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Presidential Tat Watch spots this “Donald Trump Paddle Ball” on sale at the Gagosian’s Benefit for Clinton, Art For Hillary.
Designed by New York sculptor Elliott Arkin, the wooden paddle features a likeness of Donald Trump’s face. The mouth is open. The idea is that you smack the red rubber ball into Trump’s pie hole.
Arkin’s work references Koons’s Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer paddle ball game from 2000. “I often use existing contemporary works to satirize. Since Koons has made that print of the Mona Lisa for this event, I thought his Rudolph paddle ball was a natural fit for Trump,” he says.
Konn’s Mona Lisa repo costs Clinton fans – get this – $50,000.
To even things up, Arkin has also made a Hillary Clinton Flash Drive an 8 megabyte flash drive in the shape of a miniature Clinton. You pop off Clinton’s noggin – decapitate it, if you will – and reveal the device.
Whether the data storage device contains any data, like emails, say, or has been accidentally wiped clean by forces unknown is unsaid.
What does it mean to be working class? Aditya Chakrabortty knows. Having analysed the 17m people who voted to leave the European Union and found them “delusional”, he tells Guardian readers what it is to be working class:
What the pound’s weakness will chiefly achieve is to stop Britons buying as much. The middle classes will swap the wonders of the Alhambra for a week in Anglesey. The working classes will find Zara 15% more expensive.
The working classes rather enjoy packages holidays to Spain. But, yeah, shopping at Zara is just what defines the working class, those people employed in the blue collar trades who having put food on the table and coins in the gas metre can’t afford market-stall schmutter and catalogue shopping and are forced to do with Zara fashions.
PS: In April the Guardian increased its cover price in the UK by 20p, taking the cost of the weekday print edition to £2 and Saturday edition to £2.90. The working class should form an orderly queue at the newsagents.
Donald and Hillary will now sing I’ve Had The Time of My Life:
The video was produced by Dutch broadcaster Lucky TV.
When I saw them I kept thinking of Dolly Parton (Trump) and Kenny Rogers (Clinton).
Make it happen, internet.
Take them away:
Have you seen killer clowns? The Watford Observer reports that a “knife-wielding clown has been spotted near a children’s playground in Watford at 3:30pm.” Cheryl Warby says her children spotted a clown holding a butter knife.
There’s a fashion for pranksters (Times) to dress as clowns costumes to chase, threaten or stare at strangers. It is the “clownpocalypse”.
She Mrs Warby:
“My daughter and two friends were riding their bikes up the Harebreaks towards the adventure playground when a black car fiesta or coarsa [sic] shaped stopped on the roundabout and beeped at them. When they looked they saw a clown face and the person was holding a butter knife he said to the girls ‘I’m a clown with a knife’.
Did the kids have phones to take a snap of the car’s numberplate? Don’t all children have mobiles phone now and dashcam-style devices implanted into their foreheads?
“At this point the girls screamed and rode to the adventure playground where they new they could get help which is when 101 was phoned and it was reported to the police who said they would keep a look out.
“All three girls are scared to go out now.”
Sergeant Steve Alison from the Watford Safer Neighbourhood Team tells us: “Although the people dressing up as clowns may think they are taking part in some harmless fun, they should be mindful of the impact their actions may have on others and be aware that any behaviour that causes another person alarm or distress could lead to them being arrested under the Public Order Act 1986.”
A readers asks: “Can you stab a human being with butter knife?”
Another replies: “Only if they’re at room temperature.”
How about we round up all known clowns and set them on these idiots?
West Briton has news of Cornwall’s “only professional clown” David Rotheram. He said:
“The stories about scary clowns are having a knock on effect – especially for me because as far as I’m aware I am the only professional clown in Cornwall. Ever since scary clowns have been trending on Facebook I’ve noticed a drop in interest.
“Normally I get an inquiry on Facebook everyday but things have gotten seriously quiet. I understand clowning is different and people often have varied opinions – there is definitely a stigma attached but most professional clowns love what they do.
“If the quiet spell continues I will look into re-branding myself and instead of ‘Coz The Clown’ I will just be ‘Coz’ in an attempt to step away from the stigma.”
“I am concerned that if I finish a show and go to the supermarket I will be attacked.”
Randy Christensen, president of the World Clown Association, defends the right kind of clowning:
“If somebody dresses like a doctor and is in a doctor’s smock and is wearing a stethoscope and is in a haunted house and comes at you with a chainsaw, he is not really a doctor.
“Whoever is doing this crazy stuff is not a clown. This is somebody that is trying to use a good, clean wholesome art form and then distort it, trying to gain access to a child. This is not clowning. This person is not a clown.”
Author Stephen King, who gave us the terrifying Pennywise in the novel It, adds:
“Hey, guys, time to cool the clown hysteria — most of em are good, cheer up the kiddies, make people laugh.”
The clown craze has arrived in the UK from the US:
“They say the clowns live deep in the woods, near a house by a pond – At the edge of dark, dark woods in South Carolina, children have been telling adults that a group of clowns have been trying to lure them into the cluster of trees…”
Terrifying stuff. Meanwhile, it’s Halloween at the end of the month when lots of charming little ‘uns knock in disguise on your door and demand goods with menaces, “Trick or treat?” If you do answer the door, take care to put your wig on straight, go easy on the lipstick and remove your surgical boots.
