Friday, 29 April 2011

Could Clark Kent ever become the US president?

A media storm (oh how I love them) is troubling Fox over issue 900 of Superman, which features the man of steel flying to Tehran to protect peaceful protesters against the tanks of President Ahmedinejad, then returns home to inform the authorities that the is renouncing his US citizenship, because he does not wish to be seen as an instrument of American foreign policy.

Needless to say many of my countrymen are incensed by such clear evidence of a communist takeover of the lamestream media. Said one "The liberal, America hating scumbags who now run DC Comics are just adding another feather in their cap with yet more anti-American culture and tradition jihad. F--k 'em," wrote one commenter. "This is why I don't go to movies or even rent anymore. I'm not making the left loons of Hollywood any richer to support their campaign of American hate," added another.

A real comic book scholar would know that the DC universe periodically recasts its characters in alternate histories, moreover that in one adventure Ka-El fell not on the American prairie but on that of Siberia, and grew up to battle for the mother country against a sick capitalist called Lex Luthor who has gained the supreme office of the land of the free. Thus, the conspiracy could be proved.  But no, they're just not prepared to do their homework.

But really,although my first inclination is not to lend succour to those of my fellow Americans who now spend 24 hours a day watching Fox TV, fondling their rifles and stuffing their necks with freedom fries, I am afraid that there is something more sinister afoot.  I don't want to go all birther, but I do have to ask, does Superman have a US citizenship to renounce? The evidence is not encouraging.

1 He is an illegal alien, having arrived secretly by spaceship. Although in times gone by the US was built by successive waves of immigrants, a feeling has arisen in places like Arizona that enough is enough. Witness the defeat of legislation proposing to confer US citizenship on children of illegal immigrants from places like Mexico if they carried out a tour of duty in the armed forces or obtained a college degree. It seems that neither heroic sacrifice for the security of the nation nor improving the wisdom and economic potential of your country is sufficient. It seems difficult to justify an exception for the man of steel.

2 He was informally adopted by 2 American citizens who, we must presume, had to secure a forged birth certificate. We know this because had the authorities been alerted of the landing of a baby in a space ship Clark Kent would have been big news, and would probably have been taken into care by social services.  His secret identity would certainly have been blown.  If Clark Kent has managed to acquire a passport  which seems kind of pointless when you can fly to Tehran faster than an ICBM, this will have been obtained by deception and thus is null and void. The implications of social security fraud and unlawful employment by this mild mannered reporter would certainly scupper his run for office.

3 He was not born on American soil. Although like myself a person may gain American citizenship when born abroad if one parent is American, that person may never be President. Another much loved man of steel, Arnold

Schwarzenegger, has been governor of California but can never become president as he was born in Austria. Similarly Ka El was born on the planet Krypton. Rules are rules. Although if Clarke were to declare himself a Republican, it is possible that a constitutional amendment could be arranged.

4 He's not even human. Only humans can be US citizens. Are there any US citizens that are cows? No, thought not.

All I can say is Donald Trump eat your heart out. I got to the evidence first. And I can come to but one conclusion. Superman must be deported.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Bonfires and Angels

I'm standing at Old Street Roundabout with a really heavy briefcase. Paper is made of wood, and I'm carrying around at least three bonfires. My head hurts and I'm having a fag, waiting for the bus.

I worry about the case I'm on in in half an hour for. A young man in an unsteady job helping people in the gym is behind on his rent. He's so badly paid he would be better off on the dole. That's a harsh thing to say to any young person.

A young woman walks up to me. “How are you” she says. Her face is open and friendly. “Not so bad “ I say, but already my panic response is going. She knows me, but I don't know who she is. Must be a former client.

“I just wanted to tell you how much you helped me get back on my feet. Thank you, you really did a good job for me” says the woman, whose face I remember but who's name escapes me.

I'm a bit flustered because I have a brain that needs helpers when I see a face. It's rude to ask the client to remind you of the case papers. If I could remember which writ, which notice of possession, which warrant of eviction, maybe I'd stand a chance. She's still smiling.

“Look , I'm off to work, but thank you” she says. Then the bus arrives. My guardian angel gets on the bus and flies away.

Suddenly, the day becomes a little brighter.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Let us give thanks for volunteers

Archibald and Amy came to us to give their time for free.

Like many talented young postgraduates coming  into the marketplace they found no jobs, so they decided to volunteer for their local charity. Archie should be on a proper training contract so that he can qualify as a solicitor after 2 years. Amy is a brilliant single mother who has qualified as a barrister, but can't get a place in chambers.

In spite of their money worries they decided to volunteer for us, and soon they helped an ailing Law Centre turn itself around. They're on the phones one moment, talking to drop in clients the next. Reading papers, filling out funding forms, gathering witness statements and lecturing housing officers, rarely do they have time to sit still.

I could give special mention to Archie's careful interviews of dozens of neighbours that helped a family member keep his flat after his grand-dad passed away.   Or Amy's clever skeleton arguments, or the people who turn up every day who she talks to and then makes appointments for.

The fact is that Amy & Archie give no more and no less that up to 100 volunteers a year who contribute acts of kindness.