Friday, April 05, 2002

Yesterday I heard some of the tributes in Parliament to the Queen Mum. “She smells of wee but we love her” was not amongst them. Someone said she has gone to “perpetual peace and rest.” What else does he think she’s been doing for the last 101 years?

Bush finally gets pissed off about the Middle East. Ooooo. “Enough is enough,” he said, indicating that one word is exactly equal to the same word, just as sure as eggs is eggs. What he actually means is, now Christians are being threatened, and that’s something else entirely, that something else being “enough.”

The Vatican is looking for a new “chief papal embalmer,” as the current one has died.

So cousins can now marry and have children, say scientists. Great, all my cousins are male.

If you think the Queen Mum’s death was the end of an era in Britain, prepare to gasp: Bobbies’ helmets are going to get a new design. The current 12-inch tall things, favorite targets for drunken students, have been in use since 1863.

See the NY Times piece about the guy in jail in Illinois since murder since 1946 who didn’t do it? Uncovered, once again, by journalism students. Evidently they gave him sodium pentathol and a spinal tap (which needs explanation), and they gave his confession to the papers--before he’d actually made any confession.

A Fairness and Accuracy Reporting study of news broadcasts on the 3 networks over a year and a half on events in Israel find many many uses of variants of the word “retaliation,” as in “Israelis today retaliated for yesterday’s suicide bombing by blowing up Chairman Arafat’s favorite camel, Booboo.” 79% of the time, it was used just that way--the Israelis retaliating for something Palestinians did--and 9% the other way around. In other words, in the most common formulation, the Palestinians were portrayed as the aggressors and the Israelis were only responding.

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