Well, it's been a bad year for dictators all round. North Korea is no exception, and now Kim Jong-Il has died of natural causes. The world mourns one of the greatest men of our times. Certainly, the world of golf is poorer for not having his ability to get 38-under par (11 holes in one) in it, but that is just one of many talents that the people of North Korea can no longer rely on. A prolific writer, it was said in his autobiography that he had written no fewer than 1,500 books whilst at university, but having mastered the art of prose, he turned his attention to alternative entertainment forms. He went on to write 6 operas, and became obsessed by film (Perhaps obsessed isn't quite strong enough to do justice for his love of film. He liked films so much he kidnapped a South Korean actor/director couple and made them make films until they absconded 8 years later), and apparently produced a 100-part series on the history of North Korea. In later life, having conquered everything that stood before him as a personal challenge, he had waterslides installed in his house, such that he may enjoy the relaxation of retirement. He leaves behind a legacy of an impoverished nation, cruelly misled by wild propaganda (He has reportedly convinced the people of North Korea that he can control the weather with his mood) and 5 children, one of whom will be the next to lead North Korea through another glorious 17 years of unending success.
Christmas news, now! Eastenders beat Coronation Street in the famous "Battle of the Soaps" for the hearts and minds of people who are too drunk to care what's on TV, and slightly hate adverts. Well done! Of course, the Battle of the Soaps is a long tradition, started when, in 1999, Ross Kemp smashed Ken Barlow over the head with a champagne bottle at the Baftas, leading to a ratings explosion as people were desperate to see what these shows were about. Barlow and Kemp came to a gentleman's agreement: Whichever soap got most viewers on Christmas Day god a mug engraved with "King of the Soaps" given to it by the other soap, containing the ashes of a pump handle at the Rover's Return, after an infamous poem in Hello! magazine, in which a reader mourned the death of Coronation Street, and said the Ashes would head to London. Since 2003, the real Ashes have been kept safely locked away in the BBC archives, but a replica is given to the winning soap each year.
Prince Philip has been ill, which has been bizarrely big news. The Sun went with "90 year old man in shock not-perfect condition horror!" while The Standard went with "Diana's Revenge: Philip in mortal threat after attack by Britain's best loved ghost!". Nobody seemed to consider an old man in not great condition a normal thing, somewhat irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, rather than a newsworthy headline story.
AMERICAN ELECTION UPDATE
Since my last foray into writing about news, Hermain Cain has spectacularly imploded on the campaign trail for Republican nomination. Elections in America take about 30 years to complete (We're still not sure who won in 2000) so ignore the fact that a man can collapse in the election nearly a year before the vote, and focus on the brilliant things he has brought to us, including quoting the Pokemon song as something to inspire us, his flat-rate 9% tax on absolutely everything (Pointed out later to be pretty similar to SimCity) and, of course, the sex scandals. The man is single-handedly trying to capture every headline bulletin in the news at 10. He was the fore-runner before the trifling matter of him being almost catastrophically bad forced him to retire, leaving the way clear for Newt Gingrich, according to political pundits. Initially, what sort of name is "Newt"? Secondly, and perhaps more pressingly, the man is a known-philanderer and took a $1.6 million payment for doing nothing for a company (Smells a LITTLE like bribery). I shall repeat; He is the forerunner. His challengers have fallen by the wayside due to being crazy (Bachmann) then slightly less crazy, but quite stupid (Perry), being Herman Cain, with all the accompanying disasters (Cain) and worst of all "Being Mitt Romney" (Romney). Romney is realistically, the last hope of sanity in a Republican election that isn't so much littered with madness as a landfill of crazy. He is plagued by the issues of "Being a former Democrat", and "Being so wildly and unimaginably rich that all reasonable voters should find him utterly unelectable". But of course, these are republicans. There are two final candidates, the fringe Jon Huntsman, who has the worst thing possible: Good international experience due to being ambassador to China. And Ron Paul. Who is admirable in his consistency and desire to see through his libertarian ideals despite the fact states' rights went out the window as a concept sometime around 1865. He would gladly see Federal government vanish and states take precedence. His foreign policy is isolationist (Rather than invasionist). What's worst is not that his policies are dangerously bad, but rather more that they are so removed from the standard political process that people are deeply, DEEPLY disenfranchised (9% approval rating for Congress. Hitler probably ranked higher in 1940s West Europe than that) with that he may actually do quite well electorally.
That is your news. Fin.