They say the Killer Clown lives at 13 Acacia Avenue – and mums and dads are on their way over with torches and clubs.
We’re still all waiting for the anything in Hillary Clinton’s hacked emails – released by WikiLeaks – to besmirch her reputation for being economical with the actualité (surely ‘a titan of truth’ – ed) . Of course, thousands of Clinton’s emails handled by a private server she maintained while in the top tiers of government were acciedntally destroyed. But something is seeping out. ZeroHedge says the State Department and the Clinton Campaign might be tighter than Vladimir Putin’s forehead:
Now, courtesy of the latest leak by Wikileaks, which earlier today released another 2,000 emails by Clinton campaign chairman, John Podesta, we may have stumbled on evidence of collusion between the State Department and the Clinton Campaign itself. In an email from close Hillary’s confidant Heather Samuelson, also known as “the Clinton insider who screened Hillary’s emails”, we learn the intimate details leaked by Samuelson regarding a FOIA request submitted previously by Judicial Watch regarding Bill Clinton speeches, which shows that virtually entire process was being “translated” over to Hillary’s campaign.
Who is Heather Samuelson? Politico noted on September 2015:
Hillary Clinton chose a former campaign staffer who followed her to the State Department to make the initial determination about which of her emails should be preserved as federal records, according to closed-door testimony by Clinton’s former chief of staff Cheryl Mills, a GOP source told POLITICO.
Why not preserve all of them?
Heather Samuelson, a lawyer and 2008 Clinton campaign staffer, worked under Mills and Clinton’s attorney David Kendall to sift through her ex-boss’ messages. She helped separate those that were purely personal, which were not turned over to the State Department, from those that were work-related.
The Daily Caller adds:
Most importantly, as we reported previously, Samuelson received DOJ immunity in exchange for turning over the laptop she used during the review of Clinton’s emails in 2014.
Here’s a question for Britons who want to abolish the monarchy: Trump or Clinton? And after them you most likely get their kids.
He’s back! The str of ‘thirdeaglebooks’ is a Donald Trump supporters. He’s written a song for Don. As the blurb says, this is the “unofficial” campaign song for the 2016 Trump-Pence Republican Presidential ticket. The official song will find this impossible to beat.
Take it away…. William Tapley (co Prophet of The End of Times)
How did the second debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton go? Trump is a nutzoid candidate. Clinton is a really poor one. American decides which of these two sub-par candidates gets to be President.
The Press are obsessed with Trump. If we looks at today’s headlines, Trump features before Clinton every time. Most often, Clinton is not mentioned.
The Times: “Unrepentant Trump comes out swinging”. The paper brands it an”unremittingly ugly presidential debate”. the paper concludes: “Neither candidate landed a killer blow. The biggest loser, it seemed, was the electorate who must choose between them.”
Too right. The leader of the free world will either be a cock-unsure reality TV creation or someone who seems to have an elastic relationship with the truth. “Mrs Clinton stumbled when she compared her honesty to that of Abraham Lincoln, drawing sniggers from the audience,” says the paper.
The Sun: “‘YOU’LL GO TO JAIL IF I’M PRESIDENT’ – Donald Trump threatens Hillary Clinton with PRISON over email scandal after brushing off attack over tape of his lewd comments on women”
In a stunningly brazen move just hours before debate Trump met publicly with several women who have accused Bill Clinton of unwanted sexual advances and even rape
The Guardian: “Donald Trump uses second debate to threaten Hillary Clinton with jail”
It all seems to be about stopping Trump rather than agreeing with Clinton or analysing policies and records. One Guardian writer opines: “That banging sound you heard were the last nails being hammered into the coffin of the Trump campaign.”
The Guardian’s live blog of the televised event tells readers: “Don’t miss this roundup of reaction from Guardian opinion writers. Great first lines here:
That banging sound you heard were the last nails being hammered into the coffin of the Trump campaign.
If there was a theme for Trump this evening, it would be aggressive desperation.
Trump succeeded, and he succeeded before the first question was even asked.
Donald Trump lost tonight’s debate.
Trump, Trump, Trump and Trump. Was Clinton there?
The Mirror says Hillary Clinton won the debate, mainly because Trump was damaged.
Tim Stanley in the Telegraph:
So the evening began with Clinton in control. She made her pitch to be a healer; she ran off a checklist of people Trump has insulted (it’s amusingly long – only the left handed and the Welsh are missing). But when the debate moved on she didn’t seem to keep up. Her answers on medical reform and foreign policy were good, but there was too much smiling and listening to Donald rant with weary patience. All the while that she spoke, he prowled around the room like a caged tiger – which meant that even when Hillary was talking, one’s eyes were on him. And when the moderators took it upon themselves to start fact-checking his statements – and Trump feigned outrage – the debate turned into “An Evening with Donald Trump.”
On Powerline we read that Trump won: “Some of the rats might want to consider returning to the ship. Donald Trump came through pretty well tonight, mainly because the focus was on the issues. As long as issues are being discussed, Trump wins.”
Stephen Green: “It’s clear that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump loathe each other. Instead of a 90 minute town hall format, there’s no doubt that both candidates would eagerly agree to a debate held in a Roman Colosseum, to the death…And, yes, we would be entertained.”
