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Zimbabweans Demand Nation Be Renamed Something Beginning With The Letter “A”

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 24/11/2017 - 8:26am in

Tired of always being the last country to march into the stadium at the Olympics, the people of Zimbabwe have taken to the streets after the deposing of Robert Mugabe demanding the new government change the name of the nation to something starting with “A”.

“We’re sick and tired of having sit up in the nosebleed section at the United Nations and we always get the dodgy desk from the back of the store room at conferences because they’ve invariably run out of good ones by the time they get to us,” complained Punctuality Olonga as he danced amongst crowds in the streets following the news that the 37 year rule of Mugabe was over. “It was nice to honour the civilisation of Great Zimbabwe and we’re rightly proud of all that but I reckon those guys didn’t even use a proto-Sinaitic based Greco-Phoenician alphabet so why we need to start the everything with a Z beats me.”

“I reckon we could change it to something like Aardvarkia or AAAZimbabwe like a plumber trying to get his name up the front of the phone book,” said Generous Masakadza as she fired celebratory bullets into the air amid the cheering throng. “I’ve got nothing against Zambians but we always get to the dessert buffet after them and they inevitably take the last butterfly cake.”

The incoming President Emmerson Mnangagwa has vowed to restore democracy, turn around the economy and get to work on looking for a new name for the country that’ll get himself sitting closer to the front of the room at African National Congress meetings.

“I reckon we should slip a sneaky D up the front of the name like Djibouti did,” said Pureness Chigumbura. “And while we’re at it let’s do something about these character quality first names we all have that make us sound like a bunch of fucking seventeenth century American pilgrims.”

Peter Green

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Lobbying firms paying our MPs? It’s probably fine… | David Mitchell

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 01/10/2017 - 8:00pm in

The Tory politician James Duddridge pockets £3,300 a month from a lobbying company, but don’t worry. If it were a problem, it wouldn’t be legal

What is the advantage of letting sitting MPs work for lobbying firms? What are the pluses of that, for the country? Because we do allow it, so I’m assuming there must be some upside.

After all, there are clear advantages to many things we don’t allow: smoking on petrol station forecourts, for example. Allowing that would mean, if you’re addicted to smoking, or enjoy smoking, or think smoking makes you look cool, you could do it while filling your car with petrol, polishing its bonnet, going to buy snacks, checking the tyres and so on. You wouldn’t be inconvenienced by either the discomfort of nicotine withdrawal or a hiatus in the image of nonchalant suavity that having a fag in your mouth invariably projects.

Maybe Duddridge just pops in once a month and is a master of clearing photocopier jams

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We should take pride in Britain’s acceptable food | David Mitchell

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 30/07/2017 - 7:00pm in

The fact that 12% of Spaniards now think our cuisine is a reason to visit the UK should be a cause for celebration

A phrase really jumped out at me from a newspaper last week. The Times said a recent survey into Spanish attitudes to Britain, conducted by the tourism agency Visit Britain, “found that only 12% of Spaniards considered the UK to be the best place for food and drink”. That, I thought to myself, may be the most extraordinary use of the word “only” I have ever seen.

Has its meaning recently flipped? Has it been warped by an internet hashtag or ironic usage by rappers? Is it like how “bad” or “wicked” can mean good, and actors receiving awards use the word “humbled” to mean “incredibly impressed with myself”? Because, if “only” still means what I think it means, the paper is implying it expected more than 12% of the people of Spain to think Britain was “the best place for food and drink”.

British food usually averages out as fine. Lots of us are really fat now – that’s got to be a good sign

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Sexism in advertising is a problem – but hardly the worst one | David Mitchell

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 23/07/2017 - 7:00pm in

The Advertising Standards Authority’s move to stamp out gender stereotyping is a good thing, but is it really a priority?

When I heard last week’s news that the Advertising Standards Authority is proposing to crack down on gender stereotyping in adverts, I found my reaction interesting. If only you could do the same. But then I am pretty easily entertained. I’ve been known to watch golf if the remote’s out of reach.

It was quite a negative reaction – I won’t deny it. There’s no point in being ashamed – it was involuntary. It’s like someone shouting “Heil Hitler!” in their sleep. It turns out that’s just who they are.

There's nothing wrong with addressing the least of our worries. It’s better than not addressing any

Related: 'A balancing act': readers on plans to crack down on sexist adverts

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Say goodbye to capitalism: welcome to the Republic of Wellbeing

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 02/09/2015 - 11:30pm in

If governments and companies are serious about meeting the Sustainable Development Goals then they’ll need to ditch their bad habits

Imagine a country genuinely committed to pursuing the sustainable development goals (SDGs), set to be agreed on by the international community later this month. It would place emphasis on human and ecosystem wellbeing as the ultimate objective of progress. This country – let’s call it the Republic of Wellbeing – and its business sector would need to embark on a profound transformation to achieve durable, long-term change.

