Friday, October 24, 2008

Gonzo madness

Another little gem from The First Post folks this week: former Time Out editor recalls his time with Hunter S. Thomspon.

"....He arrived with his current girlfriend, a diminutive American rottweiler from whom he was clearly trying to escape - and did at every waking moment. From there on it was a descent into Gonzo madness, a blurred week of drink and drugs and sobbing women and 4am rescuing from other women's beds and more drink and more drugs. And no copy. Not the merest hint of a word...."

And what can you say after that?!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Haider was Gay

I knew it! There is just something the extreme Right cannot shake off when it comes to its "Charismatic" leaders and their love of authority, traditional values and intolerance for gays. Turns out half of them are batting for the other team!

Haider is one of those I tried to meet back in 2001, during research for my book 'Homeland'. Back then he deftly avoided me, although I did meet many members of his movement. I don't take pleasure in his death, but I can't for the life of me understand why those from the intolerant Right never seem to spot the queer in their midst (cf Nick Griffin and the BNP, Richard Barnbrook and his 'art' gay films) or those far worse (nail bombers, or the now-jailed paedophile leading America's National Alliance).


Haider’s gay lover comes forward

The death of Joerg Haider (pictured) – the Austrian far-right politician who was killed in a car crash earlier this month – has resulted in the confirmation of the long-running rumour that he was a homosexual. First it was revealed that he had visited a gay bar on the night he died and now Stefan Petzner, the 27-year-old who recently became the leader of the right wing Alliance for the Future of Austria, has claimed that he enjoyed a "special relationship" with 52-year-old Haider.

He made his admission in an emotional interview on an Austrian radio breakfast show on Wednesday. "We had a relationship that went far beyond friendship. Joerg and I were connected by something truly special. He was the man of my life."

He went on to insist that Haider's widow, Claudia, did not object to his relationship. "She loved him as a woman. He loved her as a man. I loved him in a completely different and personal way. She understood that," Petzner said. However, the young man's sister Christiane suggested in a newspaper interview that Claudia Haider had not always been so understanding. "Sometimes Claudia was jealous because Stefan would spend more time with her husband than she did."

Clearly embarrassed by the revelations, party officials attempted to limit the political damage and cancelled forthcoming interviews with Petzner. Their attempts to prevent his radio interview being re-broadcast, however, were unsuccessful.

taken from The First Post.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Michael Moore's incendiary bail-out!

Now, I have to say that I find the rotund chap from Flint, Michigan, both highly-entertaining and a tad annoying. But sometimes his anger-fuelled eye hits the nail right on the head.

There's no way in a million years (yet) that America is going to accept all his recommendations for salvaging the crisis of Wall Street. But in these uncertain times, it does make for a damn fun read. It does make you wonder, though, particularly those Reaganistas who argued the market was always best: what planet have the American people been living on for so long ("government = bad") and why hasn't anyone seen this coming?

Moore's 10 points to fix America.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Palin and the Shell-Shocked US

Psychoanalyst Coline Covington hits the nail bang on the head: Sarah Palin, the Republican Vice-Presidential candidate in the US elections is a phantom. An image. A dream; gossamer to protect the 'unviolability' of what Joe Bageant (author of Deerhunting With Jesus) so eloquently describes as America's inward-looking eye.

"The US is suffering from narcissistic shell-shock," writes Covington, detailing its response to economic collapse, as well as making comparisons to the reactions to 9/11.

"When the over-confident individual suffers a life blow that is beyond his control, his first response is usually to attempt to regain an illusion of control by blaming the 'other', whoever that 'other' might be. Then, as a consequence of projecting blame onto others, the individual becomes paranoid about anything 'other' or foreign and this in turn can be used to justify further attacks. Finally, he retrenches into the stronghold of narcissistic behaviour and its promise of safety in power."

Palin "deliberately perpetrated the image of the frontierswoman at a time when it is bound to be most appealing to members of a country that feels itself to be fighting against all the odds .... The frontier spirit is just what is needed. The American Indians have been replaced by the Iraqis, ecological concerns have been wiped off the slate altogether under the 'hand of God' approach, while the collapse of the financial markets can be understood as a temporary blip that simply needs tweaking to ensure continuing belief in a free market economy."

Right on. Read it here.