Regular readers here know that I had little time for the argument that “we” had to invade Iraq because Saddam Hussein had a strategic arsenal trained on Hoxton hidden under his various country homes. It’s been said that I’ve been quite rude about people who signed up too confidently for certain types of WMD-related bollocks, but not as rude as I have been about the ricotta-brained tossers who talk about Saddam Hussein being tragically misunderstood, while their organically-grown twins, Muji and Monsoon, run around laying waste to the Early Learning Centre. Instead, I cleaved to (what will one day be known as) the Berlinski position, that is I didn’t care if George W. Bush wanted to overthrow the Ba’athists because he didn’t like the cut of their uniforms, as long as he did it as soon as possible.
Having got that out of the way, I’d like to draw your attention to Lucy “not fit to breathe on Linda Smith’s microphone” Mangan, trying to be funny in today’s Guardian. (I must admit that she was funny a few days ago when she wrote a longer piece on the back page of G2, but I wisely chose not to blog that strange lapse at the time.) Accompanying a Phil Space article by Julian Borger, Lucy attempts to match Condoleezza Rice’s workout programme [scroll down page]:
There’s a momentary embarrassment when my legs give way as I walk to the mats, but I channel the spirit of Dr Rice, a woman rarely deflected from her goal—be it completing a set of core-strengthening reps or convincing a populace that invading a country less threatening than Belgium makes sense (and will again!).
Setting aside the “convince”-as-a-verb thing, I am assuming, as is sensible with any sideswipe by a Guardianista, that this is a reference to Iraq. I think, given the choice, Lucy and most of her sort would have preferred to be resident one scarily porous border from a “populace” containing, at worst, a couple of regiments’-worth of kiddie-fiddling chocolatiers hampered by having to groom their victims online with simultaneous Dutch/French instant messages than they would like to look over the fence at patrols of Saddam’s Soviet-armed thugs (now forced to find freelance work as independent contractors for Jihad International). Ever caught sight in a bookseller’s window of that slender but legendary collectors’ volume Tintin and the Flaming Oil Refinery? Ever see anyone run screaming from the Singing Nun?
[Note to self: rewrite last line of previous para at next opportunity.]
(Of course, if your home is not immediately adjacent to Belgium, but you live off a few square metres of these two-and-third million square kilometres then you might have a slightly different view about how much of a threat to your wellbeing Belgium is.)
Charlie Brooker, on the other hand, somehow manages to write a funny observational piece about giving up smoking, which is about as easy as composing an original pop song about unrequited love.
To get back to the subject of the article: she played piano to concert standard, held a professorship at Stanford, can figure-skate, and gets up at 04:30 every day to work out according to a programme devised by a US Marine. I bet Condi can do that thing where you balance lots of ten-pence pieces on your elbow and then catch them in your hand.