spiked-geist, 9 November
The cost of war-reporting; Britney's boobies; Members of the library; Restricted moo-vement
The cost of war-reporting
The Northern Alliance (NA) are nothing if not enterprising. While Bush and Blair organise fresh bombing of the Taliban, the NA have a whole new line of finance – the press corps. One lucky Chicago Tribune reporter claims the cost of living in his particular bleak, mud-covered corner of the country has shot up eightfold since the foreign media arrived. Clearly, all those people delivering satellite reports must get their power/food/daytrips to the front from somewhere, and there are plenty willing to provide.
The local economy has apparently been boosted by $40,000 per day – or over $1million per month. Accordingly, the Tajik border guards have been warning journalists crossing over into Afghanistan that anything less than $3000 in their pockets will get them nowhere. Another upshot of the seller’s market is that the Russians have been forced out of Afghanistan – again. Presumably, their expense accounts don’t go as far as those of their Western counterparts.
Rebels capitalize on flush reporters, Chicago Tribune, 6 November 2001
Eyes on the prize
One American who hasn’t been following the war too closely is Britney Spears. When asked at a recent press conference whether she supported the war in Afghanistan, she replied ‘Um, um….I don’t understand’ – before tentatively agreeing that she did. Which is probably why Chicago’s Kiss FM radio station decided to have a competition to win ‘Boobies like Britney’ rather than ‘Grasp of international geopolitics like Britney’.
To win, entrants had to send in photos of themselves with 50 words explaining why they deserved the $5000 first prize. However, after much outcry, the competition was renamed ‘Body like Britney’ – as if the idea of winning the chance to spend $5000 on general plastic surgery, rather than just on silicon implants, made the competition more classy. spiked-geist will keep you abreast of further developments.
People: War in Afghanistan leaves Britney speechless, Star Tribune, 7 November 2001
‘Kiss FM’ goes too far in Britney cash contest, Chicago Sun-Times, 7 November 2001
Members of the library
It all started when the library director in Boulder, Colorado decided it was inappropriate to hang a large American flag from the library’s glass ceiling. This provoked some scrutiny of what was on show at the library. Attention soon turned to the exhibit of 21 ceramic penises hanging from a washing line with the title ‘Hung out to dry’. Stars and Stripes, bad. Phallic parody, good.
All this penile dementia has apparently overshadowed the fiftieth anniversary bash of the city’s planning department, which is due to take place at the library. The director of the planning department complained of the lack of local press attention: ‘Fifty years of planning doesn’t cut it when you have a string of penises.’
Boulder library’s string of penises miffs some, RockyMountainNews.com, 8 November 2001
The idea of having ID cards in Britain may have been quietly shelved for the moment, but for the cows of Murshidabad district in West Bengal, India, it’s a different story. There is, apparently, a wave of cow smuggling going on and the answer is a rectangular piece of plastic with a unique ID and the signatures of the local commissioners, to be attached to the aforementioned animals.
There was a plan to have the cow’s photograph on the card, but this was regarded as too expensive. Probably impractical, too. It’s one thing to have a good idea, but there’s no point milking it. You’d have to get them to the train station, get them to queue at the photo booth in an orderly manner and then pose correctly while perched on the little rotating seat. Imagine the expressions on their faces. You think your passport photo is bad but this a whole udder story.
And now, ID cards for cows?, Times of India, 8 November 2001
To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.