Daily Archives: December 1, 2009

Talking to Ian Hislop

Seeing as JKG has been delighting me in the comments of late with clips from the BBC quiz program HIGNFY, I thought I’d return the favour by posting this extract from Mark Lawson talking to Ian Hislop, the quick-witted panelist from the aforementioned show and current editor of Private Eye magazine.

It’s the last part of six, but if you follow this link, it will take you to the place where you can easily access the remainder of the interview that covers lots of interesting subjects such as privacy and libel laws (subjects of particular interest to me, unfortunately) in addition to a lot of chatty banter that’s probably just as well ignored.

However, if you’re feeling a bit keen on the subject and somewhat intrepid (or perhaps just bored or having difficulty sleeping) there’s also a Channel 4 documentary Hislop presented a while back about Sir Robert Baden-Powell and the Scouting movement that’s completely fascinating. As a former Cub who was always somewhat puzzled by the whole thing, it explained a lot…

By the way, don’t you think the HIGNFY format would make a great show for one of our Canadian broadcast networks to shamelessly copy? For instance, maybe the CBC could take a refreshing breather from their horribly frantic, err, exciting new format to have a bit of lighthearted fun with the tiresome “news” they’re so keen on pointlessly jazzing up?

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Filed under British Politics, Humour

Another Fool’s Errand

So much for the naïve idea of “hope and change” that for just a brief while seemed so very promising at the time the White House was being fumigated last January. “Patience ebbs” indeed.

Some might still hold out some faith in Obama, but I see little reason why they should.

For a preview of the rationale that’s to be expected from President Obama when he addresses Americans from West Point tonight (photo-op alert!), Joe Sestak attempts to explain the convoluted new strategy behind the latest escalation of forces in Afghanistan. Press Secretary Gibbs also fatuously weighs in some alliterative spin… (translation: “blah, blah, blah blah…”).

Maybe the U.S. president should have spent less time over the past several weeks and months listening to his generals and political fixers and more of it watching The Fog of War (Sec. of Defense Robert McNamara’s shameful apologia for the debacle in Vietnam) or reading Jim Perry’s excellent book about imperialistic bungling in remote corners of the world — what Kipling called the “savage wars of peace.” Either of those intellectual endevours might likely have given Obama greater insight as to how the misadventure in Afghanistan will almost certainly play out.

An additional voice in the wind…

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Filed under Afghanistan War, Media Bias, Obama Administration