The Catcher In The Rye. Classic Literature It Ain’t

December 31, 2011

The Catcher In The Rye. Classic Literature It Ain’t

Ted Obvious writes from New York: I have a confession to make – I don’t like some of the books that are considered by many people to be eternal classics. I’ve tried to like them, I’ve read them and re-read them, but they still don’t appeal to me. I’m sorry, but that’s how it is with me: if I don’t like the characters, the plot, the main idea and what the author stands for generally, then I simply say, ‘I don’t like this crap.’ Why should I accept this or that book just because it is considered a classic? What would be the point of me pretending? That is why today I am going against the tide and saying loud and clear that I’ve never liked J.D.Salinger’s The Catcher In The Rye and I don’t understand what the fuss... 

Barack Obama Should Thank His Lucky Stars He’s Not A Republican President

December 31, 2011

Barack Obama Should Thank His Lucky Stars He’s Not A Republican President

Dan Majestic writes from Washington: President Barack Obama should thank his lucky stars that he is not a Republican. Because if he were, he would be looking at a meltdown at the next presidential election, finding himself on the receiving end of some serious ridicule in the media and on the comedy circuit. Why, why so, I can hear some people out there asking. Well, for starters he would not have had such an easy ride in 2008 when he had had the support of practically all the media, apart from Fox News. The three TV debates that he took part in with John McCain would not have been presented as his great success, because, to be honest, he didn’t really fare all that well in them. And his campaign funds, all the $750 million, that he had gathered from the ordinary people would have been scrutinised... 

Ever Wondered What China Is Trying To Achieve In Iran? You Have? Read This Then

December 31, 2011

Ever Wondered What China Is Trying To Achieve In Iran? You Have? Read This Then

Martin McCauley writes from Beijing: China has a big problem. Yes, yes, don’t look surprised, even though China is all big and powerful, it still has its weaknesses. Communism is one. And widespread corruption is another. But we are going to talk about another problem that China has with half of its imported oil coming from Iran that is hell bent on acquiring nuclear weapons. Tehran knows that if it has nukes, it would be able to pursue a more aggressive foreign policy – and, even more importantly, get away with it. Iran dreams of recreating the Persian Empire and all its glories. China is its most important ally. Cynics would say its only ally. So, is Beijing helping Tehran to acquire nukes? No, of course not. Why not? Iran with nukes would be a loose cannon. It might even provoke Israel... 

Dave Goes All Tough On Europe. Now Why Would He Do That?

December 31, 2011

Dave Goes All Tough On Europe. Now Why Would He Do That?

Adam Lovejoy writes from London: A lot of stupid things have been said and written about Prime Minister David Cameron and his supposedly tough stance on Europe, as in Dave goes to Brussels to attend a European Union summit and vetoes, yes, vetoes the new a treaty that would allow closer financial integration to solve the Eurozone debt crisis. All the easily excitable right-wingers went berserk, praising PM Cameron for standing up for British national interests. There was even talk about Britain leaving the hated EU. Some hot heads lost it completely, pointing out that Dave was finally showing his true Tory colours. And, responding to this idiocy, the great man himself announced a crusade for Christian values, as if desperate to prove that he was moving to the right faster than you can say the... 

The Only Good Thing About The Year 2012 Is That It’s Going To Be Better Than 2013

December 30, 2011

The Only Good Thing About The Year 2012 Is That It’s Going To Be Better Than 2013

R.F.Wilson writes from Lisbon: OK, let’s get it over with, folks: 2012 is going to be worse than 2011. Yeah, yeah, I know it sounds gloomy, considering that the New Year is on us, but it would still be better if we’re realistic about our prospects, without getting any silly ideas that the gigantic economic mess our politicians and their friends in the world of banking have created will just go away with all the trimmings like inflation, unemployment, bankruptcies, debts and house repossessions. Not to mention that most other things would not be improving and all sorts of irritants staying on. OK, let’s start with the big things that matter to millions. Don’t expect, for example, that Madeleine McCann will reappear out of nowhere, so that her parents would stop pestering us with... 

