people in the news

November 10, 2006

Donald Rumsfeld. CAN it be only five years, asks Christopher Hitchens, ‘since the society columns in Washington were describing Donald Rumsfeld as “hot” and printing stories about how ladies of a certain age wanted his phone number?’ Strange how the sweet smell of success can turn into a right old pong when the aura of power begins to fade. The gnomic utterances which once worked wonders as chat-up lines started to fall flat as a rainy Sunday when Guantanamo Bay went out of fashion. Society ladies with impeccable neocon credentials were soon on the phone to pull out of romantic candle-lit dinners they had suggested and cancel invitations to intimate soirées. “Just like a man to barge into a place and not bother clearing up the mess he’s made”, said one icily. I understand Rusmfield has been reduced to using the Daily Express dating service and putting Lonely Hearts ads in the Mail but still without success.

Paul Gascoigne “I wake up every day with 27 different problems and addictions to face,” he says but Gazza, 39, reveals he has now found religion. He says: “I’ve just started to believe in God. I read the Bible now and again.”I’m not a Bible-basher but I believe in God because he has kept me alive, touch wood.” Odd how faith in clover leaves and goblins seems to go hand in hand with the totally rational belief in a supreme being. Still if it curbs his urge to bash Bibles and throw punches in all directions when plastered, who’s to complain?

Farewell to Markus Wolf, the Stasi spymaster famous for his sleeper agents and for perfecting the use of sex in spying, making a speciality of sending so-called “Romeo” spies into West Germany to seduce female government employees. Who has not at one time or another had to resist the wiles of a stunning East German female spy? Undercover work has changed its meaning and lost most of its glamour now that spies spend all their time at computers instead of hopping into bed with shadowy seductresses. For the German tabloid Bild, the manner of Wolf’s demise – he died in his sleep – was a fitting end to his career.”Death came like an elite agent. Silently, without warning, in the middle of the night,” Bild says.

Linda Stein, an artist and veteran feminist. Ms Stein has written of her experience of being tricked into a part in the spoof movie Borat, saying she was left “confused and sad” after the filming. “Maybe it’s his way of gaining power over the childhood sting of religious animosity or the feelings of inferiority from a woman’s beating him at Scrabble,” she said. Sure, losing at Scrablle can make people do the strangest things. A while ago one Brendon Tahau, 26, of Rotorua, died after being hit at least 40 times with a baseball bat and then stabbed five times in the back during an unusually heated game of Scrabble. Watch how you go with those triple word scores.

An anonymous Austrian doctor. According to a ‘top Austrian doctor’, picking your nose and eating it is good for you: ‘Medically it makes great sense and is a perfectly natural thing to do. In terms of the immune system the nose is a filter in which a great deal of bacteria are collected, and when this mixture arrives in the intestines it works just like a medicine. Modern medicine is constantly trying to do the same thing through far more complicated methods, people who pick their nose and eat it get a natural boost to their immune system for free.’

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert who explained that ‘technical failure’ led to the killing of a Gaza family. An internal military investigation blamed a radar malfunction for the deaths. The report was said by the Israeli military to have found a malfunction had misdirected the fatal artillery barrage. There was, apaprently,  a faulty electronic chip in the artillery battery’s guidance system. I understand Olmert said ‘computer stuff happens’ but apologised for any inconvenience that may have been caused.

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2 Responses to “people in the news”

  1. crazymac Says:

    “I’m not a Bible-basher”- just the wife, then is it, Gazza?

  2. SilverTiger Says:

    Rumsfeld’s most “gnomic utterance”, the one about, inter alia, “unknown unknowns”, has been unfairly pilloried. Its only fault is to be too precise and clear (some newspaper editors apparently have difficulty with precise and clear utterances). While I hold no brief for John Major, I cannot help noticing that he made a better attempt at the same speech when he rendered it more succinctly as “I didn’t know what I didn’t know”.

    Rumsfeld will no doubt cheer up once he follows Major onto the international lecture circuit.


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