Meanwhile over in Russia you can hear the laughing….
We know all about Donald Trump and TV host Billy Bush sharing a “locked-room” chat during which the tsunami-haired bricks-and-golf tycoon advised randy males to “Grab her by the pussy“? But why are we hearing about this now?
Is Trump’s exposure linked to media bias? Rupert Murdoch’s Heat Street says NBC is part of the problem:
More to the point, why hasn’t all this terrible audio already surfaced? At any point in the last year, when there was still time to deprive Trump of the GOP nomination, did NBC brass ask Apprentice producer (and Trump friend) Mark Burnett for a look into his archives? Or were they complicit in allowing Trump to cruise to the GOP nomination when they knew there was likely evidence in Mark Burnett’s basement that could disqualify him?
Reality TV is a cut and paste job. The amount of stuff edited out would fill a silo. But is it right to blame the messenger? The Mail has been blaming the victim.
There are clear lines of accountability here – to NBC News Chairman Andy Lack and NBCU CEO Steve Burke. Did these executives just look the other way for many months while a former employee whose bad behavior was well-known got closer and closer to the White House? And did they place the career of Billy Bush – reportedly being groomed to replace Matt Lauer on the hugely profitable Today program – ahead of the US presidency? That sounds absurd, but this is the twisted world of network television and NBC has some explaining to do.
Billy Bush comes across as a pathetic wingman to the class pratt Trump. But why can’t it be that NBSC are just a bit rubbish.
NBC Nighty News host Brian Williams “misremembered” being aboard a helicopter hit and downed by two rockets and small arms fire fire during the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Williams had been on a different Chinook. “I would not have chosen to make this mistake,” Williams said. “I don’t know what screwed up in my mind that caused me to conflate one aircraft with another.”
People at NBC are fallible. People make mistakes in wartime.
Glenn Reynolds adds:
HE WAS A DEMOCRAT WHEN HE MADE THOSE REMARKS, SO IT WAS OKAY. IT’S ONLY WHEN HE SWITCHED PARTIES AND BECAME GOP NOMINEE THAT THE REMARKS TURNED DISGRACEFUL.
Back then he wasn’t in or standing for public office.
“It became a problem when the tail grew outside the body,” said the 14-year-old boy’s mother, who doesn’t want to be named.
“He would just lift the [8-inch] tail every time he needed to change his clothes. I could see that it was very annoying and painful for him, so I took him to a hospital.” Doctors say the teenager might have developed the tail in the womb as a result of a spinal deformity, but that it appeared outside only after he grew up.
“When the size of the tail grew… [it] began to press on the boy’s back,” says surgeon, Dr Pramod Giri. “It was cosmetically and psychologically disturbing for him.”
Do you dress to the left or to the right, sir?
Bill Clinton to Gennifer Flowers – ‘Hillary Clinton has eaten more pussy than I have’ and other Trump defences
How do we tell the story of reality TV star Donald Trump telling gibbering TV host Billy Bush “Grab her by the pussy“? The British news has made Trump’s “crass” comment (Express) the lead news story. Bigger than mass murder in Syria, desperate migrants and bellicose Russia is Trump’s “sex boast” (The Observer).
The Mirror looks at more pressing issues.
Trump is a story. The reality TV creation is news because he’s said something pathetic and is cheap to produce.
But should one comment scupper Trump’s White House bid?
Nick Kristoff opines in the NYTimes: “In fairness to Trump, other senior men in politics and business — John Kennedy and Bill Clinton come to mind — also sometimes showed a sense of entitlement toward young women.”
The digging for dirt begins.
Said Gennifer Flowers: “I just know what Bill told me and that was that he was aware that Hillary was bisexual and he didn’t care. He should know. ‘He said Hillary had eaten more p***y than he had.’”
In the Washington Post, we read:
Trump, facing a GOP exodus from his campaign and apparently desperate to change the subject, just retweeted two tweets from an account featuring the name of Juanita Broaddrick, the woman who publicly alleged in 1999 that Clinton had sexually assaulted her two decades prior. In both tweets, the Broaddrick account reiterates her accusation that Clinton raped her and accuses Hillary Clinton of enabling him.
Jonah Goldberg stuck it to Hillary:
Then, the country was presented with proof, incremental and suggestive at first, overwhelming and indisputable by the end of the decade, that Bill Clinton was an irrepressible and irresponsible sexual predator, at least by the moral and evidentiary standards established by feminist activists and the press corps that loves them. And, rather than face the consequences of applying their own principles consistently, they prostrated themselves to the Oval Office. Gloria Steinem raced to the pages of the New York Times to advance the “one free grope” rule. Susan Estrich, Susan Faludi, and countless other professional feminists defenestrated their principles in a desperate attempt to defend Clinton.
And can we blame the woman seen in the film when Trump went full frat house?
To the Mail it is not Trump’s ugly comment that could cost him the White House – it is elegant TV soap actress Arianne Zucker, a woman who diplomatically dealt with TV host Billy Bragg’s pathetic comments as to which of he or Trump she’d sleep with.
