Tag Archives: Obama

The Year in Flags: A Review of 2012

30 Dec

Old GloriesSadly, this year, the American flag seems to have spent quite a lot of time at half-mast. In July, it was lowered for the victims of the Aurora shooting; in August, for the victims of the Oak Creek shooting; in September, for the victims of the attack in Libya; and now for the victims in Newtown. Flying the flag at half-mast symbolically honours those who died, but I can’t help thinking that preventing future tragedies might be a more meaningful tribute. Unfortunately, that would require big picture thinking—not always a popular choice as evidenced by this year’s Presidential election. Thankfully, the right man won, but enough voted for Romney to show that many Americans are confused by issues of class. “Middle class” seems to be interpreted as “not homeless” and ultra-rich means “me, not at the moment, of course, but any day now.” One’s actual lifestyle and the reality of how it and the country would be affected were inconsequential. A bit like what’s happening with the current debates on gun control. And on mental health care. And on who should have won The Voice.

Surely, there’s got to have been something positive in America over the last twelve months . . . let me think . . . oh yeah, more states and even the President spoke up in support of marriage equality. Oops, I forgot, it was that which directly led to shooting in Sandy Hook, right, Rev. James Dobson?

Union JacksCloser to home, though, things looked much cheerier: the Union Jack was flying all over the damn place. We waved the flag for the Queen’s Jubilee, for a successful London Olympics and for William’s good work in promptly impregnating the wife. Well done to us all!

Of course, the Tories still want to continue with their obviously-successful-so-far austerity cuts (after all, those Jubilee and Olympic celebrations don’t come cheap, you know), but luckily, this year the BBC taught us that if you close your eyes to the bad stuff, it goes away—never to return. So as long as you’re not young, old, unemployed, working or a Christian woman who wants to serve her church, 2012’s been champion for you!

Now, my dears, I know this sounds quite gloomy and doomy. (Perhaps I should have warned you in advance to delay reading until you’re sober, I apologise.) If you were expecting a bit of harmless fun, I’m afraid you may have confused me with black tar heroin. I’m all about the harsh truth, you know that, so put your seatbelt on, baby, because you’re about to get hit with the harshest truth of all: I’ve still got faith in humanity. You, yes, you, the one sitting on the chair, your continued commitment to keeping my books in circulation bettering yourselves and our world is proof that, despite the bad news, there is goodness out there, my friends.

So together let’s make next year a better one, yeah?


The World Is Breaking My Heart Today

15 Nov

I swear if it weren’t for the intense connection I share with one Mister John Humphrys , I don’t even know if I could face the headlines these days. So I’ve decided to respond to recent events with appropriate levels of hyperbole and/or sarcasm.

Of course, there’s more news today re: the BBC scandal. The whole thing is absolutely shocking and disgusting—both the alleged actions of the perpetrators and the alleged inaction of those who seemed to have known. Obviously my heart goes out to the victims, but I also acknowledge the feelings of those who are learning unsavoury details about celebrities they grew up listening to or watching. Thankfully, I’ve never had that experience myself, but I’m sure it must be unpleasant in its own way.

Then I heard more from Mitt Romney (wasn’t he supposed to have gone away now?), who thoughtfully explained that the reason that Obama won the election is because the President was using the government’s money to give gifts to people to lure them to the Democrats’ side.  What gifts were these—tickets to concerts, dinners or cruises? No, says Mittens. It was even more outrageous than that. Obama was giving them health care and education, through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Dream Act (oh my!). Plus he was actually trying to help people get access to the vote. Tell me it ain’t so! And who were these dodgy gift receivers? Latinos. Blacks. Immigrants. Women. Young people. Wait, wait, wait there, fella—you’re trying to tell me that Obama was actually using his government position to try help those people[i]? What the? Now obviously, there is just no reason why the president of any nation should give a shit about women. We can cross them off the list of who matters immediately, no argument there.  And trying to help Latinos, black people and foreigners—that just doesn’t make sense, because those groups don’t include you, do they, Mitt? How can that even be legal? And lastly, young people? Come on now, that’s just going too far. Why should any American be concerned about young people? It’s not like they live in our homes or came out of our bodies or will play any role whatsoever in our futures. Right, Mitt?

