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The Guardian G2 10.11.2012

The Guardian G2 10.11.2012

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‘I don’twant to bemayor of London’
Thank God, says Decca Aitkenhead,after an audience withSebastian CoeRIP *sadface*
Celebrity grief tweets
Stewart Lee
 Rekebah’s poetic texts
Mastectomies
Cancer risk dilemma
Private Lives
 I’ve never been kissed
Enonomics
 Brian meets Ha-Joon Chang 
 
2
The Guardian 12.11.12
Shortcuts
Should we call time onshonky Shephard Faireypastiches? Yes, if Currys’new press ads, featuringa less-than-iconiccustomer-service drone,are anything to go by.
ation. After Cameron said to her ina Commons debate on abortion,“I know the honourable lady isextremely frustrated …”,to gales of laughter, shewrote a furious piece inthe Daily Mail headlined“The PM publicly humili-ated me in front of theentire nation. Whatdid I do to deservethat?” Presumably,she will find eatingkangaroo’s anusesless mortifying – orat least better paid.According toDr Linda Hartling at Human
Hope-less
Nadine Dorriesand the powerof humiliation
Psychology
Reaping theCelebrity DeathTwitter Harvest
Eulogies
I
t is often suggested that thedeath of Diana, Princess of Wales, altered the natureof collective grief, rendering itsuddenly acceptable to line thestreets, send flowers and, mostimportantly, weep publicly at thedeath of someone you did notactually know. Fifteen years on,and nowhere is collective grief more manifest than on Twitter,where the announcement of thepassing of any well-known name ismet by a flurry of re-tweets, hash-tags and sadface emoticons.Of course, the nature of report-ing and the internet has shifted sub-stantially; not only have audiencesdisplayed an insatiable appetite forcelebrity tittle-tattle, but Twitterhas come to be regarded as animportant tool for newsgatheringand audience engagement. And so,in a phenomenon I call the CelebrityDeath Twitter Harvest, a content-hungry media increasingly feastson a glut of related tweets.Consider the case of Clive Dunn,who died last week aged 92. Natu-rally, the death of such a cult figureDignity and Humiliation Studies,a network of academics andactivists studying humiliationin an attempt to eradicate it,there are two types: injuryto honour, and injury todignity. The first is experi-enced by elites, in the wayaristocrats would defend theirhonour in duels. WhenCameron was describedas “humiliated” – on thefront of three newspapers– after rebel MPs voted tocut the EU budget, it washis authority that wasdamaged rather than hisdignity as a human being.
Shortercuts
         Ê
L
ast week, in a Guardiancomment piece, LouiseMensch admonishedNadine Dorries for appearing on I’ma Celebrity … Get me Out of Here!“Eating grubs and performinghumiliating tasks on air are not con-sistent with being an MP,” she said.Dorries is no stranger to humili-
 
able lady isd …”,,see inlinedumili-theHumanactivn ant digncedaristocon Caasisda di
This cool, Terminator-style prosthetic hasbeen developed by aBritish company. TheBeBionic3 hand canapparently grip a beerand gently hold an egg.
Super hands
 R I P  C l i v e  D u n n  t h a n k s  f o r  a l l  t h e  h o u r s  o f  e n j o y m e n t  w a t c h i n g  D a d ’ s A r m y
So sad to hearabout Terry Nutkins.What an absoluteicon
 O m g  n o o o o  wa y  m y  i d o l  w h i t n e y  n o o  wa y  o m g  b i g  s h o c k
Gervais and Radio 1 DJ Greg James,neither of whom I believe to have been particular acquaintances of Nutkins, or, indeed, luminaries inthe wildlife-broadcasting world.Unless we count Flanimals.This year we have encounteredthe high-profile passings of NeilArmstrong, Tony Scott and HalDavid, and naturally the coveragethat followed them often drew oncelebrity tweets (“Everyone shouldgo outside and look at the moontonight and give a thought to NeilArmstrong,” ordered McFly’s TomFletcher). But few could match theresponse that greeted the death of Whitney Houston in February.Along with tributes from themusic industry, some publicationscast their nets a little wider for thecondolences of Paris Hilton andKim Kardashian, not to mentionwhat we assume to be the grief-addled ruminations of Katie Price:“Omg noooo way my idol whitneynoo way omg big shock. Yourmusic made impact to my life.”The only possible defence forall this celebrity Twitter-quoting isthat it helps take the temperatureof our collective grief. So let’sleave the last word to footballer-in-mourning Wayne Rooney:“Cant believe it. I wanna run to u.I grew up listening to whitney. Soeveryone asking why im tweetingabout her. Show some respect.”
Laura Barton
prompted a huge response, andsoon we were treated to Twittereulogies by such stars as TonyParsons, Martin Kemp of SpandauBallet and Elizabeth Hurley, inwhose contribution – “RIP CliveDunn thanks for all the hours of enjoyment watching Dad’s Army”– one likes to believe she was hon-ouring not only enjoyment, butalso the actor’s inspiration for herforays into acting and swimwear.The death of Coronation Street’sBill Tarmey on Friday broughtmore of the same.Few publications are immunefrom reaping the celebrity Twittergrief. On the death of TerryNutkins earlier this year, even theGuardian quoted comedian Ricky
 
