Well, it's been all go in North Korea, this week. Ex-President Bill Clinton seems to be the modern-day Julius Caesar. He came, he saw, he charmed and conquered, and he returned with the goods. Now they wonder if relations will improve. The Guardian Online's editor has an interesting take on the whole situation. Sobering, no?
Meanwhile, back on home soil (for me, at least), Henry Porter reminds us to wake up and smell the coffee. Whether there will be an independent inquiry is up to the Tories, apparently. Yeah, because they'd never collude in torture... And while we're at it, the inquiry into the events from September 11th to the War in Iraq has finally begun. No wonder Brown's off on holiday: he just can't seem to stop working, especially if it is for publicity... err, I mean, public good. For all Gordo's faults, I'm not sure I'd be too keen on some of the alternatives, one in particular. With a political system crashing around their ears, many jump ship, while the House of Lords finds a handy solution...
Crossing the Channel, flying over France and the Alps, taking a southward turn, and landing in Rome, we realise we've never had it so good. Expenses and torture are nothing compared to Signor Berlusconi's antics. While politics - with respect to women, in particular - seems to pale into insignificance in Sudan; and the Aung San Suu Kyi debacle continues in Burma. Speaking of democracy, the corrupt cheat is sworn in by the theocratic dictator: lovely. Though he may not be the only president who lacks support, as Obama's healthcare reform bill continues its troublesome course through Congress. What is it with the US? They get a good thing, and they reject it!
Finally, ETA claim responsiblity for two terrorist attacks in Burgos and Durangi, in Northern Spain. Yeah, still no-one's told them that killing people doesn't help their cause...
Even more pressure on us poor university students. It isnt good enough to get a First, you see, since apparently, it's all being dumbed down. Here's an idea, perhaps more people are benefitting from the opportunities of Higher Education, and the mean intellectual level of the country's youth is improving? No? Ah, well, just an idea.
Having said that, though I'm all for students fighting back, this is a little too much. Stop blaming, and spend your time looking for a job. It's called a recession for a reason.
In any case, the supposed problem may not last much longer, since fewer UK children can read and write, or do simple arithmetic, by the age of 11! That's a real crisis, people. Perhaps if we stop treating our children like criminals, and get on with teaching them, results may improve. This initiative from the US could be a good start.
Arts and Culture
I cannot wait to see this, when I get back to London. Sounds like a decent English production of Tennessee Williams, at last. Speaking of which, I'm quivering at the thought of an all-black version of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, later on in the year.
An interview with Paul McGann, star of Withnail and I and the BBC and Fox's 1996 Doctor Who collaboration.
Lets bring classical music back to the people, and away from the stuffy concert halls, says this man. Quite right! And Cuba agrees with him, when it comes to ballet.
Straight homophobe cries over his punishment: is this what it takes to get people to stop it? Apparently so. I'm not complaining.
Same-sex couples in Wisconsin, USA line up to get something close to legal status; and still the haters complain.
Oscar-winner and Gay rights activist Dustin Lance Black sues over the release of some salacious photos. Quite right. PS, the article loses all integrity with the final dig. Quite wrong.
"I'm not gay, I just like dyeing my hair!" Alright, love, calm down. The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
The UK is pulling out of the recession this early, eh? Don't believe that one for a second, especially, based on this evidence. Nevertheless, it does mean Poundland finally gets the recognition and respect it deserves: for the record, I was a fan before it was popular, so there.
One for the "they come here and take our jobs" lot. Actually, they give them back after ashort while. Maybe they don't feel welcome? Our loss.
Charlie Brooker Says: Here are some even more ideas for stupid films.
Real Madrid insures Cristiano Ronaldo's legs for $144 million. Good God, this world is destined to eternal destruction.
I might try this for my return flight to the UK.
Oldies latch on to Facebook; Young people get put off. So, what's new?
Buried Alive to find oneself? I'll pass, thanks.
I never thought this was a real problem. Suddenly The 40-Year-Old Virgin feels like a documentary...
...While this old story never dies: "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."
What is it with Humanity and mass hysteria?. THIS is why we need to get a grip and STOP fretting!
The Week in Pictures (courtesy of BBC News)