Before we start our look at the top stories of the week, let’s pause to light a birthday candle for Ernesto “Che” Guevara. Oh Ernesto, you will always be remembered by people everywhere for your middle-distance gaze immortalized in photograph and for allowing the beret a brief come-back.
Little known fact about the Argentine Marxist revolutionary: After being pulled from his mothers leftist womb, the infant Che began chronicling his loss of innocence and growing disillusionment with the conditions of his parent’s one-up two-down apartment, thoughts later published as the Pram Diaries. A month after his birth he violently overtook his sister cot and then spend the next few weeks hiding under the kitchen sink. Only one photograph survives of this turbulent period, its popularity and chances at pop-culture immortality hurt only by an extremely unsightly gigantic red diaper with a yellow star-ish shape spreading across the front.
Time now for the top stories for the week starting the 9th of June, 2008.
EMPIRE WATCH first, as we take a look at major news coming out of America. A quick glance really, as staring too long at the United States can cause temporary blindness.
President Bush has been touring Europe as his presidency is in its last six months and if he doesn’t avail the Airforce One frequent flier miles then they expire along with his access to the loo in the Oval office. His most recent stop has been to Vatican City, where President Bush met with Pope Benedict XVI.
The President and Pope, which by the way is a great name for a series of children’s stories about the misadventures of a head of state and his papal buddy. Bush and Pope Benedict had a stroll and a chat in the vatican gardens, flanked by First Lady Laura Bush and U.S. Ambassador Mary Ann Glendon, which caused Bush to quip “We are surrounded by impressive women.” The Pope responded by pointing to a statue of Mary, mother of Christ, and asked when was the last time either Laura or Ambassador Mary Ann had given immaculate birth to the Son of God.
President Bush also asked a Vatican aide how big Vatican city is, to which the aide replied, “Not as big as Texas,” disappointing the President who thought he had given an easy set-up for a “not as big as yo’ mama” response.
As is customary, the two gentlemen then exchanged gifts. The Pope gave the President a four-volume illustrated book set about the history of St. Peter’s Basilica, and the President, in return, gave a…framed picture of himself with the Pope. A framed picture. In exchange for the four-volume book set. A framed picture. Half the composition of which contained himself. Not even a picture of a nice sunset or two kittens playing with a motivational or inspiring line about getting up in the morning to a bright new day inscribed over it. President Bush you cheap bastard.
Earlier in the week, President Bush had paused found the time to sit down the journalists from Brit newspaper the Times on-board Airforce One for an exclusive interview. He gave the interview while wearing a jacket emblazoned with his name and carried a mug with POTUS written on it, stopping just short of writing “President Bush wuz ‘ere” in permanent marker on the foreheads of the Times’ reporters. Written in reverse ofcourse so he can read it while sitting across from them and smirk confidently. In the interview, President Bush showed human signs of regret at becoming perceived, by the world, as a guy “really anxious for war” in Iraq. To give the world some credit though, the next day he gave a speech in Paris in which he reiterated the need to consider military action against Iran. Which might be the root of his complaint. He doesn’t want to be remembered as being anxious for war with Iraq. That is so 2002. That is how first-term President Bush wants to be remembered. Second-term Bush wants to be remembered as being anxious for war with Iran now.
Bush also said he was hoping to “leave behind a series of structures that makes it easier for the next president.” Those structures, on close inspection however, have been found to be architecturally unsafe and prone to collapse. He also took a moment to praise Afghan President Hamid Karzai who has been dogged by allegations of corruption, and British PM Gordon Brown who is racing Bush to the top of the “Unpopularity Polls”. President Bush then ended the interview by touching a healthy child on the forehead and giving it leprosy, passing his hand over a blossoming red rose and turning it ash gray and praising the honesty and moral integrity of pedophiliac rap artist R. Kelly.
Speaking of Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the man who has made Tony Blair look like “a sweet chap with a penchant for supporting invasions that we wish we had overlooked”. Brown, this week, managed to just barely pass a bill through the House of Commons that allows terror suspects to be detained for 42 days without charge. Britons are just grateful that they now have alternative short-term housing arrangements in the face of rising living costs. 42 days incarceration can also be seen as a month and a half of rent-free living in a small studio apartment with minimalist interiors, attached bathroom and a secure environment. It’s all in how you look at it.
Also in Legal News this week, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that Guantanamo detainees have the right to seek release in civilian courts. What this means is that detainees can now actually file habeas corpus suits over such frivolous things like being beaten, fed shit, posing in naked human pyramids and being subjected to Congress’ favorite mode of artistic expression – Waterboarding.
GOP nominee, Senator John McCain, has described the ruling as “one of the worst decisions in the history of his country.” Worse even than the decision to deny protection against racism in the notorious Slaughter House Cases of 1873, to uphold racial segregation in Plessy v. Ferguson 1896, and to authorize 8 years of costly unending war, a shattered economy and the erosion of civil liberties in Bush v. Gore, 2000.
Moving on to MAD EARTH NEWS, we have the only man alive who can work a sash, a pair of ray-bans and a permanent 7’oclock shadow.
That’s right, the “mad dog” of Libya, Muammar Gaddafi is back in the news. In a classic case of, “who the hell asked you!” Gaddafi has described Barack Obama as a black man with an “inferiority complex” who might behave “worse than whites.” Presumably that implies that Obama, if allowed to become President, will attain whiter than white status, or maybe even go transparent. He will become so white that light will literally travel through him, refracted only slightly as he falls to the ground convulsing whenever he tries to dance, smashes his face into the rim when he tried to jump and speaks in an increasingly nasal voice.
Also in news makes you go eugh! Egyptian authorities have banned a 92 year-old man from marrying a 17 year-old girl. Somewhere, right now, Anna Nicole Smith just twitched angrily in her grave.
(actual picture from the BBC article!)
((For live performances of News Weak, catch me at the Chuckling Priestman Comedy Club in Second Life on Friday night, 10 pm SLT.))