Posted by: whatkindofweekhasitbeen | February 12, 2012

12th February, 2012

After year upon year of economic cataclysm nobody can seem to do anything about, world leaders will no doubt be glad to get back to the bread and butter: dealing with geopolitical cataclysm that nobody can seem to do anything about.

The situation in Syria gets more gruesome with every passing hour, and yet the world is apparently stymied by the world’s most unlikely dictator, Bashar Al Assad, a man who looks like he owns a bicycle repair shop that’s pestered by reprobate youths. Plans to do something about his brutal crushing of dissent has been put on ice by the Russians and Chinese, as they vetoed a UN resolution for him to cut it the fuck out and step the fuck down. But, with the way the Chinese and Russians have lined up, they’d veto asking him pretty please to stop. It’s impossible to know what the western powers can do next: Syria is a hornet’s nest packing sub machine guns, and forcibly heaving Assad a la Gadaffi is not feasible because, to coin a phrase popular with commentators at the minute that sounds like a Morrissey album title, “Syria Is Not Libya”. The only thing we can be sure of is that while the west comes up with a strategy, Assad will just keep killing.

The UN might not be able to get anything done but the FA is a veritable flurry of action, not much of it useful. With John Terry’s racism case deferred until July, the FA decided to strip him of the captaincy anyway, which suggests JT is too racist to be captain, but not racist enough to be kicked off the squad altogether.  At this point Fabio Capello registered his disapproval of the FA’s overreach on an Italian TV interview, and it cost him his job. Though, by the looks of it, both sides sort of looked glad that it’s over, like a miserable couple who split up because one of them uses a tin opener weird.  It now opens the door for Harry Redknapp, the officially uncorrupt Spurs manager, to step into the breach and whip England into their usual tournament frenzy of national pride and comically high expectations. But all this furore has to prompt one question: what power does the England captaincy hold that it’s caused such seismic ructions mere months before a tournament? Their own executive washroom? The sixth Captain Planet power? A tea mug shaped like the Holy Grail?

Over in the States sport is having political ramifications as well, as a humble Superbowl advert is energising both sides of the aisle. After the second quarter a Chevrolet ad came on featuring Clint Eastwood titled “Halftime in America” give a stirring, whispering Henry V style pep talk about how America can dust itself off in the second half and return to usual ass kicking service. Praise flowed like victory Bud at Giants Stadium, especially from liberals who interpreted it as a de facto Obama re-election ad with an endorsement from Dirty Harry. But the likes of Karl Rove were far from happy because a) Chevy was one of the Detroit companies saved by government bailout b) The message in the ad sounds both liberal and upbeat, a deadly combination in an election year and c) It shows the Republicans up as the deathly negative and grumpy bastards they are.

Then again, you probably would be too if your choices for Presidential nominee were between an extra from Wall Street, the Genghis Khan of hypocrites and one of the greatest minds of the 11th century. It’s got so bad that in spite of all that non-taxed money he spent Romney still lost three state primaries on the hop in Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado to Rick Santorum, a candidate as credible as a storyline on Dallas.

Although, a recent study suggests it may not necessarily be the Republicans’ fault. According to a Canadian study people of a left-wing disposition are more intelligent and open-minded than people who identify with right wingers, as people of lower intelligence tend to gravitate towards traditionally conservative views for security. Although, this is probably counterproductive, as it just makes everyone around them plain terrified. More interesting still is that the Daily Mail covered this extensively, even though they’re the most notoriously right wing paper of the lot. Case in point, probably.

Of course, research dealing in such generalities isn’t exactly useful in all arenas but it is good to make a broad point or for a quick hit talking point now and then, and is a stable of the kind of press releases stuffed through editors’ inboxes. But one article filed to The Examiner would probably have been better if it was caught in the junk file. Psychologist Tony Humphreys, who by all accounts is the Michael O’Leary of his profession, drew a big permanent marker line between autism and emotionally distant parents this week, although it has since been taken off The Examiner’s website. The article caused uproar, which is strange since given their distance and emotionless demeanour it’s a wonder parents with autistic kids even noticed, or recognised it was something to be offended by. Humphreys stands steadfast in the storm, perhaps because he writes and speaks all over the place and all publicity is good publicity. How is it the Hippocratic Oath goes again, “First do no harm to your book sales?”


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