Downsizing  

Posted by Ryan Sproull in , , , ,


Get it? Downsizing. Down. Sizing.

Paris Hilton just got out of half her prison sentence for driving drunk. Double entendre there. Jesus, I'm witty. Anyway, it's a serious charge, driving drunk - she could have killed someone. They could have ended up in hospital. How would that have worked out for them? Well, Michael Moore's new documentary, SiCKO, which got a standard ovulation at Cannes, is out in theatres in the States.

The film looks at the effects of privatised health insurance and the nature of the pharmaceutical industry on the American health system. Among other things, Michael Moore looks at the stories of people suffering from dust inhalation at the World Trade Center site. The harm done to locals, especially after they were told it was safe to go back to their homes (how else do you get Wall Street up and running again?), is the topic of yesterday's excellent Democracy Now feature. In typical Moore fashion, noting that detainees in Guantanamo Bay are provided full healthcare by the Government while average New Yorkers can't afford any themselves, he piles a bunch of them in a boat and takes them to Gitmo, asking for medical help.

That little stunt got Mr Moore in trouble with the US Treasury Department, saying that he broke the (idiotic) US embargo of Cuba.

Um.

Paris Hilton! Just out of jail! Yes, Paris, whose vagina is less aesthetically pleasing than Britney's and I'll have words with any who disagree, has been snatched up by CNN in her first post-jail interview. Who did they dump at this late hour when the golden opportunity arose? Yes, that's right, they cancelled an interview with Michael Moore. That's some good prioritising, in a country where lack of healthcare is killing more people than 9/11 every year.


Bored Rich Kids Do Drugs, News At 10  

Posted by Joseph Nunweek in , ,

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"Dad sez I'm allowed to stay up all night."

Competing Voices:
#1 - Journalism bears its middle class, would-be social climber teeth on this baby. P is formerly a working-class, or worse, poor scourge. It's the preserve of ugly, misshapen men with a mess of tattoo on their faces and arms, and for pitiful wenches with a mouthful of rotting teeth. You tut-tut and imagine how bad it is for the children, who you can feel just AWFUL for right now. Methamphetamine is a glorious social tripwire. It's where that oaf who can seemingly afford to live on your street suddenly, whose shirts are more expensive and cars more numerous than yours, made his ill-gotten gains. You just wait for his commupance.

Latterly, P is also the downfall of the spoilt rich. Millie Holmes is fantastic because she's a walking, slurring, hollow-cheeked exemplar of how those with too much wealth can and will fuck up monumentally. Suddenly, middle New Zealand can extend its patronising social sanction below and above itself - both ways lie fundamentally indolent and idle children, parents who care more about their own material wellbeing (be it their dole bludging or their million dollar salaries! Not like my small, humble business) and a superb cautionary tale, the subject of women's suburban running groups and water cooler conversation. P is a social divider, suddenly, that excludes the middle class and implicates those who don't read the paper, and that well-off nouveau aristocracy simultaneously. It's a newspaper staff of comfortable 40 something upper-middle income bracketeers' news story come true.

2. Cynical would be hack: the papers were fucking five years behind on this shit. I could've have written a 3000 word expose on what Millie Holmes was getting up to in 2003 via hearsay and private girls' school acquaintances, and I never met the poor girl. Lift your gossip game.

3. First post lalz.

The US is Not Leaving Iraq  

Posted by Ryan Sproull in



As The Guardian reports, Bush administration officials have drawn parallels with South Korea and Japan with regards to a permanent military presence in Iraq. Yes, that's right, no matter how democratic things get there, the US isn't going anywhere. Why not? They've invested far too much in controlling that oil The popular and democratically elected government will humbly request they never leave.



Yet the building of US military bases in Iraq continues apace, at a cost of over $1bn a year. Shortly after the invasion, the US established 110 bases in Iraq. The present plan appears to consolidate these into 14 "enduring bases" in Iraqi Kurdistan, at Baghairport, in Anbar province, and in the southern approaches to Baghdad. This does not point to an early US disengagement. And nor does the construction of a US embassy able to house 1,000 staff on a 100-acre site on the banks of the Tigris - the biggest US embassy in the world.


This is, of course, hardly news. The Nation covered it quite nicely at the end of last year. But if it's more interesting predictions you're after, click here.