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Europe

The Stupider Party

Today’s Economist reveals that one of the few Conservative parties in the European Parliament prepared to line up with David Cameron over the creation of a new Right grouping is the Polish Law and Justice Party, known by the acronym “PiS”. Its leader recently tried to stop a gay rights march in Warsaw. It wants […]

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Barawque’n’Roll!

This video of a guy playing Pachelbel’s Canon on his electric guitar starts sedately enough, but after a minute you’ll have one foot propped up on your PC base unit and a window open so that the breeze blows through the cascading ringlets of your bubble-perm wig. For some reason the guitarist keeps his face […]

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Keep The Faith

On Friday I went to Cambridge to stay with Jenny and Matthew (and their son Douglas) Crikey! Douglas does his Boris Johnson impression. [click image to enlarge] and to attend Cathal’s leaving party / St Patrick’s Day celebrations. After a few months you forget just how surreal a night out in a Cambridge pub can […]

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This Weekend’s Train Conversations

On the way to Hot Wheels‘ most excellent party yesterday I met an Englishwoman with a bass who plays in a New Cross bluegrass band. She was wearing an “I’m Up For A Chat On The Tube” badge that turned out to be a product of a conceptual art project to bring random people together. […]

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The Disconnect Is Complete. The Solution Is At Hand.

Harry’s Place has a story from Islam Online claiming that Norway has brought in a law that punishes blasphemy by fine or imprisonment. There doesn’t seem to be any confirmation of this from any other source. This means we have reached the point at which we can read a report on an imaginary change in […]

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I’m Condi. Fly Me.

Hi! Welcome to the CIA Airlines check-in desk. Could I ask you to itemize your hand luggage as you place it on the belt, sir? Er, one holdall of shoes, running gear, and toiletries; one suitcase of casual clothes; one suit carrier containing three identical black suits and ties with matching Ray-Bans; one attaché case […]

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Final Revisions

Yesterday’s serious press carried near-full-page advertisements for Channel 4’s new substation “More4“‘s screening of Downfall, Oliver Hirschbiegel’s acclaimed cinematic imagining of the last moments of former German head of state Adolf Hitler. These advertisements read: “It’s a happy ending. He dies.” But just how happy an ending was it for the once-proud nation that was […]

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That Angela Merkel Speech In Voll

Guten Morgen, meine Damen und Herren, Herr Prime Minister, Frau Blair, Herr Straw, Brenda, und so weiter. Vielen Dank fur den Freiheit, ihre grossen Europaischen subsidiese zum Integraztion wir lumpen Ossis, und den neuen Robbie Williams Album—mit his dimplich Grin, er ist viel sexyer als David Hasselhof. Wir, die Britischen and die Deutschen, sind sinze […]

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Root Causes

I think the riots in France are a protest by disenfranchised Muslim youth against that country’s involvement in the disastrous imperialist adventure in Iraq.

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Sven Speaks

“Yes-erh, well-erh, I’m erhfraid we in Englanddd feerhl that-erh Austrierh arerh not yet-erh ready to be admitteddd to full-erh memberrrship of therh Worlddd Cup-erh Finalss. I’ddd alsso like to take thisss opp-erh-tunity to say ‘Heh‘. “By therh way, I very much lik-erh what you herhf done with yerh hair, young lady. Woulddd you be ffree […]

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PooterGeek Snr Writes In Guardian Shocker

I’m not returning to normal ‘Blogging just yet, but those of you who still buy the rag might be interested to know that today, opposite the Graun‘s editorial “The blogging generation”, there’s a letter from my dad displaying geopolitical and musical insight of the calibre that keeps people all over the World coming back to […]

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Trainspotting. Really.

During the 80s, despite my father’s tribal loyalties lying further north, the Counsells had family membership of Leicestershire County Cricket Club. We would take a picnic and sit next to the sight screens. My mum fell in love with David Gower because he batted like a young god and his hair, curly and flashed with […]

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Killer Watt Fact

Look at Europe’s light pollution. As a poster on The Motley Fool points out, the London-to-Preston stretch of Britain appears to have a higher density of electrified living than anywhere in the continent but the Ruhr/Benelux region. Try to be witty about that one, PooterGeekers.

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“All my pain is because we are not together…”

There isn’t actually a scene depicting a gamine brunette whizzing past a Parisian landmark on a moped, but, if this trailer is anything to go by, scientists at an Israeli biotech firm have finally succeeded in cloning all the other clichés of self-conscious art house French cinema.

