If viewing the world according to the media, twitter and various others (including myself I admit), a visiting life-form could be forgiven for thinking that we live in some kind of neo-apocalyptic dystopia stalked by disease, deprivation and division.
While it’s true to some extent – there are facets of life today that are less than pleasant – for the soul of people-kind, it is not always best to dwell on the dour and distasteful, so today I thought I would try and find some news that has a touch of humanity about it.
Property building on the rise
A chap in China has done the unthinkable and built himself a luxury villa on top of a high-rise in Beijing.
This place is amazing; it looks like Blofeld’s Secret Island lair, replete with rocks, terraces, sculptures and hopefully a pond filled with vicious piranha ready to snap at the unfortunate visiting official.
I say that because, the authorities have asked Professor Yang to prove the legality of the building or it will be torn down – come on, it must have taken ages to construct and they wait until it is finished?
True, it must be a bit of an inconvenience for the people who live in the 26 storeys below the professor, but it gives the skyline a touch of mountainside in a desert plateau of concrete and glass.
If it does get destroyed, although heart-broken, the good doctor should develop this as a worldwide enterprise.
For a start, Centrepoint could do with a revamp, a luxury evil-genius’ hide-out would be perfect and make the shard look somewhat ordinary on the skyline.
Convert that doughnut on the Space Needle into a rocky outcrop from which corrupt scientists can fire “Giant frickin’ lasers” at the moon.
Even slightly barmy genii need somewhere to smoke their pipe and slip into a gin and tonic.
Architects take note – the future’s bright, the future’s Yang.
Quiche of the peace
It’s hardly the OK Corale but Berwick-on-Tweed has been the scene of a major stand-off between violent criminals, their hostage and the police.
In a siege that lasted five hours, two desperate burglars barricaded themselves into a café in the sleepy Border town in the early hours of this morning.
The unwitting victim in the siege was a frightened quiche.
It seems the burglars were intent on nothing more than the cessation of an attack of the munchies but led to the entire town’s police force trying to negotiate a peace.
As the contestants for the next series of Great British Bake Off were announced today, I can only draw the conclusion that they failed the auditions and were in some way getting their own back.
It seems hard to imagine what was going through the men’s minds at the time: “I want a helicopter and £50,000 in used notes or the Quiche gets it!”
It’s even more incomprehensible that Northumbria police thought 15 cars were an appropriate resource to spend on the incident – maybe it was an otherwise quiet night.
The men were finally arrested – they will presumably be charged with flan-slaughter.
Tackling the serious stories of the day and asking the questions other journalists are afraid to ask, Jeremy Paxman, presenter of the BBC’s flagship current affairs programme Newsnight sparked controversy yesterday and sent Twitter into a “meltdown”.
What was the news? Had Jeremy revealed a scandal that would bring the government to its knees? Had he uncovered the key to peace in the Middle East?
No, he had grown a beard.
I watched the programme and I can’t say I remember much about it, the beard was all consuming; it lived and breathed and was insightful and objective in the way good news beards should be.
It serves as a stark reminder that we just cannot let the heavyweight stories remain untold.
Well done Britain, you have conclusively shown that we are an intelligent nation which reacts with grace and poise to any given situation.
“HE’S GOT A BEARD!”
The world might be crashing headlong into financial and political Armageddon, but as long as we retain a sense of perspective and ensure Jezza’s face fuzz is the order of the day we’ll be ok.
It’s goatee from me and it’s goatee from him.