The obsession with Trump, the close monitoring of his every utterance, has reached the point that his political and media foes have – ironically – become important generators of support for him. Every time they tell Trump ‘you can’t say that’, he says it. Every time they demand an apology from Trump, he doubles down on it. Just by defying the strictures of political correctness, and not caving when challenged, Trump can look authoritative and daring.
We keep reading that Republicans have deserted Trump. Will his supporters care? No. Trump has turned the election into a referendum on the political establishment. Clinton should be miles ahead in the polls. Why isn’t she? Seen as untrustworthy by many, her policies should be more than ‘I’m not Trump’. Remember Bernie Sanders, who said failing to vote Hillary will lead to “more drought, more floods, more acidification of the oceans, more rising sea levels.”
The Republican nominee Donald Trump spoke for 75 minutes and for most of his speech, he outlined a laundry list of every conceivable fear he could conjure. Radical Islam, immigration (legal, illegal, Mexican, Muslim, whatevs), stagnant wages, rising violence in the streets, and really terrible trade deals were among the litany.
The US Presidential campaign has a long way to run.
And like so much in Trump and Clinton’s lives, it is a race to the bottom.
To Florida, where Nicholas Melice, Sr., 46, is rowing with his son, Nicholas Jr., 19.
Mr. Melice Sr. (above) wants to throw away Mr. Melice Jr.’s Lego.
It gets heated. Police are called.
“Both Mr. Melice and Mr. Melice Jr. advised they wished to pursue criminal charges,” reported an officer who added that he was unable to determine the scrape’s “primary aggressor”.
The Melices were arrested.
We can all debate the merits of a 19-year-old being so attached to their Lego – and the young master’s haircut, which seems to be modelled on one of his toys.
It’s ok. That hair most likely pulls off and can be replaced easily.
‘Grab them by the pussy’: WikiLeaks, Hillary Clinton’s potential cover up and Trump’s Tic Tacs for sex
WikiLeaks has released bits of speeches Hillary Clinton gave in the years before her 2016 presidential campaign. It was a lucrative tour. Private audiences paid her “at least $26.1 million in speaking fees”.
We get to see the speeches because versions of them appeared in emails now hacked, such as an account operated by Campaign Chairman John Podesta.
We love a cover up. But if we don’t find any juice, then so what? Aren’t private emails part of everyday conversations – some things we say are good and others less so. Do emails give us the full context?
Meanwhile Clinton’s rival Donald Trumps is in the mire over his attitudes to women, what the BBC calls “obscene remarks on women”.
In the video, posted by the Washington Post, Mr Trump is heard bragging to TV host Billy Bush about trying to have sex with a married woman as well as kissing and groping others.
A clip was part of unaired footage for an Access Hollywood segment ahead of Mr Trump’s appearance on the soap opera Days of Our Lives.
“I moved on her and I failed. I’ll admit it. She was married. And I moved on her very heavily. I moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married. Then all of a sudden I see her, she’s now got the big phoney tits and everything. She’s totally changed her look.”
He then says when he sees a pretty woman he hones in.
Bush notes actress Arianne Zucker, who’s waiting for Trump outside the bus. “Your girl’s hot as s***, in the purple,” Bush said.
“Whoa!” Trump replied. “Whoa!”
“I’ve gotta use some Tic-Tacs, just in case I start kissing her,” Trump continued. “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything.”
“Whatever you want,” said another voice believed to be Bush.
“Grab them by the pussy,” Trump replied. “You can do anything.”
All unedifying stuff. But what do we have but Clinton talking to the paying fans and what Trump calls “locker-room banter”?
Listen in. Language is NSFW. Trump is revolting. Bush is sleaze personified.
Trump has now apologised. Well, sort of. He said: “This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course – not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.”
His apology is not for his comments rather for your taking offence at them. It’s a remarkably dishonest approach to saying ‘sorry’.
Expert to hear lots now on Bill Clinton’s attitude to women and Jill Harth, the woman who sued Trump over an alleged sexual assault. The Guardian dished the dirt:
She first met Trump in December 1992 at his offices in Trump Tower, where she and her then romantic partner, George Houraney, were making a business presentation. The couple wanted to recruit Trump to back their American Dream festival, in which Harth oversaw a pin-up competition known as American Dream Calendar Girls. Harth described that meeting as “the highlight of our career”.
But in other ways, it was something of a lowlight: Trump took an interest in Harth immediately and began subjecting her to a steady string of unwanted sexual advances, detailed by Harth in her complaint.
She claims that in January 1993, Harth and Houraney were visiting Trump’s Florida mansion. She alleges:
“He pushed me up against the wall, and had his hands all over me and tried to get up my dress again, and I had to physically say: ‘What are you doing? Stop it.’ It was a shocking thing to have him do this because he knew I was with George, he knew they were in the next room. And how could he be doing this when I’m there for business?…
“Trump did everything in his power to get me to leave him. He constantly called me and said: ‘I love you, baby, I’m going to be the best lover you ever had. What are you doing with that loser, you need to be with me, you need to step it up to the big leagues.’
“He was constantly working on me during that time and that took a toll on me. But I moved on. I’m a forgiving type person, OK? I’m a Christian, I moved on.”
He denies the allegations.
America waits to elect one or the other of what must be the least appealing choice since Michael Barrymore asked “Top, Middle or Bottom?”