12.11.12 The Guardian
3
Age:
73, when he died in 1882.
Appearance:
Down-on-his-luck departmentstore Santa.
Profession:
English naturalist, author of On theOrigin of Species, developer of the theory of natural selection, congressional also-ran.
Also-ran?
Darwin once came second inan election for a seat in the US Houseof Representatives.
I never knew that. When did this happen?
 Last week.
But he’s dead!
He wasn’t alone there. A dead manwas elected to the Texas senate last Tuesday.Another dead guy was voted city council presidentof Rochester, Minnesota, and yet another wona seat on a county commission in Alabama.
OK – but he’s not even an American citizen.
Hewasn’t on the ballot either. Nevertheless, CharlesDarwin received more than 4,000 write-in votesin Athens-Clark County, Georgia. The numbersfrom the other 24 counties in the 10th congres-sional district were not available at thetime of writing.
Could he still win?
It’s unlikely. The incumbent,Republican Paul Broun, received more than209,000 votes.
And the Democrat?
Broun was runningunopposed. The write-in campaign wassort of a protest.
But why Darwin?
It has to do with a speechBroun gave to a church group in Septemberin which he denounced both evolution andthe big bang theory, as “lies straight fromthe pit of hell”.
So he credits Satan with the theory of naturalselection?
He also said he believed the Earthis 9,000 years old, and was created in sixliteral days.
Perhaps his remarks were misinterpreted.
 There’s a video of him saying it, standing in frontof a wall of mounted deer heads.
I’ve said it before – that America is one crazyplace.
It gets worse – Broun is a qualifieddoctor, a climate-change denier and a memberof the House committee on science, spaceand technology.
Do say:
“It’s shameful that in this day and agesuch a politician even exists.
Don’t say:
“Poor show, Darwin. In America, beingdead is no excuse for being second best.”
At 7cm tall and 12cm long, Meysi,a terrier crossbreed from Poland,is on track to be named the world’ssmallest dog. She needs to be oneyear old to qualify for the record– and at four months, she’s notexpected to grow much more.
H
ow tiresomely awkwardlife can sometimes befor David Cameron.In this week’s Spectator, thepro-torture hardline ConservativeBruce Anderson tells of how, in1998, he was at a shooting-partydinner in Scotland with Cameronat which an almost-rare stag’sliver was served as a delicacy.“There were some wettieswho were put off by the sight,”writes Anderson. “Among theirnumber, I regret to say, was thepresent prime minister. After-wards, he confessed to a crimewhich he had not committedsince prep school. To hide hisfailure to eat the liver, he hadconcealed it under some rabbit-food garnish.”It’s hard to know whatAnderson finds most offensive:Cameron’s reluctance to eat thestill-bleeding organ of an animalkilled a few hours earlier, or thefact that he wasn’t even manenough to admit he didn’t like it.The shame, the shame of tryingto hide his wimpishness.
How to avoideating rawstag’s liver
And under a bit of veggie-lettuce-forage at that!“Call Me Dave”, though, isless likely to be squirming athaving his table manners exposedthan at being reminded of hishunting, shooting and fishingprivileged background. Butsince his
intimes
are so keen toremind us of his holiday adven-tures and we are all so veryclearly in this together, nowdoes seem a good moment toclarify these important points of etiquette. Should you a) tell yourhostess that you don’t like freshstag liver; b) hide it under alettuce leaf; or c) leave it inplain sight on your plate?Answers please …
John Crace
Etiquette
$713.4bn
Total net worth of thetop 20 individuals onBloomberg’s latestglobal rich list
Pass notes
No 3,279CharlesDarwin
Paging Paris Hilton …
UK hipsters have long envied NewYork’s Highline, a public parkalong an elevated former railwayline. Will the London equivalentmeasure up? A linear park withinthe Nine Elms development has just been given the planning nod.
Walk in the park
IN NUMBERS
    C    O    V    E    R
    D    A    V    I    D    L    E    V    E    N    E    F    O    R    T    H    E    G    U    A    R    D    I    A    N
ont een thin about eating m lie, posh bo!
 It would have been more hurtfulif, say, his trousers had fallendown in the House of Commons. In suggesting she was sexuallyfrustrated, Cameron inflicted thiskind of humiliation on Dorries,made much worse by theirrespective positions in the peckingorder. “In dignity contexts, feelingsof humiliation are triggered in thedowntrodden, those who formerlywere expected to bow in subservi-ence,” says Hartling. There is no mystery about whywe enjoy seeing public figureshumbled – it’s good old-fashionedschadenfreude, perhaps to stop usfrom worrying about our ownfeelings of abasement. There may be a sexual element too. Thesuccess of Fifty Shades of Greysuggests the number of people whoget a thrill out of it may be higherthan previously assumed.Humiliation can have anincendiary power, says Hartling,who believes it has promptedsome of the most violent protestsof the past 15 years, citing theriots that swept the Middle East inSeptember after an anti-Muslimvideo was posted on YouTube.“Our research suggests that whenanyone is humiliated, all of us arediminished in some way,” she says.
Alex Needham
Jermaine Jackson is changinghis name to JermaineJacksun. “You cannot blamethis one on the boogie,”a friend told reporters,“You’ve got to blame it onthe sunshine.” Er, right.
 
de
gingme
Sun-dazed

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