Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

A year after Barack Obama’s historic election, one of his most contentious programs has been the $700 billion stimulus package. Here’s a clip of Lewis Black explaining John Maynard Keynes’ theory of how public works projects can stimulate the economy in his own inimitable (and be warned, very foul-mouthed way):

Now, just in case you’re thinking “that’s just crazy comedian talk and has no basis in proper economics” here’s the view of Keynes himself from “The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money”:

“If the Treasury were to fill old bottles with banknotes, bury them at suitable depths in disused coal mines which are then filled up to the surface with town rubbish, and leave it to private enterprise on well-tried principles of laissez-faire to dig the notes up again (the right to do so being obtained, of course, by tendering for leases of the note-bearing territory), there need be no more unemployment and, with the help of the repercussions, the real income of the community, and its capital wealth also, would probably become a good deal greater than it actually is. It would, indeed, be more sensible to build houses and the like; but if there are political and practical difficulties in the way of this, the above would be better than nothing.” (p. 129)

So while Barack Obama may not have been thrilled about having to spend such a huge amount of money getting the American economy going and saddling the American taxpayer with such a large debt (yes, I said it), is was absolutely the correct thing to do. In this instance, to compromise the spending aspects of the package to appease Republicans (the people who, to a large extent, created this mess) in the name of bipartisanship could have led to the Great Recession becoming the second Great Depression and may have left future generations with an even more unmanageable National Debt. The world is now in the thankful state of seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, just over a year after we faced economic catastrophe, as the recession ends (at least technically) in many countries and hopefully we can get back to job creation in the new year…

 

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I’m about to sit down with M to watch the final of Britain’s Got Talent and just wanted to write my thoughts on “THE SUSAN BOYLE PHENOMENON”. I haven’t actually followed the series and so have only seen clips of the lady herself sing but that doesn’t really matter as the story of the Susan Boyle Saga is the crazy attitudes of both supporters and detractors in a typical example of overreaction to a “celebrity” story in Modern Britain.

The reaction to her initial appearance on the show was obviously manipulated to play on the audience’s preconceived notions of what a pop singer should look like and, perhaps more importantly, our notion of what somebody who looks like Susan plays on modern reality talent shows. So when she opened her mouth to sing, everybody was shocked at how good she was (because as everybody knows, there is an scientifically proven correlation between vocal chords and looks).

So then Susan Boyle became some sort of inspirational elixir to the current ills of society – and that she was able to do all this in spite of her looks made her story all the more inspirational. But even in her triumph, her looks were always considered central to her being – she gained the horrifically patronising moniker “The Hairy Angel”. And stories about what would be done to “fix her up” abounded in the tabloid press.

And then the worm turned fully (as it always does when the British Tabloid Media is involved) as she was accused of a four-letter rant backstage, although this was apparently aimed at a British Tabloid Journalist (something which should be compulsory) and was subjected to scathing criticism by Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revell Horwood, who said “I think Susan Boyle sucks and I’ll tell you why – she can’t sing and that really bugs me. [She] sings as bad as she looks.” There were rumours that she might quit.

So let’s get this straight – Susan Boyle is not The Second Coming, but neither is she a talentless freak – she’s a regular woman who, from what I have heard, has a very good voice and I wish her well tonight and in the future.