Research Shows Men Object Most To Bad Acting And Weak Story Lines In Porn

December 30, 2011

Research Shows Men Object Most To Bad Acting And Weak Story Lines In Porn

Ben Delicious writes from London: Sensational new research reveals that the majority of men who devote a lot of their time to watching porn object most of all to the bad acting and weak story lines in porn films, forcing them to use women’s lingerie catalogues and sex manuals that are very often just too heavy to hold in one hand for extended periods of time. More than two thirds of the respondents, who took part in the survey conducted by the University of Dulwich-on-the-Thames, complained that bad acting in porn films is a major turn off for them. ‘Who needs to look at hot chicks with huge jugs, getting it off with some blokes with bulging muscles and enormous dicks, when there’s no proper acting involved,’ one of the respondents, Sam Bendit , told researchers. ‘Where’s the drama... 

Hu’s To Blame For China’s Ills? That’s President Hu Jintao, In Case You’re Confused

December 30, 2011

Hu’s To Blame For China’s Ills? That’s President Hu Jintao, In Case You’re Confused

Martin McCauley writes from Beijing: President Hu Jintao is now entering his final year as China’s top leader. As head of the Communist Party of China, President of the People’s Republic and Commander-in-Chief of the People’s Army he might be considered to be the second most powerful politician in the world. (After President Barack Obama, in case you’re wondering.) But all is not what it seems. Mr Hu has been dubbed ‘Comrade Hesitant’ because of his penchant to prevaricate when presented with a problem. In reality, his colleagues have been blocking some of his initiatives. So in this sense he is not as powerful as he appears to be. (Although it has to be said that Mr Obama also had his problems with congress.) As China becomes more developed, the job of its top leader becomes more... 

Why Do Hacks Get It All Wrong?

December 30, 2011

Why Do Hacks Get It All Wrong?

R.F.Wilson writes from Fleet Street in London: Why is it that hacks get it all wrong? And, why do they claim afterwards that they actually got it right, as if hoping no one is going to check what it was that they were writing or saying before. None of the hacks have predicted any of the big calamities, be they wars, economic meltdowns or social upheavals. You want proof? OK, I’ll give you proof of the most recent events. Not one bloody scribbler or TV news reporter had predicted the 2008 financial crash – not one. In fact, they only noticed it when everything had fallen apart already. And that was not some small crisis, mind you. That was the start of the Great Depression 2 that is going to last for another couple of decades at least. But guess what happened when the meltdown was in... 

Sensible Drinking? It Just Doesn’t Make Sense

December 29, 2011

Sensible Drinking? It Just Doesn’t Make Sense

Anton Goryunov writes from Moscow: A lot of words have been said and written about the wonders of sensible drinking. You know, you sit round the table with your friends or family, have a glass or two of wine and behave sensibly. Well, guess what? It doesn’t work like that in real life. Most people drink to get pissed, OK? Sensible drinking sounds a lot like sensible sex: you get laid, but avoid the orgasm. I’m not saying here that you should get loaded and not have any fun. That would be daft. You might as well move to drugs and get stoned in a minute or so and then remember nothing of what happened to you – if, like Charlie Sheen, that is what your idea of fun is. And I’m also not suggesting that you become aggressive after a couple of large ones, swearing at total... 

Japan An Economic Superpower? Pull Another One

December 29, 2011

Japan An Economic Superpower? Pull Another One

Anton Goryunov writes from Tokyo: Have you heard the latest news from Fukushima? The situation at the nuclear plant has not been resolved yet, with the vast exclusion area continuing to operate and rumours abounding that radiation continues to leak into the atmosphere. The government, as everyone believes, is hiding the true state of things at the plant and it will take decades to sort out the mess. Why I mention all this, you may wonder. Well, it’s just that every time some highly developed and supposedly prosperous country gets knocked over by a big natural disaster, it becomes apparent that it’s not not really all that highly developed and prosperous. Take Japan: do you remember the news footage of the aftermath of the earthquake and the tsunami that had hit the north-eastern... 

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