Sunday, 21 October 2012

Horse of the day

Is Frankel. Who else? He had to fight for it yesterday, and he showed that along with all that class comes an indomitable spirit. Look at that doughty face. He may have been shin deep in mud; his white socks may have turned brown; but nothing is getting past that fella:

Frankel: Imperious at Ascot

Photograph from

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Most patronising thing on the internet today

Morning Joe is a current affairs programme on MSNBC. I watch it most days, even though it sometimes drives me nuts. If you are obsessed with American politics, as I am, it is very informative, and they often have very good guests, like the wonderful Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post or the excellent Richard Wolffe.

The chemistry between the hosts, Joe Scarborough, a rather bombastic Republican, and Mika Brzezinski, a mild liberal, is supposed to be sparky and even flirty, but I often find it troubling. Scarborough has a habit of literally shouting Brzezinski down, and she, to my intense fury, sometimes lets him. But not today. Today, the binders of women thing has pushed her over the edge, and she holds her own, even though every single man on the set is metaphorically patting her on her pretty blonde head.

For the record, I think her point is valid. Binders full of women is indicative, to many female sensibilities, of a wider malaise in the Romney mind. There was a reason that it was the number one trending hashtag on Twitter. It was compounded by the self-serving story not being true, and also by the unfortunate remark about the ladies having to go home early to cook dinner for their families. Remember, Mitt Romney would like to repeal  Roe vs Wade. In other words, he does not want females to have control over their own bodies. In this context, the binders really do say something.

But the fellas on the set do not want to talk about that. No, Sir. Let's just not talk about the lady stuff. Because, you know, it's for ladies.

It's twenty minutes, so quite long. But it is acutely illustrative and really interesting. I just warn you, the patronising levels are very, very high. You may find that your brain is about to explode. Mine was.

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Thursday, 11 October 2012

Strange political story of the day

Rachel Maddow is on a tear at the moment. I suspect I may be putting quite a lot of these videos up as the presidential race hots up. But I'm not sure I shall find an odder and sadder story than this one.

Part of the reason I like Maddow so much is that she is really passionate about what she believes. With some presenters, that can tip over into bombast, but she manages to avoid that tiger trap, mostly through the use of humour. She is clearly horrified by this, but I think she deals with it with a very deft lightness of touch.

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Wednesday, 10 October 2012

My favourite thing on the internet today; or, never be cast down by a bad school report

I have neglected this blog shamefully for the last few months. I shake it out of mothballs in honour of Sir John Gurdon, a British scientist who just won a Nobel Prize. Here is the lovely Rachel Maddow's take on his triumph, despite what his teachers once said about him:

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