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What Kind Of Week Has It Been? 19th October, 2012

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Mourning the Lady Sybil of news.

"I have lived in important places, times when great events were decided", claimed the Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh. Some weeks, I get exactly what he means. This was not such a week.

It seemed that in the last seven days the news has been sillier and stranger than usual, like a Kit Kat without any wafer. Then again, it was never going to be any other way when the big ticket item of the week was a man jumping out of a balloon from space.

You could I suppose argue that setting the countdown clock for Scottish independence (or not) is a milestone moment, but that won't get interesting or significant for years yet. You could also claim that the EU winning the Nobel Peace Prize was a remarkable thing, but given how it's been the Gordon Banks of war for nearly seventy years it's remarkable it's taken this long for them to win it. You could even say Starbucks being revealed as tax-agile hoorbuckets was noteworthy, but really, were you genuinely surprised? No, this was a week where the Prime Minister and Chancellor's cats had a domestic, Chris De Burgh took embarrassing to an almost avant garde level and war criminals railed on about robot mannequins.

Not convinced? Well let's take a trip to the Cavan/Fermanagh border between the Republic and Northern Ireland, a place where cars roll up hill and burgers eat people at the best of times. But at the weekend thousands of people showed up to show their support for local impresario Sean Quinn, who created decades of employment but was shafted by The Man and lost his business through no fault of his own. Except by "decades of employment" I mean "insurance premium levy increases until the end of time". And by "Shafted by the man" I mean "Engaged in incestuous borrowing practices to make a massive financial gamble that he lost". And by "no fault of his own", I mean "committed more faults than a drunken showjumper". And the weirdest thing? This is the second time the local folk have turned up in their thousands for him.

At least Sean Quinn didn't have to send an email round his (former) employees to spread the word, but that's exactly what uber-rich Austin Powers villains and failed close harmony singers The Koch Brothers did. Basically, if Obama wins re-election, their employees may have to "suffer the consequences". Like what, waking up to a horse head in their beds? People have said that Republicans are caught in the past, it turns out you can be more specific and say it's some time before 1872.

That Victorian influence has even been evident in Republican photo ops too, with Paul Ryan doing a stint at a soup kitchen, but it didn't go very well. This begs two questions: How many seconds in a stint, and how bad a human being do you have to be to irk a St Vincent De Paul volunteer?

Paul Ryan is of course a devout Catholic as well as a Republican, and according to Kansas election candidate Steve Fitzgerald all Catholics should be Republican. According to him, you can't be a Democrat and a member of the one true faith because of their stance on the gayness and the so forth. Of course, in so saying, he makes a fundamental mistake about religion: after all Catholicism was built on saying one thing and doing another.