Romney, of course, doesn’t believe in “gifts.” Unless you mean money and tax cuts for kajillionaires. But those “gifts” don’t count, do they, because rich, older, white men (like say, Mitt Romney himself) deserve those things ergo they’re not “gifts” at all. Easy peasy!

Speaking of rich assholes, I then read about what’s going on at the Hostess company in the US. Workers there are striking and the head Hostess honchos have said, quit striking by close of the day or we’re liquidating the whole operation. So there. Cue outrage from the American public. Why? Because Hostess makes Twinkies and Wonder Bread. Never eaten a Twinkie? Don’t worry, you will, as they and the cockroaches will be the only things left when you, against all odds, awake to realise you are the only human to survive the nuclear holocaust. Twinkies may taste sweeter, but injecting bleach straight into your veins will pretty much produce the same effect on your body as Twinkies do.[ii] Yet Americans feed them to children. Even my own mother fed one to me once! Yes, it’s true! As for Wonder Bread: in my fifth grade health class, our teacher skipped out one day (the day we were going to discuss menstruation, though I’m sure that was purely coincidental). The substitute the school booked was a youngish man, who, when he took off his suit coat, already had his shirt sleeves rolled up (why that fact stuck with me and what exactly it implies, I do not know).  He silently opened a bag of Wonder Bread, took out one slice, moistened it and slapped it against the blackboard where it stuck. He then announced that the class time would be spent in silent reading (our choice of book). It was. Just as the bell rang an hour later, the sub pointed to the slice—still clinging to the blackboard—and said, “That is what Wonder Bread does inside your body and that is the greatest health lesson I could teach you today.”

So Hostess announces, hey America, you’re going to lose these great chemical-laden delectables unless these selfish strikers get their shit together. And sadly many Americans fall headfirst for it (luckily as their heads are clearly empty, this is less dangerous than it sounds). In fact, one clever Yank tweeted, “Great, now I’ve got to stockpile Twinkies because the world is full of fucktards.” The workers are striking because they are being asked to take an 8% pay cut and lose some healthcare and pension benefits. And apparently that makes them fucktards. Yet a kajillionaire who refuses to pay a little more tax to benefit others, he’s not a fucktard. He’s a good American.

All of this is enough to distress any sensible, clear thinking person, let alone one so elegantly-coiffeured as my good self. I think I shall retire to my chamber to nurse my broken heart and curse the dastards who walk amongst us.

[i] According to the 2010 US Census:

Hispanic or Latino=16.3% of American population
Black or African American=12.6% of the American population
Foreign born=12.9% of American population
Female=50.8% of the American population
Young (ages 18-24)=9.9% of the American population

[ii] This is probably a good time to remind you that I am not a scientist.

Advice on Concession and Victory Speeches

7 Nov

Mitt Romney

This is your chance to finally say what you really feel, not what you think will trick desperate people into voting for you.

Tell us that you absolutely hate poor people.

Tell us that you think what gays do is gross.

Tell us that you will baptize Obama after he dies.

Tell us what you’re thinking about when you do that creepy smile.

Do it. What have you got to lose? You’ve already lost.

Be a big man now, Mitt, and be honest.

Barack Obama


Remedies for Election Anxiety

6 Nov

Today, Americans all over the world, well, mainly in America, will be making a big decision: electing an imperfect man or a creepily smiling robot who is programmed to care only about rich, white people. I confess to feeling quite anxious about the outcome of this whole decision process.

Of course, I care about this because I am half American (50% American + 50% British = 100% sexy). But more importantly, I am a citizen of the world, and this election will have global ramifications. Don’t believe me? I’ve got two words for you: Pippa Middleton. In her own country, no one gives a rat’s patooie about her, not even her own parents. But in America, she’s still showing up in celeb magazines, ergo she has a reason to keep on living, so don’t you tell me that what happens in America has no effect beyond its borders. Therefore, as some polling stations in the US begin to close up shop, I am guessing that I am not alone in feeling a bit stressed out about what’s going to occur next.