Emma Phillips, Wallasey, Wirral, is the trainee teacher who got a large dildo stuck in her anus (?). This is no secret. Emma has not been exposed or outed in some way. She wants to tell us all about her “embarrassing” accident because it is a “taboo” we need to be warned about.
She’s told her story to Mercury Press, who have sold it to the Daily Mirror. How you prove the story of the vanishing viby is a moot point. Emma just wants to tell us about it. And we are all ears.
And no giggling as “Emma offers a thumbs up from her hospital bed”. Let’s hope she washes it first and removed any false fingernails.
One day her child will get to read about the tale of “Mum-of-one Emma Phillips”, her partner Lee Miller, 29, and the the 7 inch sex toy that “disappeared”.
When she leaned forward she could feel it vibrating inside her bottom wedged behind her hip.
Lee tried to extract the toy with a fork handle and BBQ prongs before calling for an ambulance.
In Wrexham hospital Emma underwent the “minute-and-a-half surgery which involved placing a camera down her throat and the surgeon pressing on her stomach before manually extracting i”.
And “Doctors offered her the toy as a keepsake but she decline”.
Next week: I got a BBQ stuck inside my vagina.
UKIP sources insist that condemnation of the alleged fight between UKIP MEPs Stephen Woolfe and Mike Hookem is unwarranted.
“We regret that a heated debate ended with one man seriously ill in hospital,” says a UKIP source, “but it just shows how UKIP is standing shoulder to shoulder with US Presidential hopeful Donald Trump. When Mr Trump courted the terminally ill vote but telling them ‘I don’t care how sick you are, vote for me if it’s the last thing you do’ – which it might very well be – Stephen was doing his bit to support a man endorsed by UKIP leader Nigel Farage.
“He now understands that being unconscious or in a coma presents unforeseen challenges to voting in any election, not least of all the the US Presidential race, what with Stephen not being a US citizen and failing to register as such in time.”
It is, puns the Times, “a dramatic blow to UKIP’s reputation”. In Strasbourg, Steven Woolfe, a North West MEP, collapsed at the European parliament after an alleged row with Mike Hookem – nominative determinism? – who represents Yorkshire and the Humber. Mr Hookem, the party’s defence (!) spokesman, “raised allegations that Mr Woolfe was planning to defect to the Tories”. That would be an odd move for Woolfe, who wants to be UKIP leader, a role open once more since Diana James quit after just 18 days in the job.
Two hours after the row Woolfe suffered two “epileptic-like” fits and passed out. He is now “feeling brighter, happier and smiling as ever”.
Nigel Farage, the acting party leader, says it was a “dispute that finished up physically”. It “shouldn’t have happened”.
So what did happen?
“Sources” are making claims all over the media.
Source 1: Mr Hookem called Mr Woolfe a joke and the two men began shouting.
Source 2: Mr Woolfe removed his jacket and said he had had enough and wanted to settle the matter outside.
Source 3: Party insiders tell The Telegraph that Mr Woolfe was punched by a UKIP colleague following an altercation.
Source 4: ‘The Daily Telegraph understands that Mr Woolfe is suffering from bleeding of the brain after he was punched. One witness said he fell into a window after being punched.”
Source 5: Woofe claims Hookem lost his temper and pushed him into a door frame.
Source 6 (Labour): The Jews did it.
The good news is that Mr Woolfe has no bleeding on the brain.
Liz Jones, a member of the Ukip national executive committee, adds: “If there’s been an altercation, a fist-fight — and not that I’m saying that happened — but if there has been aggression from both sides, there is a possibility that both could be suspended.”
Farage adds: “I don’t think that a political party can have an incident like this without having a look at it. I don’t see any need for the police to be involved, there are no complaints. Somehow I doubt people will be suspended. “I won’t be on the inquiry myself. I suspect it will blow over and be looked back upon as one of these things that happens between men.”
Nigel Farage again: “I deeply regret that following an altercation that took place at a meeting of MEPs this morning that Steven Woolfe subsequently collapsed and was taken to hospital. His condition is serious.”
If it bleeds it leads:
Open Culture has a great post on French philosopher Michel Foucault (1926-1984), who lectured in English at UC Berkeley, delivering several lectures in English. And we can listen to everything this heavyweight in the filed of humanities said.
It might do you some good. After all, as he put it, power is knowledge. And power is omnipresent.
This from Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (Surveiller et Punir: Naissance de la Prison): “It is not the activity of the subject of knowledge that produces a corpus of knowledge, useful or resistant to power, but power-knowledge, the processes and struggles that traverse it and of which it is made up, that determines the forms and possible domains of knowledge.”
- Four Lectures on Truth and Subjectivity (1980)
- Six Lectures on Discourse and Truth (1983)
- Three Lectures on “The Culture of the Self” (1983)
Via Open Culture
Madeleine McCann: a look at reporting on the missing child.
The Sun: “FRESH MADDIE SCANDAL.”
What old or, to use the Sun’s terminology, stale Maddie scandal? The only thing we know is that a child vanished and the news media launched into a voracious feeding frenzy. There are no suspects. In fact, police have yet to prove what crime, if any, befell her.
The Sun continues: “Ex-cop who accused McCann’s of faking Maddie’s abduction plans second book slamming Brit cops.”
