Short and Curlies by Emily Smart

It’s been a bizarre couple of weeks which have left me pondering whether there is any sanity left in the world. I was hoping Facebook might get its comeuppance with the latest data breach news, but unfortunately, no. It would appear that (to borrow a quote from the Zuckerberg himself) “A squirrel dying in front of your house may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa”. Is he a genius or is he Machiavellian? I suspect the latter given an exchange of instant messages between the… Read More

Aggression as first response by Susan Grimsdell

When we all hear about Trump ranting and raving over North Korea, I’m sure there would hardly be anyone on the planet who wouldn’t think how stupid it is to poke and prod at a guy like Kim Jong-un; a bit like poking a cornered possum or an angry grizzly bear. My thought always, when I hear this kind of aggression is, why can’t they just discuss whatever it is in a calm, rational way, and come to some sort of sensible agreement using brains and words, not weapons of mass destruction.  Why… Read More

Square eyes and stress by Trevor Plumbly

Serial stupor Mother always insisted that television was an addictive force and, at the ripe age of 75, I’m beginning to believe the old girl was right. These days I can’t see a great deal on the screen, it’s more like having a big grey radio on the wall with lots of adverts, but, even for me, some TV programmes are a must, bringing back memories of the religious SHUSH for the Queen’s speech and Coronation Street. My current addiction is a quiz show called ‘The Chase’. Nightly, beer at hand, I… Read More

Triumph of hope by Susan Grimsdell

Not long after the world realised that the unbelievable had happened and Donald Trump had become the President of the US, the level of objection was astounding. It included people in state governments; many government employees, governors and mayors; workers in many federal departments; immigrant rights groups; religious groups; as well as one of the biggest demonstrations in history with the Women’s March on 21 January 2017.  Women all over the world took to the streets.  I was one of them and later, a friend asked me why I had bothered.  ‘They… Read More

Hail to the creep by Trevor Plumbly

The cringe machine I couldn’t ignore the guy any longer. As with Hitler and a couple of other despots, we’re likely to have to pay a heavy price for pretending it’s really OK. I know that it’s stretching things a bit to make those comparisons, but aren’t there some eerie similarities? Trump’s campaign rallies fell short of Nuremburg and the stiff arm salute, but the rhetoric got pretty close. The message was familiar and basic; paying court to the unemployed, the disgruntled and the racists creates a natural division and, as with… Read More