It’s too late in the day to make a difference now—I’ve offered up all the logic I could and promised all the sexual favours I never intend to honour to try to get people to see the light. There’s also no point in trying to make plans; the horror of a Romney victory is just too incomprehensible to deal with at the moment—let’s deal with that tragedy when it actually faces us. Despite my knowing these things in my brain, it did nothing to ease the tension I felt in my body.

Symptoms of election anxiety may include a bad tum (guilty), headache, tremors, fatigue, insomnia, tearfulness, muscle cramps, a desire to punch random people, and unruly hair. None of these symptoms responds to traditional treatment. Christopher thoughtfully topped up my morning vodka with peppermint tea, but alas it did not settle my stomach in the slightest. So he and I spent the rest of the day testing out other remedies—activities to keep us distracted—which I shall share with you forthwith.

Watch box sets of your favourite television comedies

Regardless of where they’re located or what their qualifications are, television pundits know fuck all so don’t bother gluing yourself to the news. Great television comedy writers, though, know how to make you laugh and that is always, whether you wear a blue or red tie, a good thing.

Do something physical

Moving your body will help distract your mind—try some keep fit exercises, do a little housecleaning, play table tennis, dance to music or bounce up and down as part of sexy sex. Do not, however, go outside of the house. If the election is called while you’re out, you may be at risk against the possible zombie apocalypse.

Play a game

Christopher and I invented an election-themed game called ‘You Choose.’ One person presents a dilemma to the other and if that person’s choice matches theirs, they win. Some suggestions: Corrie or Eastenders? Fizzy or still? Stones or Beatles? Black Cats or Magpies? Automatic or stick? UK Gold or UK Gold +1? You can up the ante by making it a drinking game or going for a ‘strip’ version. To be honest, I don’t really understand how you make those rules work but what I do know is somehow I’ve ended up rather drunk and down to my skivvies, and I’ve still got a smile on my face.


It’s not fun or flash, but curling up into the foetal position in the corner of a room will get you through. If there is a recount or major delay in the results announcement, though, do not attempt to cower for longer than twelve hours at a time.

Do your best to get through, my friends. It’s going to be a long night. And just in case the worst happens and we wake to a dramatically changed world, just know this: I love you and no one can take that away from us.

Election Day USA Is On Its Way

1 Nov

It’s less than a week until Election Day in the United States of America.  I’ve sent my postal vote through: I voted for the candidate whose policies and values are closest to mine, the one I think will be best for the country. Is that how you’ll be choosing your candidate? Does that mean you and I will be voting for the same candidate? Not necessarily. What it does mean is that Americans have different views and priorities and therefore support different candidates. I think my views and priorities and candidate are the right ones; I’m guessing you do, too. So how do we know who is right and who is wrong? We don’t. We’re different. So there’s little use one side trying to prove the other is objectively wrong (or objectively the Anti-Christ).

So let’s stop being stupid about it.

Here’s what’s going to happen. Most Americans will vote for the candidate whose policies and values are closest to theirs, the one they think will be best for the country. This will mean that some will vote for Obama and some will vote for Romney. A few may even vote for Dr. Jill Stein or one of the other parties’ candidates (perhaps even Roseanne Barr?).  The one who will get the most votes will win, bask in their glory, give a fancy speech in January, try to make a few changes, begin campaigning for the next election and then stay in Office past 2016 or not. That’s pretty much how it will work, regardless of who wins.

Why? Because the American political system is effed up proper. Unless the three branches of the government are dominated by a single party, not a lot gets done, because what seems to be the most important thing in American politics is beating the other side. Not doing what’s best, mind—just doing what will upset the others the most (or undoing what the other party has done). Don’t believe me? Are you calling me a liar or something? Rude!

