I’m trying to get back into the practice of writing regularly. So every week, on Saturday, I am going to present a weekly round up of the news stories that hit the global headlines, as filtered through my skewed perspective.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present Episode 1 of NEWS WEAK:
Breaking news from history this week:
Joan of arc was set on fire a little over 500 years ago this week. The maid of orleans was convicted of heresy by a court that demonstrated that sense of fair play and respect for a free trial that the British have demonstrated time and again. Just ask that other famous beneficiary of Brit justice, William Wallace. Showing a dedication to their craft and a commitment to kindling, the court had Joan burned not once, not twice, but three times! And then they threw her ashes into the River Seine. To their credit though, there WAS a marked decrease in girls claiming to hear God deciding to lead the enemies of England into victorious battle.
Also this week in history, let’s light a kerosine soaked candle for the 100th birthday of the first major discovery of oil in the Middle East. Yes this day 100 years ago, Jamal the goat herder struck oil while hunting for rabbits on his land. Striking it rich, he took his family and moved to wealthy Riyadh where he attempted to live a beduin life despite his wealth, to much comic effect. His tale was later turned into an episodic bio-pic for U.S. audiences, however Jamal was replaced by an American actor for fear that audiences might have trouble relating.
And now it’s time to take a look at the top headlines from the week starting 26th of May:
In the news this week is Brazil, the land of drug runners and tanned teenage tummies. An uncontacted tribe has been discovered on the border between Brazil and Peru! The Brazilian government provided evidence of the existence of a tribe of red-painted tribe members brandishing bows and arrows. A series of photographs were released to the press so as to show that the forests were occupied and thus not available for illegal logging. However, the photos taken did steal the souls of the tribe members, rendering them lifeless husks. Also, it’s worth noting that reading this article on google news right next to a banner advertising land sales in Brazil did cause a marked increase in my cynicism.
In the U.S., Hillary Clinton continues her mad grasp for the nomination, this time trying a tack that while a tad tasteless, if successful, could guarantee her the democratic party’s backing. And its probably the only thing that will at this point. Describing the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy late in the 1968 Democratic primary as one reason she is continuing to run for the presidency, she was criticized by the Obama campaign for purportedly advocating Obama’s assassination. Hillary Clinton herself claimed her words were taken out of context. She then went on to say, “I was merely making a point about timelines! It’s not as if I’m telling anyone that Senator Obama will be giving a speech next Thursday at 8:45 pm at an outdoor auditorium at the Omaha convention centre, and there is a 4 second window of opportunity when he walks from his seat, situated on the far right to the centre stage podium, during which a marksman with a Barret M107.50 caliber sniper rifle who positions himself on the north east corner of the roof of the library adjacent to the auditorium would have a clear shot! I didn’t say that!” Really, what this is evidence of though, is the influence of the conservatives on American discourse. Pro-lifer’s have gone from locking arms outside abortion clinics to even attacking a presidential candidates right to let an assassin choose his or her next target.
The Hillary/Obama thumb wrestling wasn’t the only elections related news in the headline this week. Republican candidate Senator John McCain’s latest vacation from reality took place as he described Mosul as a “quiet” town on the same day as three suicide attacks took place there! He then went on to describe Gaza as a fantastic honeymoon spot and recommended Kabul for its burgeoning arts and culture scene.
And finally, also in the U.S. much controversy has been stirred up by the publication of former White House press secretary, Scott McClellan’s new tell-all book! With prose that reads like the finest of bodice-rippers…if by bodice you are mispronouncing “President Bush’s anus” and by ripper you mean, well, ripper…McClellan has dropped such page-turning shockers as President Bush lying about the war, President Bush covering up the lies about the war and then President Bush forcing others into believing his lies about the war. Now this information comes as a revelation to everybody…if by everybody you mean the seven naked men wielding primitive weapons who comprise the uncontacted tribe of Brazilian natives.
The news media is talking about the shocking nature of McClellan’s revelations, which means that they haven’t read a single book about the war in the last 5 years. Robert Fisk just took one look at the royalty payments made to McClellan by his publishers and threw himself off a cliff. War criticizers must feel like Mulder yelling “look!” at the gigantic space ship episode after episode, while each time the press, cast as Scully in this forced analogy, misses all the evidence because it was too busy picking up its pen.
And finally, the end of devastation is near. That’s right! cluster bombs are on their way out, as more than 100 nations have signed a draft treaty banning their production and deployment. For those of you who don’t hail from a middle-easter country, cluster bombs are the santa clause of bombs, capable of dispersing a near endless supply of tiny bomblets. So finally we can put these cruel weapons of mass destruction behind us and usher in a new era of peace and …wait…what’s that? Russia, China and the U.S. didn’t sign the treaty? Well, that’s just three countries…what’s that? They are the largest producers and users of cluster bombs? Right so this treaty is fucked right out of the gate isn’t it? So that basically means that the crazy conservative petition to ban a Dunkin’ Donuts ad for featuring a chubby celebrity in a scarf that looked like the latest in terrorist chic was more successful than a treaty signed by a 100 nations aimed at saving lives and ending needless death and destruction.
To catch live performances of NEWS WEAK, come to my weekend shows in Second Life. Otherwise just read the transcripts here.