Skip to main content

Blitz Spirit Vs. The Flu

It's official - or is it - swine flu, though relatively mild, is a pandemic in all but name, is spreading, and is closing schools, and stopping the US navy in its tracks, something not even pirates could do. Well, not in Britain. As if recoiling from their earlier gung-ho media frenzy, the British press is now taking an altogether stiffer upper lip in this new week of the epidemic - with plenty of commentators and hacks outdoing each other in terms of their indifference, even disdain, for the highly-contagious virus. "Slap people with masks" one journalist writes. Another mocks a young girl on her "deathbed" - with "cold symptoms". Even on Eyewear, sarcasm drips. It's as if, after the Nazi Blitz, nothing short of the Bubonic Plague is bloody well going to grind Blighty to a halt. Admirable sentiments. But loose lips sink ships - and cavalier attitudes can spread germs. Before dancing a jig on the grave of this swine flu, let's first give it another week, to see what it can do. Recall, a fortnight ago, there were no cases. Now, there are at least 30, with hundreds more suspected, in the UK. Flu cases double every three days. By Saturday, if there are 60 or so confirmed cases in the UK, expect Tuesday to bring news of 120. By next week, there'd be 240. Still okay, you might think - but that quickly doubles to 480, then a thousand. Once you are in to the thousands, you hit millions in a month. Everyone hopes this virus stops over the summer - and doesn't come back in the winter. Science says otherwise. The 50th anniversary of Snow's "two societies" claim was the other day - that literary types don't get science (and vice versa). Journalists should stop claiming this is either too dangerous, or too mild, just yet.
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

DANGER, MAN

Like a crazed killer clown, whether we are thrilled, horrified, shocked, or angered (or all of these) by Donald Trump, we cannot claim to be rid of him just yet. He bestrides the world stage like a silverback gorilla (according to one British thug), or a bad analogy, but he is there, a figure, no longer of fun, but grave concern.

There has long been a history of misogynistic behaviour in American gangster culture - one thinks of the grapefruit in the face in The Public Enemy, or Sinatra throwing a woman out of his hotel room and later commenting he didn't realise there was a pool below to break her fall, or the polluted womb in Pacino'sScarface... and of course, some gangsta rap is also sexist.  American culture has a difficult way with handling the combined aspects of male power, and male privilege, that, especially in heteronormative capitalist enclaves, where money/pussy both become grabbable, reified objects and objectives (The Wolf of Wall Street for instance), an ugly fus…

AMERICA PSYCHO

According to the latest CBS, ABC, etc, polls, Clinton is still likely to beat Trump - by percentile odds of 66% to 33% and change. But the current popular vote is much closer, probably tied with the error of margin, around 44% each. Trump has to win more key battleground states to win, and may not - but he is ahead in Florida...

We will all know, in a week, whether we live in a world gone madder, or just relatively mad.

While it seems likely calmer heads will prevail, the recent Brexit win shows that polls can mislead, especially when one of the options is considered a bit embarrassing, rude or even racist - and Trump qualifies for these, at least.

If 42-45% of Americans admit they would vote for Trump, what does that say about the ones not so vocal? For surely, they must be there, as well. Some of the undecided will slide, and more likely they will slide to the wilder and more exciting fringe candidate. As may the libertarians.

Eyewear predicts that Trump will just about manage to win th…

SEXTON SHORTLIST!

Announcing the Shortlist for the 2016 Sexton PrizeSeptember 13, 2016 / By Kelly Davio
Eyewear Publishing is pleased to announce the shortlist for the 2016 Sexton Prize. The finalists are, in no particular order, as follows:


THE BARBAROUS CENTURY, Leah Umansky
HISTORY OF GONE, Lynn Schmeidler
SEVERE CLEAR, Maya Catherine Popa
GIMME THAT. DON’T SMITE ME, Steve Kronen
SCHEHERAZADE AND OTHER REDEPLOYMENTS, David McAleavey
AN AMERICAN PURGATORY, Rebecca Gayle Howell
SIT IN THE DARK WITH ME, Jesse Lee Kercheval

The shortlist was selected by Eyewear’s Director Todd Swift with Senior Editor Kelly Davio. Don Share of Poetry Magazine will select the winning manuscript, which will be released at the 2017 AWP conference in Washington, D.C. The winner will be announced in October. 
Congratulations to our finalists!