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i was never a particularly huge fan of tony blair's. i know a lot of people who were high on him early on, because he was shaking up the crusty old labour party in the united kingdom, but mostly because he was actually making it possible for them to get elected again. myself, i'm a little suspicious of any change that is based primarily on making yourself more palatable to the masses, but i guess that's why i'm writing this blog and not running a country.

but even blair's most die hard fans, and i'm assuming they still exist, would have to wince at his desperation to be named the new middle east envoy. myself, i can't even fathom why he would want the job, but it seems to me like someone might not want to stray to far from the spotlight (whether that's because he likes the attention or because he's plotting a comeback is anyone's guess).

now that his good (only?) friend george w. bush has strong-armed him into the position, the rest of the world can sit back and feel nauseated at the pure cynicism it represents.

blair replaces former world bank president james wolfensohn, who, no matter what you might think of him, could at least claim to have a modicum of respect from all parties in the region. blair, being one of the leaders responsible for the invasion of iraq, can have no hope of claiming respect or even credibility when dealing with key players in the middle east. appointing him seems to be nothing short of an acknowledgment that the task of diplomacy in the middle east is seen as a lost cause and there is no plan to put a serious effort into it.

chalk up another victory for the politics of hope.

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jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

mental health mondays :: the dangers of diagnosing

when you take a look at any reputable online source of information about mental health, it comes with a warning that anything you read on the site should not be considered a substitute for evaluation by a medical professional. so why are so many people jumping on the bandwagon to diagnose donald trump?

it's not uncommon for people to make glib judgments about the mental health of others, because we think that we understand what disorders entail. when i was working in offices, i noticed a lot of this: an immature and garrulous employee being labeled and partially excused because others were certain he had adhd, or a moody and indecisive boss dismissed as bipolar. [as you can imagine, that one struck me as particularly ignorant and, since i was the audience, ironic.] but in the case of trump, even professionals are weighing in on the subject. no fewer than twenty-seven psychiatrists have collaborated on a book called the dangerous case of donald trump. up to now, it's been unde…

making faces :: a winter tale

so this is it. we've reached the final season in our colour year. so far we've looked at spring, with its heart of citrus yellow, summer and its symphony of cool blues and autumn with its spicy bronzes and golds. and i'm still not sure i've found a good place to rest my face. i've chosen seasonal winners in each category, but are they really me?

it's a bit of a rhetorical question, of course, because i already had an inkling that my precocious childhood self might have been onto something when she declared herself a "winter". not that she knew what she was talking about, of course, but sometimes even fools say the right thing without meaning to. even a stopped clock tells the right time twice a day. [unless you're in europe and use a twenty-four hour clock, which actually makes a lot more sense.]

as with all the other seasons, winter is divided into three parts, the true winter at the centre, flanked by neighbours who carry a hint of the adjacent …