Because a lot of Americans can see this tragedy, they won’t be voting at all. (I’m being generous, of course, because some won’t vote simply because they’re lazy.) Many will say, “It doesn’t matter so I shan’t participate in this facade. What’s the point of voting when the system is broken? Instead let’s bring this motherfucker down!”

Are they right?

Alas, probably, no. Unless, of course, they have a realistic, workable plan to actually bring this motherfucker down (which I’d be happy to hear the details of, though don’t post them through because you can get in real trouble for that), it will matter who wins this election. As I said above, the winner may be able to make a few changes and those changes may potentially make quite a big difference—to women’s choices about their bodies, to gay men and lesbians’ families, to many Americans’ health, welfare, and careers. This broken system will keep on keeping on even if you choose to opt out of voting: are you willing to risk the rights and freedoms that you have at the moment? Don’t you care about Sesame Street?

The other reason it matters who wins this election is because it will say something—to Americans and to the entire world—about what America stands for. We can take steps towards being a force of good or we can go back to being a symbol of greed.

Which is why I’m now thinking you’re probably now thinking it’d be wise to vote for the same candidate as I’m voting for. Or maybe you’re thinking of something else. I see that clever smile crossing your face, and I know it means you’ve just come up with a fabulous idea. I guess what I’m subtly trying to saying here is Yes, I’d be honoured to be your write-in candidate for the position of President of the United States. Honoured but not available, I’m afraid. But I’ll tell you what—go ahead and write my name in. If I win, that’ll be such a turn up for the books that I’d be willing to rearrange a few things to get the job done.

Let’s do it, America!

Look Pretty, Talk Pretty: Advice for the Presidential Debates

2 Oct

As an internationally known expert on public speaking, I have been inundated the last few weeks with requests for my debate advice from campaign managers on both sides of the US political battle. Listen, people, I am just one woman. I simply cannot do everything others request of me. Even if I wanted to (which is only about half of the time anyway). I’m going to be honest with you: sending me multiple emails on the same day you’ve left two answerphone messages already does nothing to hasten my reply; actually, it just irritates me.

However—despite the hassles, not because of them—I’ve been moved to share some of my insights with the candidates. Why? Because I love my country and I hate stupidity. Please listen carefully as I intend to say this just once.

Let’s begin by looking at what you can learn from others. From my thorough analysis of the 2010 British election, we can take away important lessons from the three candidates there:

  • David Cameron teaches us that if you look doughy in life, you will look five times more doughy on television. Get yourself camera-ready, but don’t go crazy with the hair product or make-up (or fake tan).
  • Gordon Brown  teaches us that doing things that don’t come naturally (in his case smiling) is not going to fool anyone.
  • Nick Clegg teaches us that if you make promises that you cannot keep, you will end up curled in the foetal position because an entire nation sees you as pathetic and/or bastard-like.

One thing that is important to remember is that this is a debate—not a campaign speech. This means you are going to be required to actually listen to what the other person is saying. I know it’s hard to listen to someone else besides yourself speak, but it really is quite important. First of all, not listening appears rude and no one wants a rude president. Secondly, if you’re going to argue against something, it’s relatively important to know exactly what that is. Just arguing against everything a person says simply because they’re a Republican or Democrat just makes you look like an idiot. Even Republicans know that.

It’s also essential that you actually listen to yourself when you speak; after all, the voting public will be listening as well. Use key terms like “community,” “responsibility” and “logic.” But use them wisely. Let’s say you are arguing against raising taxes, saying that it’s more “logical” that when financial resources are low to stop spending (on foolish things like health and social care) and save instead. Fine. So surely you’ll be applying this same “logic” to green issues as well, arguing that we should save our environmental resources (especially since we can’t replace them), yes? See? See why it’s important to listen to the things you say? Come on now, THINK.

Don’t interrupt the other person by saying “Imma let you finish but…” Once something becomes an internet meme, it’s no longer funny. In fact, no jokes full stop. Leave the political humor to Todd Akin—that guy is hilarious with the stupid stuff he says!

