Whether at home or abroad, shopping seems to have become the national pastime in regions around the world. Shopping for pleasure is not a new phenomenon: the trouble with it today
is that our generation cannot afford the financial and environmental
costs that come with it.
With photos of women in black bikinis striking provocative poses, Maxim magazine devoted five full pages in their July 2007 issue to answer the single most pressing question in the Middle East: "Are the women in the Israeli Defense Forces the world's sexiest soldiers?"
Elliott Abrams, an influential neocon and pro-Israel lobbyist par excellence, has been the principal Middle East adviser on the National Security Council staff throughout most of the Bush administration - all without most Washington observers even noticing.
During the lazy lacuna of the 2005 Christmas break, the Australian "silly season" was suddenly interrupted by the serious when the country's richest man, media magnate Kerry Packer, died of kidney failure. One of the most influential, colorful and controversial figures in Australia, Packer's death marked the end of a momentous era.
He stalks, he pounces, he defies all the howls of anguish and protest and drags his prey down.
Rupert Murdoch's hostile takeover of The Wall Street Journal dominated the business news for most of this year. And yet despite all that coverage, the real story never came out.
In a crowded bar in downtown Vancouver, a group of reporters from the city's main daily newspaper, The Vancouver Sun, gather after work to do what most people revel in after a long week at the office: bitch about the boss. While images of the Iraq War, Wal-Mart and Kid Rock quickly flash and disappear on the television screens above them, editors are mocked, columnists are ridiculed and the paper their bylines appear in is panned up and down.
Remember Stripes, Bill Murray's take on American self-esteem after Vietnam? "We're American soldiers!" Murray famously joked. "We've been kicking ass for 200 years! We're 10-1!" Well, make it 10-2. Which begs the question: exactly how much is this postwar period going to suck?