giovedì, febbraio 02, 2006

Don't Worry. Be Happy

"Don't worry Muhammad, we've all been caricatured here"

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This is the picture, albeit in cartoon form, that has caused so much anger and hatred since it was first published by the Danish newspaper,
Jyllands-Posten, as a part of a series of 12 published last September.The issue that is being highlighted is simply that of the fredom of the press to report the issues of the world, without the kind of censorship that seems to be being demanded by some sections of the Islamic world.

Of course, censorship is not altogether unknown to us these days. Google has been taken to task for censoring the internet sites which it is showing to the Google searchers of China - and we have all heard of the Patriot Act, haven't we.

Censorship is such a part of our everyday lives that we hardly notice it any more. It makes it doubly ironic that the cartoons that caused all this fuss are, in my opinion at least, so insignificant and un-newsworthy in their messages. Did you find them amusing? I have to admit that I didn't. In fact, I would expect that if some parts of the Islamic community had not made any kind of a fuss about them supposedly showing the image of Muhammad, the whole affair would have passed away with no more ado.

It is just such a shame that Jacques Lefranc, until yesterday the editor of France Soir, should have lost his job over the affair. How very silly.

lunedì, gennaio 30, 2006

Do Sex & Politics Mix?

Well, well, well. I turn my back for a couple of weeks and find that our esteemed Prime Minister, Dott. Silvio Berlusconi, has announced that he is renouncing sex until after the Italian elections in April. What a strange thing to say. He is married and he is a Catholic. Yes, I know he is old, but men have sired children far, far older than he is. Just. However, the fact remains that he has publicly announced the witholding of his marital obligations to his lovely wife of 14 years, Veronica Lario, until after the elections. I am speechless. Why? What is he hoping to achieve by this promise? I realise that he will finally be in a position to actually deliver on one of his promises - but will he? Is there any point in him compromising his marriage vows at this stage in his life?

Perhaps he feels that by distilling his vital forces - his life juices - he will keep his strength for when he will need it most. Fighting the election. But that is normally only applicable to people with physically demanding jobs, such as footballers, or athletes. It would be hard to see Silvio as any form of athlete. Unless you consider onanism to be a sport, that is.

It was interesting to note that at the same time as Silvio's revised marriage vow, a study by Stuart Brody, a psychologist at Scotland's University of Paisley, has reached the conclusion that sex can actually help people in high-pressure situations achieve better results when giving speeches. That's right. Sex before speaking is good for you. Public speaking I mean, of course.

With the many TV performances recently given by our Silvio on various chat shows and what have you, he looked as though a bit of rumpy-pumpy would have done him the world of good. Certainly far more good than a bottle of hair dye, at any rate.

I'll get back to my decorating now then, shall I?