If we cannot find Osama, bomb Iraq

To be sung to the tune of “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands”:

If we cannot find Osama, bomb Iraq.
If the markets hurt your Mama, bomb Iraq.
If the terrorists are Saudi
And the bank takes back your Audi
And the TV shows are bawdy,
Bomb Iraq.

If the corporate scandals growin’, bomb Iraq.
And your ties to them are showin’, bomb Iraq.
If the smoking gun ain’t smokin’
We don’t care, and we’re not jokin’.
That Saddam will soon be croakin’,
Bomb Iraq.

Even if we have no allies, bomb Iraq.
From the sand dunes to the valleys, bomb Iraq.
So to hell with the inspections;
Let’s look tough for the elections,
Close your mind and take directions,
Bomb Iraq.

While the globe is slowly warming, bomb Iraq.
Yay! the clouds of war are storming, bomb Iraq.
If the ozone hole is growing,
Some things we prefer not knowing.
(Though our ignorance is showing),
Bomb Iraq.

So here’s one for dear old daddy, bomb Iraq,
From his favorite little laddy, bomb Iraq.
Saying no would look like treason.
It’s the Hussein hunting season.
Even if we have no reason,
Bomb Iraq.

I’ve no idea who first wrote this: Raj passed it on to me through the electronic ether.

(Sort of) Life Imitates (So-called) Art

In the three-and-a-bit hours since the previous post, I’ve just finished watching The Godfather, Part Three, with a handful of friends — with a fine shot of Calvi hanging from Blackfriars Bridge in one of the final frames — and when I return to my computer I find that Giulio Andreotti has been convicted of murder. A certain debased variety of (sort of) life imitating (so-called) art…

Hodge Speaks

“Universities are different. Don’t lets pretend that a degree in theology from Luton is the same as a degree in accountancy from Oxford,” the Minister for Higher Education Margaret Hodge told BBC One’s On The Record earlier today.

But they are exactly the same, since Oxford doesn’t offer degrees in accountancy, and Luton doesn’t offer degrees in theology. Both are non-existent, and therefore identical.

Or was the point to pick on non-existent degree courses, so no-one felt affronted?

Chris adds [17.11.2002]: Oxford does theology and Luton does accountancy, so perhaps the minister became a little confused. But which did she think was worth more than the other?

Image of the Week, #17

Both Naunihal and Simon have written in to alert me about the appearance of a kind of Turin Chapati, but in Bangalore. The face of Christ miraculously appeared on a chapati a few days ago, and twenty thousand pilgrims have flocked to admire. The photo is from the BBC; there’s some more in the ANI story in the Hindustan Times.

God is certainly moving in some pretty mysterious ways these days. Only three months ago, He was indulging in a spot of aubergine interior design, giving a boost to Sikhism everywhere, and especially in Coventry.


Martin has been thinking about the Chinese:

Am I alone in finding a certain strange fascination in the ebb and flow of Chinese politics? I’ve just spent a happy half hour reading the biographies of the incoming and outgoing politburos (politbureaux?) on the BBC website.

For some reason, it’s unfeasibly fascinating. Firstly, they all have degrees in electrical engineering, for some reason. Then there’s the bizarre fact that many of these men seem to have spent vast swathes of time running ball-bearing factories in remote provinces, or seconded to Leipzig tractor factories. Phenomenal stuff? Or have I just lost it? The bit that really takes the biscuit, I think, is the fact that no-one seems to have the foggiest idea about the political views of Hu Jintao, or whether he holds any views at all.

Google says it’s “politburos“, which beats out “politbureaux” by a margin of 374 to one.

November Update

Time for the monthly glance into the computer logs, to see what people are searching for on the internet when they stumble across the Virtual Stoa. It’s often twisted stuff…

blueprints for large cat towers
world peace yeah fucking right
Paul Burrell conspiracies [x2]
Burrell royal family gossip
Lord St John of Fawsley [x2]
pictures Christine Korsgaard
elephant sex [x6]
Norman St John Stevas [x2]
Margaret Thatcher maiden name
recent columns by Christopher Hitchens

Does this mean that whoever was looking for the Bedfordshire swingers’ scene has found it, and is no longer scouring the Virtual Stoa archives? (Or – sadly – perhaps he/she has given up the search?)

Bennett on Windsor

I’ve always liked Catherine Bennett’s writing, ever since she wrote a definitive guide to the content, structure and style of ex-Tory ministers’ memoirs, which made me have one of those infrequent “I wish I had written that” moments. Here she is again in today’s Guardian with a very useful presentation of everything you need to know about the current wave of scandals breaking against the House of Windsor…