Rhinoceros: Should a friend, or more likely, an enemy, suggest that you trot off to the theatre to see a production of Rhinoceros by Eugene Ionescu make your excuses and volunteer to paper the mother-in-law's living-room. Alas, I cannot provide you with a detailed critique of this, er, play because I only lasted to the end of Act One before making my escape. The only 'Good Thing' to be derived from this dire evening was that I have achieved what I had hitherto thought was impossible by finding a worse playwright than Samuel Becket and Harold Pinter.
Stop the cuts! I have just watched a young mother being interviewed by Sky News on the subject of the so-called 'bedroom tax' in which people on welfare inhabiting council properties will have their benefits cut if they have spare, empty bedrooms. The camera roamed around and filmed the spare bedroom possessed by this lady. It closely resembled a toy shop at Christmas! I have never seen so many toys crammed into one room! Thinking back, I would reckon that there were more toys in that room than I ever possessed in my entire childhood! As always, I have the sound turned off but her mouth was opening and closing rapidly so I assume she was moaning and groaning about cruel, black-hearted Tories- if only! - cutting her benefits. Well, if it cuts her 'toy-bingeing' then so much the better for her and her brat!
I hadn't thought of La France: Apparently Slovenia is the next Cyprus. Pity because I remember with great fondness a week's holiday up around the Lake Bled area which is stunningly beautiful. Their stupid politicians only joined the suckers club (aka: the euro zone) five years ago and already they are flat broke and about to be gang-banged by 'Mr. Rumpy-Pumpy' and his gauleiters. However, Slovenia, lovely as it is, remains a minnow in the great scheme of things European. But I keep picking up nudges and winks concerning La France! President Hollande appears to be a rarity amongst politicians in that not only does he possess an ideology but he actually believes in it and is determined to enforce it. Thus, like socialist countries throughout history, France, too, is likely to go broke. Apparently the hitherto unbreakable(!) link between Paris and Berlin lies in pieces and Frau Merkel is not amused! I had always relied on Italy to be the game breaker but apparently it might be France. Quell dommage!
Eric Hobsbawm VEP: That stands for Very Emminent Prat! One of the more useful things to have occurred in the 20th century is the rise of (at least) two murderous, psychotic regimes which killed people on an industrial scale. Of course, that is to be excoriated and the victims pitied but for those of us fortunate enough to have been missed it provides a litmus test by which contemporaries of those bloody times, particularly those on the Left, may be judged with unerring accuracy. Such a man was Eric Hobsbawm, an eminent and respected historian, or so I am told, who despite his fanatical communism was pleased to accept the bauble of becoming a Companion of Honour. As Bruce ('the brute') Anderson writes in last week's 'Speccie', this is all very odd given that Hobsbawm lived through Stalin's mass murders but continued to give his unwavering support, indeed, he reckoned the deaths of 20 million people was a small price to pay for completion of the socialist wet dream, er, that's 'wet' as in dripping with blood! I would suggest that Hobsbawm (along with, incidentally, Miliband senior!) failed his litmus test in the biggest possible way so why anyone would take his history books seriously is beyond me. Incidentally, as he recounts, 'Brute' Anderson has earned the high society award, equivalent of the VC, by being the target for a glass of wine thrown over him by Polly Toynbee. Good man, that Anderson, steady under fire!
This inconsequential load of twaddle will continued on Monday in the post above . . .