The glass ceiling for Saudi Arabia women begins to crack

saudi_arabian_womenAthlete Sarah Attar appears to have shattered some very thick glass ceilings when she became the first Saudi Arabia woman to appear in an Olympics in London last year.

Her debut may have been inauspicious in its sporting achievement, but ‘the Kingdom’ has since been forced to loosen its appalling treatment of women. Simple actions such as driving a car were banned for women, but a recent diktat has told Members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in Saudi Arabia (religious police) not to arrest women for doing so. Continue reading

Don’t get me wrong, some of my best friends are Australian

It seems as if the Olympics medal table is now as important to a country’s self-esteem and economy as the latest bulletin from Standard & Poor.

Naturally any clinging to this particular refuge is a place for scoundrels and idiots Continue reading

Forget Flash Mobs, it is Cash Mobs that will save the economy

Remember Flash Mobs, the post-Situationist ‘situations’ where interested people were mobilised over email and social networks to create an absurd happening?

In their day when there was more money about and everybody had time to have fun they had their place, but in the post-recession reality of 2012 they look like whimsies. Continue reading

Birds do it, bees do it, but Fifty Shades of Grey doesn’t do it

Twitter was fantastic last Friday night as the Olympics opening ceremony unfurled in front of us. The gags came thick and fast and it was a wonderful juxtaposition of spectacle and sentiment. Amazing.

But something was missing in Doyle’s layered tableaux of Britishness. At first I thought it might have been a band missing from the shuffle list of British music, but then I got it. THERE WASN’T A SINGLE MENTION OF FIFTY SHADES OF GREY! Continue reading

The end of innocence began in 1972 with Alan Minter's bronze and dead Israeli athletes

The bells have just been ringing and there are 12 hours to go before the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics.

London fop, Mayor and covert anarchist Boris Johnson has become the most famous man in the world, something that the cast of Have I Got News For You still can’t believe and something it is best not to think about for too long.

His speech last night with the reference to Mitch Romney minded me of the scene in Orwell’s 1984 when the crowds in Trafalgar Square are still roaring even when it is announced that Eurasia’s previous enemy is now its ally. Boris as Big Brother? It could happen, it really could, maybe it already has. Continue reading