Burning Beasts

It's all the rage in Sarah Palin's Alaska

Hello! And welcome to a blog. Because there definitely aren't enough blogs already. The remit for this particular blog is quite broad (essentially anything that happens in the world which I or anyone else thinks is a bit odd). But never mind! I am rarely put off by the alarmingly unspecific.

So the point is to seek out the daft/pointless. Preferably from obscure local papers from around the world, but I'm not going to be strict. Also, please send me your tip-offs. I might introduce Regular Features. Such as: Columnist of the Week; Distant Outpost Story of the Week; Most Pointless News Story of the Week; that kind of thing. Any ideas welcome.

But to kick off, all the way from the home of Sarah Palin and the Juneau Empire, the third largest newspaper in Alaska no less, it's (drum roll) HEADLINE OF THE WEEK!

Burning Beast: Local woman goes meat camping

Meat camping? As in, tents made of chicken fillets with lamp chops as tent pegs? Sadly no. Says Tamara Murphy, organiser of the festival: "I always wanted to go to Burning Man." Apparently she could never make it though. The solution? "We'll just make our own Burning Man."

Burning Man = music, desert and dancing.

Burning Beast = goat stew, smoked rabbit and salmon heads.

So when she says, we'll just make our own Burning Man, that's not really what she means is it. She actually means we'll do something completely different but use the word Burning and have a festival which is all about cooking an extraordinary amount of different animals. I bet you never get anyone at the Burning Man telling you to "try the cartilage behind the eye" though.




Sophie Elmhirst is features editor of the New Statesman

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Tony Blair won't endorse the Labour leader - Jeremy Corbyn's fans are celebrating

The thrice-elected Prime Minister is no fan of the new Labour leader. 

Labour heavyweights usually support each other - at least in public. But the former Prime Minister Tony Blair couldn't bring himself to do so when asked on Sky News.

He dodged the question of whether the current Labour leader was the best person to lead the country, instead urging voters not to give Theresa May a "blank cheque". 

If this seems shocking, it's worth remembering that Corbyn refused to say whether he would pick "Trotskyism or Blairism" during the Labour leadership campaign. Corbyn was after all behind the Stop the War Coalition, which opposed Blair's decision to join the invasion of Iraq. 

For some Corbyn supporters, it seems that there couldn't be a greater boon than the thrice-elected PM witholding his endorsement in a critical general election. 

Julia Rampen is the digital news editor of the New Statesman (previously editor of The Staggers, The New Statesman's online rolling politics blog). She has also been deputy editor at Mirror Money Online and has worked as a financial journalist for several trade magazines. 

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