In which our intrepid hero voices his take on the news. As if you could stop him.

I’m slowly inching my way to the point where I’ll have an operational computer with broadband at home (and by operational, I mean neither a 10-year-old laptop, nor a kickarse graphics beast with an unfortunate tendency to consume hard drives like housewives consume prozac). Hopefully, then, I’ll be able to blog more frequently—and incidentally avoid having to write monster posts when I can steal the time.

Anyway, enough meta—on with the news. I’ve been reading a bit of UK media lately, and it shows…

The Daily Mail reports that Middlesbrough has installed loudspeakers on seven of its 158 municipal security cameras:

The system allows control room operators who spot any anti-social acts—from dropping litter to late-night brawls—to send out a verbal warning: “We are watching you”. […]

Jack Bonner, who manages the system, said: “It is one hell of a deterrent. It’s one thing to know that there are CCTV cameras about, but it’s quite another when they loudly point out what you have just done wrong.”

And in other Middlesbrough news, social services are concerned at the record rise in schizophrenics wigging out and topping themselves on public streets. The cause of this outbreak remains a mystery…

The Times features the following story:

One of the world’s worst cases of great ape smuggling will draw to a close next week when about 50 orang-utans rescued from a Thai amusement park fly home to their native Indonesia.

The animals, many of which were forced to stage mock kick-boxing bouts at the Safari World theme park in Bangkok.

Three words: Kick. Boxing. Monkeys.

Friends have been trying to get me to holiday in Thailand for years. The hookers don’t really interest me, nor the drugs, nor the cut-price fuel-grade cocktails on the beach at sunset. But hey, if I got to see kick-boxing monkeys, I’d be there in a flash. ‘Cept, now, they’re stopping it. Crap.

So, what about their rights? As my favourite ever comic, Parking Lot is Full, so eloquently puts it:

Incidentally, I do realise that orangutans are apes. Chill out, dude. “Monkey” just sounds cooler.

That paragon of journalistic endeavour, The Sun, relates the tale of poor Eric King, a man so bereft of memory that he forgot where he parked his car—for seven months:

But when he had finished his sightseeing trip he couldn’t remember the name of the residential road he had parked the car in or where it was. […]

He returned to Bury St Edmunds TEN TIMES to look for his motor, often booking himself into bed and breakfasts overnight—and lost two stone tramping the streets in his quest.

He finally got the car back this week after it was reported abandoned where he had left it—in Blackbird Drive on the Moreton Hall estate.

If only he’d left it in Middlesbrough—he could’ve followed the cameras: “Warmer. Warmer. Cooler. Warmer. Getting hotter, now…”

(I should probably stop ragging on The Sun. I can hardly comment on them, and overlook, say, Today Tonight—or A Current Affair, which I always confuse it with—and their attack on a girl “cynically trying to profit from the death of Steve Irwin.”

This, from a network whose morning programme featured a half-hour segment titled “Coping with Steve’s Death.” At least The Sun has a Page-Three Girl.)

CNN brings us the latest from that peaceful, sunny, seaside resort town of Mogadishu:

Gunmen shot and killed an Italian nun at a children’s hospital in Mogadishu on Sunday in an attack that drew immediate speculation of links to Muslim anger over the pope’s recent remarks on Islam.

The Catholic nun’s bodyguard also died in the latest attack apparently aimed at foreign personnel in volatile Somalia. […]

“She was shot three times in the back,” [doctor Ali Mohamed Hassan said.]

Three times in the back. It sounds so gangland. Or cloak-and-dagger, even. I can’t wait for the Vatican’s response…

Her wimple fluttered lightly in the breeze. Some nuns used Kevlar, but not Sister Euphemia—she was a professional. She relied on speed, and silence, to get the job done.

She slapped the magazine into her Swiss-built autopistol, flicked off the safety and allowed the slide to clack home. Sister Euphemia admired the way the sun shone on the anodised nickel finish of the barrel. She smiled as she slid her gun into its leather holster, concealed deep beneath her cassock.

Sister Euphemia thought of what she’d do when she found the unbeliever who’d cacked the Italian, the fear in his eyes as she pressed the muzzle ring into his forehead, his last vision, the foreshortened keys of St Peter engraved on the slide.

“Prepare to receive extreme unction, infidel. Prepare to receive extreme unction.”

A little closer to home, the Daily Telegraph relates the following tale of woe:

The Liberal candidate for Epping and would-be attorney-general, prosecutor Greg Smith, is now at the centre of a controversy at the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. […]

He informed [senior Crown Prosecutor Patrick] Power that explicit material—a video—had allegedly been found on his PC by an IT technician.

Mr Smith then asked Mr Power to resign and allowed him to go home. But it was not until later that day Mr Smith called the office of Police Commissioner Ken Moroney—and another two days before Mr Power was arrested by police and charged.

Debnam sure can pick ’em. Now all he needs is a Shadow Health Minister with a history of malpractice, a property developer in the Shadow Planning portfolio and a pimp to advise him on the Status of Women, and then he’ll be completely unelectable.

I’ll finish up today with something that Tom, who does much of the media monitoring at work, found in the Campbelltown Macarthur Advertiser:

Several things come to mind:

  • Who advertises vasectomies?
  • What the hell does Dean Martin have to do with the big chop, anyway?
  • How many people in Macquarie Fields would have even heard of the guy?
  • Is this really the solution to the local rioting problem? No more teens = no more teen vandals?
  • What the hell kinda freak specialises exclusively in vasectomies?

And with those thoughts, I have to go. The webcam in the next cubicle keeps bugging me to kill Tony Blair or something…