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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thursday Trendwatch

Much as we hate to do so, we must begin today's Trendwatch in Europe, where TURKEY AND FRANCE (10) have come to the diplomatic equivalent of blows over France's passage of a law declaring it "a crime to deny that the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks nearly a century ago constitute genocide."  This is a sensitive subject for the Turks, who prefer to refer to the mass killings of 1915 as merely a "large-scale de-lifing."  While I sympathize with the French decision, and agree that Turkey should face up to its past, uh, indiscretions, I have no great enthusiasm for laws that restrict free speech.  If people want to deny the Armenian genocide--or, indeed, the Holocaust--they are free to do so, and everybody else is free to subject them to the scorn and ridicule that they deserve.  Besides, is there some enormous wave of Frenchmen running around denying the Armenian genocide?

Maybe San Francisco can pass a law criminalizing the disparagement of ALEX SMITH (9).  Not that this is much of a problem anymore.  At least for now, the previously maligned 49ers quarterback would seem safe from criticism, with the team having already clinched their division and cruising toward the playoff.  Smith should remain above criticism until at least mid-January and the inevitable evisceration by Green Bay.  The Packers not only have a nearly unstoppable offense and strong defense, they also have an added advantage: access to Wisconsin cheese.  According to a new study, cheese provides surprising benefits in a person's LDL CHOLESTEROL (8)  level (that's the bad one).
In fairness, the "benefits" are relative: Cheese is "better" than butter for a person's LDL cholesterol levels.  So, if you were considering drinking a big ol' glass of butter, you might want to consider shotgunning some Cheez Wiz instead.

The Solipsist sends its best wishes to the family of ETTA JAMES (7).  The 73-year-old singer has been hospitalized with incurable leukemia.

Ms. James has suffered from a series of illnesses over the last several years, including dementia and kidney failure, and we hope she and her family can find some peace at last.

In lighter news, the husband of "real" housewife of "New" Jersey, TERESA GIUDICE (6), has been arrested for pretending to be his own brother.  Seriously, I know nothing about this show, but I can understand wanting to change one's identity to avoid being associated with it.  I just think the guy should have looked beyond his own family.  Kind of defeats the purpose, you know. . . .

Coming in at number 5 are INVESTMENT STRATEGIES, which I guess means it's time for the Solipsist's Can't-Miss-Investment of the week:  I recommend putting everything into. . . LLAMAS!  You're welcome.

BRITNEY SPEARS (4) is in the news.  Again.  For getting married.  Again.  Her first ex-husband, Jason Alexander (no, not THAT Jason Alexander) thinks her latest engagement is a scam.
Well, he would say that!  After his own 17-minute marriage to Britney, ANY future relationship the pop-princess would pursue would necessarily seem sham-like, but, Jason, you can't expect a girl to stay single forever!  Shame on you!

And shame on CHRISTIAN BALE (3)!  At least, that's what the Chinese authorities are saying.  Last week, Bale stirred up some trouble when he had the audacity to try and visit a human-rights activist while in China doing publicity for a movie that was financed by the Chinese government.  When he tried to meet Chen Guangcheng, simply to shake the man's hand, Bale was physically stopped by a group of government-backed guards, an altercation captured by a CNN film crew.  It should be noted that Chen is not in prison and is thus, in theory, free to meet and/or be visited by whomever he wants.  But still, the Chinese government is right!  Christian Bale SHOULD be ashamed of himself!  I haven't heard of such outrageous, offensive behavior since that time Bono gave a thumbs-up to Nelson Mandela!  Celebrities!

I think China should throw the book at Christian Bale!  Maybe he can share a cell with  "American Idol" runner-up ADAM LAMBERT (2), who was arrested in a bar-brawl in Finland.  I'm sure. . .one of them would learn. . .some kind of lesson.

And speaking of learning lessons, CALLISTA GINGRICH (1) will need to learrn some lessons about Twittequette.  The aspiring First Lady has taken to Twitter to bash Mitt Romney, making fun of him for, among other things, his unseemly displays of wealth--this from the woman who, along with her husband, had a half-million dollar credit line at Tiffany's.  By the way, wasn't Callista Gingrich the name of the Necromancy Professor at Hogwarts?

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