Underwhelming

first_imgI want to bottle-fuck you slowly with my sunglasses on. Well, there’s something to try out next time you’re in Filth. Yum. These are words spoken by Eric Packer, the central figure in Don DeLillo’s new novel, Cosmopolis (Picador, £16.99), to one of his many women. The moral throughout the book is the corrupting power of capital: DeLillo creates a Capitalist nightmare/ dream in which he places a man utterly devoid of human sensation. His only forays into feeling consist of bestial urges, eating and screwing. And abusing drink receptacles too, apparently. Ultimately, the super-rich, superbright twenty-something dot com entrepreneur discovers that his only hope of escape from a dampened existence is in his own destruction at the hands of a rambling former-employee. DeLillo has been internationally lauded and won many awards for critically acclaimed best-sellers like Americana and more lately, Underworld. I haven’t read either. If I were to judge this author by this book, I wouldn’t bother. It’s never nice admitting publicly that you aren’t impressed by a book, especially one that seems to promise so much. Reading it, you can’t help but feel that it’s a bit of a cop-out – the half-fulfilment of an idea that could be fascinating, were it not something we are already aware of and familiar with. His prose is blunt with its own poetic concision, but is never quite as punchy as he might have hoped. There are brilliantly executed moments in the novel. For example, some of the most interesting passages in the book are those that depict Packer’s thoughts as he lies awake before starting his day. The theme of order against disorder, patterns in chaotic economy, is also effective and cleverly wrought, as is Packer’s unsettling indifference to almost everything around him. Overall, though, it’s somewhat disappointing. It’s not that this book lacks style or interest – DeLillo’s images of a bleak, looming city are effective, as is the fragmented, passionless progress of Packer’s day, giving form to the notion of the loss of human sentiment. Once you grasp the direction in which the novel’s headed, though, nothing spectacular happens; maybe DeLillo intended this, but it doesn’t bring anything to the narrative itself.The flaw of this book is that it reveals nothing particularly new. We have now all heard of Anti- Capitalist movements, and their arguments; we have all witnessed immense political and corporate ambition. Cosmopolis, then, presents a strong dystopian vision, and one that is, in itself, not impossible to foresee. Read it, by all means, and enjoy its many strengths but don’t hope for much more than a depiction of how a modern yuppy realises the vapidity of his existence.ARCHIVE: 4th week TT 2003last_img read more

CASH hits out at salt in free-from bakery

first_imgConsensus on Salt and Health (CASH) has hit out at supermarket free-from products, which it claims contain a much higher salt content than their standard alternatives. Research carried out by CASH analysed the contents of 71 supermarket own-label products in ‘free-from’ ranges (gluten, wheat or dairy-free), and compared them to the retailer’s standard version.However, only just over half (56.3%) of the free-from products contained more salt, and 26.7% contained less.Topping CASH’s saltiest free-from list was Sainsbury’s Free From Jaffa Cakes which contained six times a much salt in the free-from range – 0.67g of salt per 100g, compared to 0.1g of salt per 100g in standard Sainsbury’s Jaffa Cakes.Other products on the list were Morrisons free from Chocolate Chip Cookies, which contained 1.5g of salt per 100g, compared to 0.5g per 100g in the standard version, and Asda Free From Double Chocolate Muffins which contain 1g of salt per 100g, compared to 0.3g per 100g in the standard version.“In general, it has been the supermarket own-label products that have led the way in salt reduction, but it seems that own-label products for people with existing health problems have not been a top priority for the retailers,” commented Graham MacGregor, chairman of CASH and professor of cardiovascular medicine.A spokesperson for Sainsbury’s was quoted in The Daily Telegraph as saying the supermarket was actively working on reducing the salt levels in its free-from range.last_img read more

Dead ref named for league match in Nigeria

first_imgIn a very bizarre circumstance, a faction of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) involved in a tussle for leadership named a dead referee, Wale Akinsanya, for a top-flight game to be held this Sunday.The dead referee was appointed for the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) game between Warri Wolves and Giwa FC billed to be held in the city of Warri by the NFF faction of Chris Giwa.supersport.com understands that the NFF faction, led by Giwa listed, late Akinsanya in its list of appointments for match officials in a letter dated April 20, 2016 to the League Management Company (LMC), which oversees the running of the top division in Nigeria.The late Akinsanya was appointed for the game alongside Tope Orowole and M Adeleke as assistant referees. Peter Efozia is listed as fourth official and Tunde Oloyede as match commissioner.Unknown to the Giwa NFF faction, the referee passed on January 22 this year during a mandatory Fifa cooper test for referees in Ibadan.  – Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @JoySportsGH. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more