The former policeman in Goncalo Amaral. His theories are just theories. His writing a second book is not a scandal; it’s pretty much what best-selling authors so when their first book has been a hit. They write a sequel. The writer will be pleased the Sun is advertising his tome:
Goncalo Amaral has almost finished his second book, but although it is expected to centre around the 2008 disappearance of Maddie in Algarave, Portugal, it is unclear what details the author will release.
Details? Who needs details? We do get a few facts about his past work:
The 56-year-old author previously wrote The Truth Of The Lie in 2008, which accused her parents Kate and Gerry McCann of faking Maddie’s abduction. But the couple have previously been left reeling after having their £395,000 libel victory revoked by Lisbon appeal judges who overturned a ban on his book in April.
To add insult to injury, Amaral also is planning to sue the couple for compensation after winning his appeal.
We learn that writing about a missing child pays handsomely:
Amaral is understood to have earned £316,000 from his book before it was banned.
According to a source, the ex-police chief has been getting help from friends and well-wishers to survive as all of his property is “tied up” legally during the civil action with the McCanns.
All unpleasant stuff.
As for the facts, well that is a single thread. Nothing has changed. Nonetheless the Sun sees fit to hold one end and repeat:
Maddie went missing on May 3 2007 from her bed in a holiday apartment in the Praia da Luz resort…
With no news of Madeleine McCann, the Mail focuses on no news of missing Ben Needham. The paper’s headline runs:
The worst thing imaginable’: Kate McCann says her ‘heart goes out’ to Ben Needham’s mother as Kerry prepares for the worst while police in Kos dig SECOND site
The worst thing imaginable, we learn, is to have police dig for your missing child’s remains. The Press lap up the drama. Note that this is different from the tabloids’ “every parent’s worst nightmare”, which is for your child to vanish.
The Mail reports this as news because “a close friend of the former GP told MailOnline: ‘This brings back dreadful memories for Kate. She went through a similar horrendous experience a few years back when the authorities were digging for Madeleine. Not knowing if they are going to unearth the remains of your child as you wait helplessly is the worst thing imaginable. It is galling.
Kate’s says her heart goes out to Kerry Needham at such a traumatic time. She is very sympathetic and wants to offer her strength and solidarity. They have met up in the past as fellow mums of high profile missing children and share a seemingly never ending pain and anguish.”
Ben Needham and Madeleine McCann are two distinct stories and cases. They are both names tabloid readers are familiar with. Why? Well, there are rare cases. But are high profile missing children always very young, white and blond. Are we that shallow? Andrew Godsen, 14, went missing in 2007. Charlene Downes was 14 when she vanished. Aamina Khan was 6 when she went missing in 2011. She vanished with her mother Humma Dar after her father was given custody.
The Indy notes:
While her disappearance is no doubt a huge tragedy, we have to wonder why it is Madeleine McCann, a pretty white girl, who has captured the sympathy of the public, and not girls with names like Aamina Khan, Elizabeth Ogungbayibi, or Folawiyo Oladejo.
Which ones sell the most papers? Which ones get the tourists flocking?
Leicester Mercury: “Madeleine McCann tour takes customers on sightseeing trip around town where she disappeared”
Is it full of journalists?
Holidaymakers are being offered Madeleine McCann tours of the holiday complex where she disappeared. Tourists taking up the trips – which Madeleine’s parents are said to find distressing – are invited to speculate on what happened to the then-three-year-old in May 1997.
It’s a magical mystery your that recaptures the ghoulish wonder of working in newsroom before all the libel cases kicked in.
The tours take visitors to the Praia da Luz apartment where the Rothley family were staying and the tapas restaurant where her parents Gerry and Kate were dining when she vanished.
Are drinks and snacks included?
The Edinburgh Evening News tells ghouls not to book early. There might be more. Helen Martin writes:
ANOTHER unnamed British tourist in Spain has been given a suspended sentence for leaving her child alone to go out on the razzle. Staff in a Majorca hotel, alerted by other guests, found the seven-year-old boy abandoned and crying in his room. Police searched for the mother in vain and arrested her when she returned – at breakfast time. After all the publicity that surrounded the tragic disappearance of Madeleine McCann in the Algarve when her parents hadn’t even left the complex, how could any mum do such a thing?
The law dealt with her.
Worse, if they can do so in a foreign country, how often does it happen at home? Such women are a national disgrace. Removing their kids might be going too far, but taking away their passports seems like a good idea.
Breaking up families “might be going too far” if you leave a child at home when you pop out? Might? It is.
Madeleine McCann is missing. There are no suspects. But there is lots of ‘news’.
Alcohol remains relatively good value. Cinema tickets less so. Laura Donnelly is shocked, telling Telegraph readers: “Alcohol now so cheap 13 pints can be bought for price of cinema ticket.”
Or to flip that: Cinema is so expensive you can buy 13 pints and watch telly for the price of one ticket.
Teenagers are able to buy more than 13 pints of cider for the price of a cinema ticket, according to a new report which says children are being put at risk by “pocket money prices.”
Teenagers buying cider? Do they get it cheaper than the rest of us. She means people over 18, right?
The study from the Alcohol Health Alliance says supermarkets are selling alcohol at prices that are attracting children and harmful drinkers, because of the absence of minimum prices.
