guess Syria is next, although there is a mass of troops culminating on the coast near Iran....

War on Terror - Terror Wins! Forcing democracy on a country is not democratic. The troops in the Iraq army are corrupted and infiltrated by insurgents. I just can't see any peaceful outcome. Can the sectarian leaders of Iraq along with Hezbula, Hamas, Fatah, Isreali leaders, Syria, Iran... can they all just fucking sit down over a cup of tea and have a chat and at the same time, can the women sit down and talk? And can the ideas from the flip charts be brought together? Otherwise, this is going to spread further through Afghanistan and Pakistan.....I guess not ever having been in a situation where sectarian lines are so ingrained that you can't actually be in the same room with someone from the opposite side, it's easy for me to say "sit down and talk".

Because somewhere, there is a small group of kids who just want to go to school and then play some football or skip rope. And they are terrified, and the longer we let this go on, the more and more bitter they will become. And suddenly, they will be the fourth generation of displaced children and they will be very very angry.

Is there hope? Yes there here.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Spot the Difference

Let's play Spot the Difference! YAY! All you need to do is look at the photos above and work out what the differences are. Click here to find the answers. The pic of Jesus (thanks Mad) was taken on our recent trip to Belgium.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My Sweet Valentine

this is the card that Jock sent me .....

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Word of the Day


1.N. Compound with two subsets:
(a) OO'-ber: Extreme; Supreme; Ultimate; Being in or attaining the greatest or highest degree; very intense.
(b GOO'-ber: (slang) Term of endearment for 'Friend'; A person whom one knows, likes, and trusts.

Mark J. Peters is THE UberGoober.

2. UberGoober

Totally socially inept.

From the German uber - meaning over
& English slang goober meaning dickhead....

He passed wind in her general direction, laughing at her cries of "What an UberGoober."

3. One who engages in meaningless pursuits

My semiotics professor is the UberGoober.

You can see more interesting urban words by clicking here

I hope you will find this word useful, and endeavor to use it at work today. Any examples will cheerfully be accepted in the comments section of this blog!

With reference to George Bush, I am using the term ubergoober as in part 2. I don't know Mark J. Peters personally, but if he is an ubergoober in the sense of part 1, then I would like to know him. I had a semiotics professor once. Semiotics is a meaningless pursuit and is a sign of our post-nineties-western-angst need to uber-deconstruct everything. Of course, this definition is open to interpretation. God, I'm so uber it!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Anna Nicole 1 - Palestine Nil

Reported on BBC Radio 1 midnight GMT 9 February:

Anna Nicole Smith's death - 3 minutes
Footballer who's name I can't remember but who signed a contract with some club - 30 secs
Palestine's rival factions Hamas and Fatah forming a coalition Government - 15 secs

We live in a celebtocracy.

Sometimes things are beautiful....

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Let the Players Play.....

When art imitates life.....One of our favourite shows, Arrested Development, has had one of its plot lines come true....or, more likely, the writers have used the sitcom as a vehicle to tell the American public what is really going on in Iraq.

In the sitcom, George Bluth is a construction mogul who allegedly embezzles money through a dodgy re-building Iraq scheme, winds up in jail and the mayhem of the dysfunctional family ensues. The show is clever, funny and stars my childhood pin-up sweetheart, Jason Bateman.
Well, currently in New Jersey, a court case is taking place where Phillip H. Bloom is being tried for nicking a whole heap of cash from funds for the reconstruction of Iraq. It's just uncanny how the plot of Arrested Development is the same...

This was reported by Al Jazeera:

"These defendants actually took bricks of stolen cash ... and smuggled them out of Iraq and back to the United States for their own personal use," he said.
The 25-count indictment, filed in US district court in New Jersey, follows an investigation into $8.6 million worth of Iraq contracts awarded to construction mogul Philip H Bloom.
Bloom, an American citizen who ran construction and services companies in Iraq, has admitted to laundering at least $2 million and is awaiting sentencing.
The money was stolen from reconstruction money managed by the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, which is now defunct.

There are currently 80 cases being investigated for stolen funds. I'm sure this is just the edge of the sand bar. It's sad and distressing that this type of thing is going on but I'm not surprised.

Monday, February 05, 2007

2.9 Trillion Dollars!

The US budget was handed down today by the Bush Administration in the form of something the size of the phone book. I wasn't sure what the budget (2.9 trillion dollars)looks like in zeros, so here it is....
Bush says: "Our economy is strong and growing,Federal revenues are robust, and we have made significant progress in reducing the deficit".

The deficit last year was $244 billion and this year it's going to be $239 billion. Which means his "significant amount" is a fiver. Which is like the amount of useful substance left in one of those watered-down homeopathy vials hippies get from the health
shop when you're talking 2.9 very small piss in an over-heating, less carbon dioxide-absorbing ocean.

The proposed budget for the Defense Department is $481.1 billion, which is a 62 percent increase over 2001 but this doesn't include the extra $145 billion in supplementary clams that are being put aside for the continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In order to pay for this war, Bush is cutting $70 billion from Medicare and Medicaid. Nice.

For all the whingeing and whining Brits do about the NHS, at least if you wind up in Emergency, you don't have to mortgage your house.

Bush is a neo-con of the worst kind. He truly believes what he is doing is right, and that's what's so scary.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Saturday Nanna Nap

Here is my darling husband resting on a Saturday arvo under the snuggly warmth of my Great Auntie Edith's crocheted blanky.

When one has been working all week, there's nuthin' like a wee nap to prepare for a nicht oot on tha toon.

While Jock was sleeping, I found this rather interesting website that might be useful for Perth readers of this blog given the recent heatwave.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Would You Rather......

You'll remember that last time we played Would You Rather it was - watch the English cricket team play or watch Leonard Nimoy sing? It is with great pleasure that I announce that this week's Would You Rather is:

Would you rather listen to the new Reactable Electronic music device OR watch small children play the recorder?: