Once or twice a week for the last couple of years, a bloke by the name of Sid Shniad has dropped half a dozen cut and pasted political opinion pieces into my e mail box. Most of the stuff Sid sends comes from high-profile lefties like Pilger and Chomsky, and has percolated through the print media and the blogosphere by the time it arrives in my inbox. I have no idea who Sid is, and I rarely read more than a couple of sentences of his e mails, but I've never bothered to click yahoo's reply button and ask him to halt the bombardment. I worry that Sid's e mails to me might fulfil some necessary psychic function, and that he might struggle to live a happy and well-balanced life without sending them.
When I opened my e mail this morning, I found that Sid had done something unprecedented. He'd sent me a joke. Alright, it's a small, dry joke with a pointed political message but, hell, it's a joke, and I think that in its own way it says more than a worthy two thousand word opinion piece might manage:From an immigrant from the former Eastern bloc:
"Everything they told us about socialism was a lie.
Worse, everything they told us about capitalism is true."
Keep 'em coming, Sid.