And now the facts:
Consumers could buy two and a half bottles of the cheapest white cider – Frosty Jacks – containing more than 13 pints for the standard £8.24 paid for an off-peak cinema tickets, the study found.
You can get big bottles of cider for the price of a discount cinema tickets. Why not forgo a peak-time trip to the cinema and buy a bottle of champagne?
PS: drink enough and everyone looks like a movie star – in glorious technicolour (yawn).
Transfer balls: The BBC says Chelsea’s owners Roman Abramovich has sanctioned a move for Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci, 29. The Blues will offer the Italians £60m.
The Telegraph says this would be a world-record fee for a defender, beating the current record £50m PSG paid for Chelsea defender David Luiz – they bought him back for £30m.
Bonuccio is, says the paper, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte’s “dream signing”.
Bonucci has been full of praise of Conte, who managed him at Juventus and Italy. “Conte will be a big success in England, Chelsea are already a very good team and he will have them challenging both in England and in Europe,” said Bonucci, who might care to look again.
But the British Press know not all that much about Bonucci.
In June, the Metro said the player had agreed to join Chelsea.
The Sun said a “three-year deal for defender Bonucci, worth around £130,000 a week, has been accepted by the player and his agents.” The headline tol readers: “ANTONIO CONTE is plotting an amazing £57million double swoop for Italy stars Antonio Candreva and Leonardo Bonucci.”
Three months ago Bonucci cost £25m.
He’s now apparently worth £60m.
And in July he singed for Manchester City. The Sport Bible told us that:
Such are the facts.
Good news and bad news in the Daily Mail. The good news is that apartheid in South Africa has well and truly ended. The bad news is that South Africa is not a very rich country and productivity is low enough to mean poverty grips blacks and whites. No longer protected by a system designed to give them the biggest slices of pie and privilege over blacks, South African whites are free to fall.
Chris Summers is shocked.
The WHITE ghettos that blight South Africa: 20 years after the fall of apartheid, how it is now white people who live in squalid camps?
Answer: see above.
While the black South African middle class has grown and many live in big houses, with swimming pools and drive around in BMWs like their white peers; many poor whites live in squalid squatter camps just like their black peers.
There were poor whites before Apartheid ended, but the system meant they were elevated above the blacks. You whites might be poor, but you’ll never be as poor as the Untermensch.
Around 42,000 of the 4.5 million white South Africans are thought to live in poverty, which equates to 0.9 per cent. But 63.2 per cent of the country’s 43 million black South Africans also live in poverty and around 37 per cent of ‘coloureds’ – people of mixed race.
Apartheid is over but it’s legacy continues.
PS – This from The New York Times:
Most first-time visitors to Cape Town are mesmerized by the majesty of Table Mountain, and wowed by the vivacity of the Victorian-era waterfront. As a new visitor myself last month, I was captivated by both. But what has lodged most in my memory is something very different.
Driving from the international airport, I was struck by the sheer wretchedness of Cape Flats: the series of black townships, comprising mostly shacks with corrugated steel roofs, that stretch from the highway almost to the horizon. Few people — tourists or locals — want to talk about the Cape Flats. But there is no better starting point for a discussion of the state of contemporary South Africa.
Show me the money.
Leonardo DiCaprio thinks democracy and free though – and thereby free speech – are overrated. Speaking at the White House ahead of a screening of his new grandiose documentary, Before the Flood, DiCaprio opined:
“If you don’t believe in climate change, you don’t believe in facts, and science, and empirical truths. And, in my humble opinion, [you] should not be allowed to hold public office.”
Believe or else. Orthodoxy rules!
Are there any more views DiCaprio disagrees with that should bar you from holding public office, even if the people have voted for you?
When did liberals become so censorious?
Al Qaeda have been a bit quiet of late. We used to see lots of their gurning loons on the TV news. Now nothing. Might this be down to the rise of Islamic State and the apparent fact that a lot of the stuff we watched was made in the Pentagon?
Sputnik News looks at a report by the grandiose Bureau of Investigative Journalism which says the Pentagon “paid at least $540 million to a UK public relations firm to produce fake Al-Qaeda videos as part of a clandestine propaganda campaign”.
The company that won this lucrative contract is Bell Pottinger, which “gave high-ranking military officials information on people who watched the fraudulent segments, which were made to look like insurgent videos and Arabic news programs”.
Got that? 12th Century Wolf, or whatever the big Qaeda film co. is called, made movies as honey traps for would-be enemies of the State. Pop one these films in a player and your details are sent to the National Security Council, the Pentagon and the CIA. (Anyone familiar with those old adverts for TV detector vans will think that’s getting off lightly.)
Crofton Black & Abigail Fielding-Smith of The Bureau of Investigative Journalism tell the Daily Beast:
In the first media interview any Bell Pottinger employee has given about the work for the U.S. military in Iraq, video editor Martin Wells told the Bureau his time in Camp Victory was “shocking, eye-opening, life-changing.”
The firm’s output was signed off by former General David Petraeus—then commander of the coalition forces in Iraq—and on occasion by the White House, he said…
There were three types of media operations commonly used in Iraq at the time, said a military contractor familiar with Bell Pottinger’s work there. “White is attributed, it says who produced it on the label,” the contractor said. “Grey is unattributed, and black is falsely attributed. These types of black ops, used for tracking who is watching a certain thing, were a pretty standard part of the industry toolkit.”
And the films?
Bell Pottinger would send teams out to film low-definition video of al Qaeda bombings and then edit it like a piece of news footage. It would be voiced in Arabic and distributed to TV stations across the region, according to Wells.
That’s £500m to make sub-standard YouTuber videos.
The hunt for Ben Needham continues. A round up of media reporting on the missing child. The renewed search is in its ninth day.
BBC: “Farmhouse extension demolished”
Police has demolished part of a farm house on the Greek island of Kos. The extension was built after the 21-month-old from Sheffield went missing in 1991. The Beeb’s report contains this eyebrow raiser: “South Yorkshire Police said the owners had agreed to officers ‘dismantling the lower part of the building’.”
You can knock down the ground floor but keep all the floors above it intact. Easy!
This is what it looks like in the Times:
The hunch is that Ben Needham was accidentally killed and, well, you can guess the rest. Unless you read the Sheffield Star, wherein we read: “LATEST: Farmhouse demolition starts in search for remains of Ben Needham.”
ITN invites armchair detectives to wonder: “Could farmhouse extension hold key to Ben’s whereabouts?”
Det Insp Jon Cousins, of South Yorkshire Police, tells media:
“Early this afternoon I will be dismantling the lower part of the farmhouse including the ground around it… just making sure that I haven’t missed any opportunity to get the answers that we require. The [Greek] family are clearly upset about what we’re doing. They have very kindly agreed to allow us to do that and I am extremely grateful. Clearly it’s going to be a very distressing time for them. This is where many generations, including the current generation, were born and grew up and we’ve got to deal with it as sensitively as possible.”
So you’re knocking down part of their home.
But needs must.
Thoughts are with Ben family. His sister Leigh-Anna is quoted in the Sun: “We just feel numb and very empty and the moment. We’re a family that’s lived in hope for 25 years that one day he will walk back through that door and now we’re facing the possible reality that he was there all along.”
Let’s hope this story gets an end.
Five robbers stole millions of pounds worth of jewellery and two cell phones from social media socialite Kim Kardashian in Paris. They held a gun to her head, says Sky news.
The tabloids lap it up.
The Mail wonders what really happened. “What IS the truth behind the heist?” it asks. Well, we don’t know because the culprits have yet to be caught. But the Mail’s headline is suggestive of some kind of plot on the victim’s side. We don’t know the facts but let’s hold our noses and take a hard look at the victim. That seems fair.
The Mail then invites Alison Boshoff to write:
As ratings for Keeping Up With The Kardashians keep falling, is it any wonder Kim’s gunpoint ordeal is seen by some as a huge PR stunt.
Having appraised her stolen jewels and found them wanting, Boshoff says:
Good taste aside, the mother-of-two, who was robbed at gunpoint by five masked men who tied her up in the bathroom of a luxury Paris apartment in the early hours of Monday while they stole £7.8 million of jewellery, may now be reflecting that it could have been a tad unwise to show off her wealth so ostentatiously.
As the Queen pulls on her crown and answers the door to the ‘CID’, Boshoff sees fit to repeat a few of the voices who have wondered aloud about where Kim’s security at 2am (her bodyguard Pascal Duvie as in nightclub with her siblings) and why the TV cameras were not filming the crime. Where was the woman who holds her skin in place as Kim sleeps? Why was Kim selfie implant not woking?
Boshoff then delivers a long review of Kim’s career as a reality TV star.
What the point of her article is other than to cast shade on the victim of an armed robbery, we can’t be certain. Maybe it just exists to fill space. We can add Boshoff’s to-deadline article to the – get this – 36 other Daily Mail articles on the robbery. So much for those falling rating. Kim is click-tastic in the Mail!
As for the crime, well, the Sun sums up well:
The last word on the robbery is with Sarah Ditum, who tells Indy readers: “Kim Kardashian did not deserve to be robbed just because she learned the truth about being female and famous.”
Oh. Are you sure the telly star didn’t deserve to be attacked, fear she would be raped and robbed? Her last show was a bit dull. Says Ditum:
Who can blame her for recognising a primary truth of being female and famous – that either you profit from your exposure, or someone else does – and trying to control it? Judging from the reactions to this robbery, a lot of people do.
Add that to the hundreds of articles on Kim Kardashian published today.
Doris Bohrer has died. She worked as a CIA agent, joining its forerunner the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) to defeat the Nazis. She wanted to be a fighter pilot but they wouldn’t let women do that job. So Bohrer joined the CIA – as a typist. She rose through the ranks to become the CIA’s highest ranking woman.
Her Times obituary contains a gem for anyone worried about what to do when confronted by sexism.
…Bohrer and her female colleagues were treated with near-universal condescension. Men doing the same work were addressed by their military rank; the women were dismissed as “the girls”… Indignant at the the sexist language of the mess hall, she at one point placed a fake hand grenade on the table at which she and a group of officers were eating. One of the men offered, loftily, to take the grenade and make it safe, at which point she pulled the pin. The men scattered, leaving Bohrer to finish her meal in peace.
And that’s how you deal with sexism.
Doris Bohrer, CIA agent, was born on February 5, 1923. She died of heart failure on August 8, 2016, aged 93