Lastly, President Obama, no singing. I mean you’re good and all, but a debate is just simply the wrong venue for an impromptu concert.

Best of luck to you both!

Freedom Is Just Another Word

31 Mar

It’s not that I’m against freedom. Freedom’s great: without it, no doubt I would have done a lot more jail time. However, it’s all got a bit stupid these days.

For example in America, some so-called people argue President Obama is trying to destroy religious freedom because he’s kind of keen on Americans having equal access to healthcare. They also say any proposed tax increases are assaults on our God-given economic freedom.

Here’s the thing about freedom: there are limits. Try walking down your street naked swinging a dead rat over your head. Try grabbing a box of macaroni and cheese off a shop shelf and walking straight out the door. Try drinking two litres of ice cold water in less than thirty seconds. Try eating an entire Chrysler Town and Country station wagon.

If you think you have absolute freedom, even in Land of the Free, you don’t. If everyone were totally free to do whatever they wanted to, well, it just wouldn’t work now, would it?

I am a very moral person—ask any of the thousands I’ve slept with and they’d rush to agree.  My judgment is pretty sound. Does this mean I should have the freedom to slap the face of anyone who acts like a prick? Alas, it does not.

The problem is that while most people acknowledge that there are limits on freedom, they’re going on the assumption that the limits should only affect other people. They’re okay with telling Muslims they can’t do this or that, but how dare the Catholics be challenged. They’re okay with Trayvon Martin being shot because Zimmerman was “standing his ground,” but would they make the same defense if their child had been killed? They’re cool with crack being against the law, but would they support similar bans on the scotch and sodas they down each evening before driving their daughters to ballet practice?

This is why, despite my ace marks in morality, I have to accept that sometimes society will place some limits on what I can do. I may not always like it, but it’s a relatively good system overall. Perhaps instead of crying about the freedom they think they’re losing, the Republican candidates should appreciate the one they do have: the freedom to illustrate their total twatness on a national stage and earn quite a lot of money doing so.

God bless America.

Logic is the Beginning of Wisdom, Not the End

20 Apr

Now I’d never dream of calling myself the queen of logicians (see Wilson Monday’s article, “Miss Agatha Whitt-Wellington: The Queen of Logicians”), but I am a pretty reasonable person. I am able to complete a soduku or two and I can follow any instructions Mr Ikea throws my way (though generally I let Christopher complete the manual labour—he’s ever so good with his hands). However, it doesn’t take a genius to understand that there are some things that just make sense.  Mistreating the environment has a negative impact. A compassionate nation cares about its citizens’ health. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.

These are truths that quite frankly seem self-evident. But I worry that critical reasoning is falling by the wayside these days. Schools really need to step up to the plate. What must teachers be teaching if kids aren’t learning how to think properly? Why, when I was in high school, logic tests were required before graduation. We were each placed in locked trunks and given sets of instructions for our release, each step of which could only be completed after solving a brainteaser. We were not given our diplomas (nor food and water) before putting on our thinking caps and getting ourselves out.  (Before you begin thinking that my teachers were particularly cruel, remember that they contributed to making me the talented person I am today and know also that those who didn’t make it had their names engraved on lovely plaques that decorate the school’s custodial offices.)

Unfortunately, mis-logic seems to be the order of the day. Not long ago Pat Robertson claimed that the earthquake in Haiti was caused by the Haitians’ “pact to the Devil.” Now, really. As someone who has dabbled in voodoo at various times in her life (remember Sonny Bono? He was one of mine), I can testify that at no time was I required to swear allegiance to Lucifer. Despite the fact that Pat Robertson, as a televangelist, does have a direct line to God (I believe it’s a premium rate number), I’m afraid I just can’t believe that the Almighty works in this way. The argument is based on faulty reasoning. After all it implies that the only way the French would surrender is if the Devil himself got involved, and that certainly doesn’t ring true with the rest of their history.