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Popedom

Jane Little of the BBC reports somewhat mischievously from Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany. She describes the event as “a huge Catholic Woodstock”. This snippet is particularly naughty: “Tobias Raschke, a curly-haired, fresh-faced 26-year-old was handing out postcards in support of condoms. ‘The Pope does not get it,’ he […]

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Deferred Gratification

When I was a boy and my written German was quite good, I used to have a pen-pal in East Berlin, a young soldier. We would scribble symbols over the seals of our letters to each other, hoping that we’d be able to tell if the authorities had opened our correspondence. Today I was completely […]

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Just Kill Me Now

It’s half-past one in the morning and opposite my bedroom there’s a house full of drunk Mediterranean language students with MTV accents singing Oasis’s Wonderwall out of tune.

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Congratulations!

Andy at Rummaging writes the ‘Blog post about Eurovision that I would have written had the bastard not beaten me to it by cunningly publishing it in advance of the grand final.

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Ethnic Aesthetics

“Any random group of thirty Vietnamese women will contain a dozen who make Julia Roberts look like Lyle Lovett.” P. J. O’Rourke (1994), All The Trouble In The World: The Lighter Side of Overpopulation, Famine, Ecological Disaster, Ethnic Hatred, Plague, and Poverty I’ve written here before that I believe humans are naturally disposed to discriminate […]

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Er War Populaer

Tuesday was the anniversary of Falco’s “Rock Me Amadeus” reaching number one in the UK charts (1985). Falco died in a car crash in 1998. By way of honouring him, here are the lyrics to possibly the biggest hit ever recorded by an Austrian: Ooo rock me Amadeus Rock me Amadeus… Rock rock rock rock […]

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Hero Of The Revolution

I’m surprised that The Independent didn’t suggest one hundred thousand cheering Georgians had mistaken George Bush for George Galloway: “Addressing a 100,000-strong crowd in Freedom Square in Tbilisi yesterday, Mr Bush said the November 2003 uprising that toppled the country’s former leader Eduard Shevardnadze had been an example for Ukraine, Iraq, Lebanon and other countries […]

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Worse Than I Thought

I knew that in Turkey Mein Kampf is a bestseller. I didn’t know that the theory of evolution was widely rejected there. Thanks to Mick Hartley and this in The Panda’s Thumb I have another reason to fear for civilization: “As a result of the BAV campaign and other efforts to denounce evolution, he adds, […]

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Chamber Ensembles

Mona Kuhn takes abstract nude photographs of handsome, ghostly northern European men and women, composed like Japanese flower arrangements.

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And Your Point Would Be?

First the BBC turns against you, then Ted Kennedy snubs you: Kennedy spokeswoman Melissa Wagoner said: “Senator Kennedy has decided to decline to meet with Gerry Adams, given the IRA’s ongoing criminal activity and contempt for the rule of law.” She said the events surrounding the death of Mr McCartney underscored the need for IRA […]

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Kiss That Frog

“Israel, not entirely evil,” says French socialist (responding with friendly politeness as I address him in an English accent on the streets of Paris): When London Mayor Ken Livingstone wrote a poison-penned tirade against Israel and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Friday’s edition of the British Guardian, it made headlines in Britain, Israel and beyond. […]

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“Doing The Patriotic Thing”

Yesterday I had lunch with a “fellow” Catholic whose grandfather used to hide fugitive members of the “old” IRA in his house in the Irish countryside. We discussed the disgust being expressed by republicans north and south of the border at the behaviour of the supposed descendants of his grandad’s lodgers. Cathal (not his real […]

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Kickings I Have Enjoyed Recently

Squander Two on the Irish President on the Holocaust Tim Newman on Gary Younge on Uzbekistan (but really on Amerikkka of course) Michael Ignatieff on his “fellow” liberals on the Iraq elections Oliver Kamm on David Aaronovitch on Douglas Hurd

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“It’s Full Of Rocks…”

How we mocked Dr Who for its low budget conviction that most of the planets and moons in the Universe (firm enough for humanoids to be chased across by stuntmen in monster suits) resembled abandoned gravel pits. Who’s laughing now?

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Back To The Drawing Board

I had started on this spoof combining the Mark Thatcher and Harry Windsor stories. You know the sort of thing: “So, Mr Thatcher, this was an ironic coup? Well, yah, we’d a bit to drink and a couple of chums had dressed up in fatigues for a party and one of the fellas—an old friend […]

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Godwinning

Claire sent me this one. I’m not going to tell you what to think. If you find something familar about the text, you do; if you don’t, you don’t. Either way, it’s chilling history.

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