Dallas, Taxus

According to a study in the influential "British Medical Journal", if you are looking for a safe profession (leaving aside Accountant or Lawyer), you would be better advised to plump for Bomb Disposal Expert or Formula 1 Racing Driver than Soap Opera Star. The BMJ informs us that characters in these B-TV sagas have three times the…

Brave New World?

When, at 3 o'clock on the morning of September 30 , I flopped, bleary-eyed, into a chair  in a Berlin hotel room, activated my laptop and started to write about John Le Carre's Cold War Trilogy, it did not occur to me that the ensuing post was to be the beginning of my (first) trilogy. The story so far: A…

Judge for yourself

Silvio Berlusconi has a mission. Having already successfully nobbled two branches of government - the executive and legislature - he is out gunning for the third. In a speech that in any other country would have had him up in front of the Beak accused of incitement, the newly convicted (this one's for tax evasion) former…

Populist leaders are ruled. OK?

Never one for crosswords or brain teasers, in my younger days I got my quiz kicks from lineups of leaders at  G7 Economic Summits. Always familiar were the Presidents of the US and France, the Chancellor of Germany and the Prime Minister of the UK. The Canadian premier would generally give himself away by the jutting jaw honed…

The ultimate illegal alien

While Shuster, Siegel and Kane were, without doubt, the Olympians of Action Hero Comics,  the creators of Superman and Batman - each the 24 year-old  son of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe - were never going to be the  heirs of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Man of Steel, the latest Superman blockbuster that I ran faster…

Holy smoke

On Tuesday I was asked to review a generic letter to clients that had been "professionally" translated from Hebrew to English. Wielding my red pen with the hungry anticipation of a famished vampire, I proceeded to correct just about everything on the  page except  the spaces between the paragraphs. Not being able to resist the kind…