Around the world today, companies and governments do precisely the opposite: they put more emphasis on short-term economic dynamics, or what Hillary Clinton criticised as “quarterly capitalism”. If we are serious about meeting the SDGs then this cannot continue.

Related: Climate change is killing us. We must use the law to fight it | Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett

Related: Sustainable development is failing but there are alternatives to capitalism

Related: Good, natural, malignant: five ways people frame economic growth

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Climate change is killing us. We must use the law to fight it | Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 24/06/2015 - 7:59pm in

The ‘Claim the Sky’ campaign aims to save lives by protecting the atmosphere as a global asset, with governments taking legal action against those who pollute it

How many deaths does climate change have to cause before someone takes responsibility? Our current use of fossil fuels has “potentially catastrophic effects for human health and human survival”, according to a major new report released on Tuesday by medical journal the Lancet and University College London. And it’s not as if we still have time before climate change starts to bite.

Related: Climate change threatens 50 years of progress in global health, study says

Related: The TTIP trade deal will throw equality before the law on the corporate bonfire | George Monbiot

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Gamergate: the internet is the toughest game in town – if you’re playing as a woman | Charlie Brooker

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 21/10/2014 - 6:00am in

It’s a stealth adventure with nowhere to hide and hundreds of respawning enemies waiting to attack you the moment you stand out in any way

I haven’t always been the kind of man who plays videogames. I used to be the kind of boy who played videogames. We’re inseparable, games and I. If you cut me, I’d bleed pixels. Or blood. Probably blood, come to think of it.

Games get a bad press compared with, say, opera – even though they’re obviously better, because no opera has ever compelled an audience member to collect a giant mushroom and jump across some clouds. Nobody writes articles in which opera-lovers are mocked as adult babies who never grew out of make-believe and sing-song; obsessive misfits who flock to weird “opening nights” wearing elaborate “tuxedo” cosplay outfits.

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Why Dilma Rousseff could win Brazil’s presidential election | Mark Weisbrot

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 02/10/2014 - 9:13pm in

The country has widely reported problems, but improvements in income and conditions for many workers mean a lot of Brazilians have done well over the past decade

When challenger Marina Silva pulled ahead of incumbent Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff in the polls a few weeks ago there was a lot of excitement in the US business press, and Brazilian financial markets.

Rousseff’s Workers’ party (PT) has been in power for 12 years, and a lot of rich and powerful people were ready for a change. Fortune seemed to favour them: the Brazilian economy, having slowed considerably over the past few years, officially went into recession this year – something that would spell the end for many incumbent presidents. Before that, there were street protests over the rising cost of public transport and government spending on the World Cup, and the event itself ended in disaster with a humiliating 7-1 defeat for the national team at the hands of Germany.

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Rotherham child sex abuse: it is our duty to ask difficult questions | Slavoj Žižek

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 01/09/2014 - 11:45pm in

Anyone who wants to fight for emancipation should not be afraid to examine religion and culture

The outline of what happened in Rotherham is now more or less clear: at least 1,400 children were subjected to brutal sexual exploitation between 1997 and 2013; children as young as 11 were raped by multiple perpetrators, abducted, trafficked to other cities, beaten and intimidated. The perpetrators were (almost exclusively) of Pakistani origin, and their victims were often white schoolgirls.

Reactions were predictable. The left exhibited the worst of political correctness, mostly via generalisations: perpetrators were vaguely designated as “Asians”, claims were made that it was not about ethnicity and religion but about the domination of men over women, plus who are we – with our church paedophilia and Jimmy Savile – to adopt a high moral ground against a victimised minority … can one imagine a more effective way to open up the field to Ukip and other anti-immigrant populists who exploit the worries of ordinary people? Such anti-racism is effectively a barely covert racism, condescendingly treating Pakistanis as morally inferior beings who should not be held to our standards.

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2014 is so horrible, nothing can cheer us up. Not even Simon Cowell with a bucket on his head | Charlie Brooker

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 26/08/2014 - 5:00am in

Russia v Ukraine, Isis, Boris Johnson, Cliff Richard and Ebola – there's not much to be cheerful about right now, though the ice bucket challenge is working overtime

Ah. Right. Looks like I picked a bad week to draw inspiration from current affairs for this knockabout comedy column. The news is rarely a warehouse of carefree chuckles but at the moment it's like an apocalyptic playlist on perpetual shuffle, with one harrowing crisis overlapping another. Palestine, Libya, Syria … it's all horrifying and upsetting. Not a single nice thing has happened all year, except the recent stealth launch of Cadbury's Wispa Biscuits, and even "stealth launch of Wispa Biscuits" sounds like a terrible euphemism for breaking wind.

The planet is currently playing host to countless alarming crises. There's the nail-biting tension of Russia v Ukraine, a depressing standoff overseen by facial-expression-avoider Vladimir Putin. I don't know if all the strings connecting Putin's face muscles to his brain were accidentally severed during a tragic smiling accident years ago, but I've seen brickwork convey more emotion.

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