- A perfect Auntie Marian moment on RTE1 this morning. During a discussion on Sarah Palin's alleged affair with a black basketball player one of her panel opined that you couldn't even call it an affair as neither were married at the time, so it was merely what people do before they get married (i.e. screw around). Finucane's response: "well what some people do".
- Demented polemicist and Bush lover Christopher Hitchens gets a fine skewering from Fintan O'Toole in today's Observer:
He initially compares Hitchens to George Orwell and then proceeds to show the many ways he differs, including some ugly espousals of Enoch Powell's views on immigration and Empire nostalgic guff about the English language. He also scoffs at Hitchens' embracing of the US as the new Anglophone empire - replacing his beloved British Empire. Bracing stuff. Hitchens writes well, there's no doubt, but that's not enough to forgive him his unpleasant views.
- Beware all visits to the doctor. I ambled into my GP last Friday afternoon looking for a prescription to clear up a minor sinus problem. He did the usual tests and finding something a bit dodgy sent me to the nearest A & E for a few tests. Without boring you with the details (well let's say I don't recommend arterial blood tests), I suddenly found myself in the intensive care unit, wedged between a man evidently dying from cancer (and making desperate attempts to get out of bed festooned with drips and leads), and a young junkie suffering from a stab wound with a very uninhibited hawking habit. The reason I knew all about them was that only thin curtains separated us and the doctors made no attempt at discretion as they talked with them and about them. I managed to free myself the next day after a discussion with a very impressive consultant (tall, handsome, articulate, debonair and free from arrogance and bullshit - sounded English or maybe colonial). He told me the facts, and the odds, and left the decision up to me.