Emma Thompson, who is promoting the remake of My Fair Lady, said this about the screen icon Hepburn:
“I find Audrey Hepburn fantastically twee. Twee is whimsy without wit. It’s mimsy-mumsy sweetness without any kind of bite. And that’s not for me. She can’t sing and she can’t really act, I’m afraid. I’m sure she was a delightful woman – and perhaps if I had known her I would have enjoyed her acting more, but I don’t and I didn’t, so that’s all there is to it, really.”
The revelation of Belle de Jour and the discovery that she is an educated, beautiful middle-class research scientist has initiated criticism that her story might glamourise and sanatise the work of prostitutes. But the Guardian has quickly cleared up any misconceptions of the life of prostitutes which might have arisen with the outing of Belle de Jour.
Tanya Gold writes:
“In 2003, a study published in the Journal of Trauma Practice interviewed 854 working prostitutes (including male and transgender prostitutes) in nine countries. It is a saga of battery and desolation. Behind the dry percentage figures we find punched faces, beaten bodies, broken ribs, black eyes and strangled necks. Read More…
I found this account of being sick and cared for by somebody who has lived in both those Western countries very interesting. I hope all Americans resisting the plan read it. And here is what Simon Hoggart had to say about the “loathsome American right”:
There are few tribes more loathsome than the American right, and their vicious use of the shortcomings in the NHS to attack Barack Obama’s attempts at health reform are a useful reminder. Read More…
Let’s hope that America’s new diplomatic efforts with Iran will change the current relationship between the countries because:
The scale of the problem facing the new American president was reinforced yesterday when a senior aide to Ahmadinejad, Aliakbar Javanfekr, said that, despite the calls from the US, Iran had no intention of stopping its nuclear activities. When asked about a UN resolution calling for the suspension of Iran’s uranium enrichment, Javanfekr, the presidential adviser for press affairs, replied: “We are past that stage.”
I’m wondering, like many, what to make of Obama’s silence about Israel. It would have been so interesting to know what his instinctual response would have been. (And Hillary Clinton’s…and then to know how they resolved any differences.) We’re not to know what he thinks yet. And when we do hear from him, I suspect it will be a considered response coming from within the big American machinary.
Will Self says ‘…President-elect Barack Obama’s silence is so depressing at this crucial juncture. True, Obama set out his compliance to the pro-Israel lobby in the US a long way back on the campaign trail, when he told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) that under his presidency there would be no negotiation concerning Jerusalem, but still some hoped that he might show more mettle when it came to the actuality. Dream on.’
Obama’s aides say that ‘he is following established protocol that the US has only one president at a time’. This didn’t stop him from condemning the Mumbai attacks though.
I often wish I were a twenty-year-old mother with small children. For many obvious reasons: I would cope better with the little sleep. I could run around effortlessly with them. And, I would look better. Think of 33-year-old Angelina Jolie: gorgeous, thin, and already thinking of adopting a seventh child! She’s almost a whole ten years younger than me.
A young mum I am not. I find myself hoping that one of my daughters will do a Bristol Palin on me. If this were to happen, I could possibly be knitting booties before my eighties. But I suspect my opinion on sex education might work against me on this.
The good news, fellow older parents, is that ‘delaying parenthood to get the best qualifications and a career first gives children a better start in life’. Ok, I might not have spent my youth getting a PhD and climbing the corporate ladder but delay parenting I did do – it took me a damn long time to find my prince.
The Guardian’s report on the Millenium Cohort Study, a survey of more than 15,000 children born in the first two years of the decade, lists many interesting findings about younger and older parents. Older parents are generally better educated and wealthier. We spend more time reading to our children. We have better routines (some of us, not me, are more likely to read and to follow the queen of routine-parenting Gina Ford). Apparently we feed our children breakfast and avoid obesity. Children of older parents do better at school too.
All this is good news, but I still think being younger and more energetic would benefit my children in other ways. Their offspring would have a hearing, seeing and living grandmother.
The Guardian reported yesterday that a new video has emerged showing Sarah Palin playing a central role in a church service in Alaska in which witchcraft is denounced.
Thomas Muthee, a Kenyan pastor, made a passionate plea: “In the name of Jesus, in the name of Jesus, every form of witchcraft is what you rebuke. In the name of Jesus, in the name of Jesus, father make away now.”
I am sure that the US press will be asking her questions about this very soon. Or as soon as the McCain campaign let’s her talk to the press after her sterling performance in the interview with Katie Couric on CBS last night. See my blog on this.