Tag Archives: America

Guns

Texas tan line

No point to this. Just made me laugh.

In the news this week a southern California man was put under 72-hour psychiatric observation when it was found he owned 100 guns and had (by rough estimate) 1-million rounds of ammunition stored in his home. The house also has a secret escape tunnel. The television reporter said: “Wow! He has about a million machine gun bullets” and the headline referred to it as a “massive weapons cache”.

By California standards, someone owning even 100,000 rounds would be called “mentally unstable.”

If he lived elsewhere, such as Arizona he’d be called “an avid gun collector”.

In Arkansas Continue reading

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Filed under life

Chess on 9/11

It was a grim day for first responders, but I didn't want a sad picture. So here are happy NYPD officers.

It’s that time of year when you talk about where you were when…

Which I haven’t done before because it seems a distasteful online version of shroud waving, unless you actually were there, like BBC journalist Stephen Evans who happened to be inside the World Trade Center when the planes struck, or you really helped, or – of course – it hit close to home – like with this young man who lost his Belfast-born father.

But somebody asked me to write something and perhaps once every ten years is acceptable. So…

There I was sitting in a radio studio in Bush House in London. I was editing a radio show called Newshour which goes out on the BBC World Service (reputed audience of 157 million Continue reading

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Things you don’t expect to see in Harlem

So I was wandering through Harlem (New York) when I saw this sign. I did a double take. Checked my surroundings. Re-checked. Yup, still in Harlem.

No – the letters on the sign haven’t been mischievously rearranged Continue reading

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Filed under art, politics

I need this: How to control your local weather.

We’ve all been there. You leave home – where it’s dry, bright, pleasant, a bit warm even.

You travel thousands of miles to end up somewhere damp, drear, dank and drizzly. In my case New York.

Oi! Sort it out Bloomberg. You need to get your hands on this Qatari weather technology Continue reading

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Good news in gloomy times

Sad bad times sometimes bring forth heroes. They’re the mitigating silver lining. They’re what we focus on to avoid staring too hard at the greater despair.

Kim Hunter & David Niven, A Matter of Life and Death 1946

But they can be hard to spot, these heroes. You don’t notice them beforehand. What do they look like? Not like my idea of a hero – handsome, twirly moustache, flying jacket, gentle eyes combined with slightly cruel mouth – sorry, I’m thinking of David Niven in A Matter of Life and Death.

So for these gloomy times, here are two lots of real heroes. They don’t look a bit like David Niven.

1. Patricia Maisch – She reminds me of Hong Kong Phooey. Continue reading

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Blood and Gifts or Why America is in Afghanistan

“Great men are almost always bad men.” That’s the tagline to the wonderful play, Blood and Gifts, about US involvement in Afghanistan from 1981-1991. I’ve just seen it.

That depressing opening sentence is also the missing third line from the famous and much cited quotation from Lord Acton (aka John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton):

“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.” Continue reading

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Filed under art, history, politics, theatre