Possibly the world’s most dangerous fuckwit in the logic department these days is one Mr Rush Limbaugh. Some of his gems include the promise to move to a country with universal health care if the US tries to offer universal health care; his claim that a white man withdrew from an election because he was a black man; and his blaming marital infidelity on Obama. So you see what we’re dealing with here. However, his most recent words of wisdom have literally knocked me out of my boots. Limbaugh believes that the volcano eruption in Iceland is God’s way of showing his disapproval of the US Health Care Bill.

Stop and think for just a moment. Given the fact that Limbaugh is still walking around breathing, we must believe that God is merciful, so it seems unlikely that he would cause suffering to so many people, just because one country’s government passed a bill he wasn’t keen on. After all, when he was cross with Sodom and Gomorrah, he threw his wrath right down on them, not some British tourists trying to get home from Portugal.

Additionally, from what I remember of his son, God doesn’t strike me as an insurance company fan. When Jesus healed the sick, did he require forms and pre-approval? Did he deny those with pre-existing conditions?

Rush Limbaugh spews bad logic like Eyjafjallajokull spews ash. Both get into our atmosphere, make people feel poorly, cause significant disruptions to air travel (well, you know what I mean) and must be contained.  When faced with a crisis, whether it involves being locked in a wooden trunk or a controversial federal bill, critical reasoning must prevail. Plate tectonics caused the Icelandic volcano to erupt, plain and simple. Besides, at this point, God’s too busy to be worrying about US politics. Most of his time is bound to be tied up voting to get Kate Gosselin off Dancing with the Stars. Duh.

I Don’t Want to Alarm You, But There Are Some Unpleasant Things on the Internet

11 Nov

This week I have learned a very unpleasant thing about the society in which we are all living in today.

Despite my normally uplifting personality traits, I’m no fool. I know that bread falls butter side down, if you know what I mean. Terrible things exist in the world, but it is not of my nature to harp on about them (as my readers surely know). But this week I discovered something so shocking, so utterly despicable that I feel I must harp on about it, if only to protect some of you more gentle souls from stumbling across this putrescence yourselves as you are checking the latest cricket scores or searching for a cheese scone recipe (which, by the by, you can find in my most recent cookbook, Recipes My Grandmother Used to Follow Which I Have Altered So That You Can Actually Stomach The Final Results).

ngbbs4bb003614723fHere is my discovery: someone is using the Internet to display pornographic images. I am sorry to be the one to announce this. The Internet was such a pure place until this person began to corrupt it with dirtiness. What has happened to the world, I ask?

(While I cannot at this time discuss the details of how I came to learn of this, can I at least remind you all that I am not the only woman who wears my brand of stockings? Please don’t be fooled by misleading claims—I am not a reader’s wife and my hair color is naturally and consistently blonde.)

What I really don’t understand is how President Obama has allowed this to occur. I really thought he believed in freedom. Don’t we have the freedom to not have to look at scantily clad ladies manhandling their mammillae or nearly nude men pulling at the backs of their Y fronts? Dear sir, is that freedom? I still pay taxes in the United States of America, and I would have thought that one of this administration’s priorities would have been keeping the Internet free of such images. I suppose I am idealistic, but idealism is no bad thing. At least it’s not as bad as some of things I’ve seen online this week. Oh my. I implore our new president to do something to keep cum shots away from the faces of decent, respectable women like me.

Quite frankly, I don’t understand why men (for it is they) would like to access such pictures on their computers. Surely, part of the thrill of pornographic material is the public announcement of one’s sexual dysfunction through the process of going to some seedy WH Smiths, grabbing the offending material in their grubby little hands, and completing the transaction in front of innocent shoppers. I don’t claim to understand their ways, but I would have thought that private use of this material was besides the point. What on Earth would a man do with pornography in the privacy of his own study or office cubicle? Goodness only knows.

We can do something to combat this growing cancer before it becomes too large to remove without the use of radiation therapy. We must appeal to the Internet’s editors; surely they will agree that their names are being tarnished by the publication of smut under their watch. If they refuse to act, we must insist upon their resignation.

The only other thing, I’m afraid, that we can do is be vigilant in our Internet use. I would suggest avoiding the following words when doing Internet searches:

  • jiggly
  • underpants
  • twelve incher
  • doggy, pussy, horse (or any domesticated animal species)
  • dangle
  • lonely
  • housewife
  • cock

Alas, once again it falls to the decent people of the world to take responsibility for their own safety. I’m afraid if you can no longer do random searches for “virgins who are gagging for it” without being confronted with some pretty unsavoury results. However, I do believe searches on “becoming a suicide bomber” are still relatively safe.

Be careful, dear ones. You never know across what you might come.

Reflections on The Year 2009 Thus Far

26 Jun

As the month of June draws to a close, I realise how much has changed in 2009 already. We are now half way through the year, little birdies, and I suggest we all take this time to reflect on how we have helped make our world a better place in the last six months. Remember, while many believe that no man is an island, I feel that it’s more helpful to acknowledge that, while we are each individually islands, we all make up part of the Channel Islands and therefore bear the responsibility of keeping our shorelines clear of rubbish, our children’s homes free of unmarked graves, our governments guided by freedom and democracy and our carbon footprints as dainty as possible. Otherwise, we can negatively affect the entire world, particularly the whelk population (and goodness knows how that would influence prices at our local chippy).

I note many of us have already done so much. Some of us are doing our best to keep the promises we made on the campaign trail. Some of us are helping the environment by providing darling duck houses and muck-free moats. Some of us are avoiding further debt by dramatically dying on the eve of a fifty-night tour we knew we were unlikely to complete. Some of us are going so far as rescuing children from their families and homelands purely because we are so certain our lifestyles would be preferable to them. While not all of us can achieve such acts of courage and self-sacrifice, as Marks and Spencer says, “Every little bit helps!”

To provide you with a guideline for your self-reflection, I have listed below the ways in which I have humbly attempted to help humanity so far this year.

1. Socially
On a global level, my contribution to society is unparalleled. As you know my social calendar is rarely empty. My primary motivation for this is because I am well aware that my presence at social events provides others with inspiration, one of the greatest gifts anyone can give in our quotidian, humdrum world.
On a more personal level, I rang my mother on Mothering Sunday, despite the fact that doing so put me in a foul mood for the rest of the day, and I continue to support Christopher in all of his creative endeavours, most recently encouraging his newfound interest in Greco-Roman wrestling.

2. Environmentally
I have recently had to change the birdseed I put out in my feeders as my previous brand is no longer being stocked at my local shop. The birds seem to enjoy this new food immensely. Chalk up yet another eco-system improved by me.

3. Financially
We are all suffering in the current financial climate, charitable organisations even more so.  Although I prefer to keep these contributions as anonymous as possible, I must confess to recently making a rather large financial donation to a well-respected charity in exchange for a large consignment of left-over chocolate oranges which I intend to distribute to admirers overseas this Yuletide.

4. Politically
Every time I dine with our MP, I insist upon leaving the gratuity thereby relieving my Right Honorable friend of any temptation to inappropriately fiddle with his expenses.

5. Creatively
Of course, as I have done every year of my adult life, I painstakingly continue to improve the world of art and literature through my copious amount of publications.  This year, however, I have gone even a step further by conquering the Internet and therefore reaching readers who may previously had been unable to afford to frequent the types of shops which sell my books (they don’t come cheap, I can tell you). While inevitably this means a loss of income to me personally, I am prepared to make this sacrifice as I care more about the world as a whole than I do my bankbook and besides a few hundred pounds here and there means nothing to someone of my substantial wealth.

Dear readers, I beg you to please take this opportunity to reflect on your own contributions to the world in 2009 thus far. By acknowledging your previous accomplishments, you will be able to plan how you can continue to do good for the latter half of the year. Keep the list limited to one side of A4 paper though as being too self-congratulatory makes one appear frightfully unattractive.

Each of you, regardless of your insignificance, must matter in some way to the world. I can at least confirm you matter a little bit to one Miss Agatha Whitt-Wellington!