The author of puntebulous novels such as Foetal Attraction and Alter Ego gives us her five reasons why women are quite simply for superior to men. Read it and weep, boys.

Intelligence Why do men like intelligent women? Because opposites attract. The evidence is clear. What excites men? Food, footie. the Playboy Channel. Trouble is. women get all excited about nothing . . . And then they marry him! Health ‘Hypochondria' is Greek for man. Any man who says that he's NOT a hypochondnac? Hypochondria is the only disease he HASN'T got. Fidelity Unless crossed. the female of the species tends towards fidelity and constancy. There are a few species where the male stays faithful until he dies. mostly as a result of being eaten by his partner after mating. Pride Men would rather die than ask directions. Which is why they always include a woman in the space shuttle now. don’t you think? Commitment Women want love and marriage and happy-ever—afters. Men want a ‘meaningful' one- night stand. Preferably with seven bisexual hookers.

I 18 Aug, 6.30pm, £8 (£6).


The Scottish poet and author reveals how to

build the perfect haiku

If you know one thing about haiku, chances are it’s that they have a certain number of syllables: traditionally it's 17, arranged in three lines of 5—7-5. Now that you know that, forget it. The syllable-counting doesn't always translate well and, in English, 17 syllables can often seem on the long side. We’re talking minimalism here. I myself started out sticking strictly to the form, but often found I was ruining a perfectly good poem for the sake of forcing it, ripping a word

out or stuffing one in.

After a while I started approximating to the standard form. Eventually, if you read and write enough of them, you develop an ear for a kind of haiku rhythm. The important thing is the experience you’re trying to catch in words, that wee moment of insight, awakening: ‘seeing into the life of things’. It’s about being open to the world around us. Basho, perhaps the greatest of the Japanese haiku poets, said: ‘Learn of the pine from the pine.’ George Bruce, in one of his own linked haiku, wrote: ‘The more I look, the

more i look.’

It’s about keeping your eyes and ears open, as well as all the other senses (especially the sixth). Haiku is a way of seeing, a way of being in the world. It celebrates the moment, the here and now, what an old Irish text called ‘the music of what happens’. Here’s one of mine to end:

‘after the lightning holding our breath till the thunder’

I Edith MacArthur, John Shedden 8. A/an Spence wrth Day/d Bruce: A Tribute to George Bruce. I 7 Aug, lOa/n, E 7 (E5); Ron But/in, Alan Spence 8 Adam Thorpe. 78 Aug. 70.30am, E 7 (£5).

OPEN MIND Marking a decade of freedom from apartheid

On the anniversary of ten years of South African democracy. three novelists Barbara Trapido. Pamela Jooste and Patrice Schonstein Will debate what the effects have been. The Open Mind sessions are a chance for you to put yOLir questions to the panel and ‘make your veice heard'. so this is bOLind to be lively stuff. Some topics you might want to raise are housmg why do large number of black people still live in shanty towns? high unemployment. and health. espeCially the effects of the AIDS epidemic. Has the Truth and ReconCiliation Commission achieved much? What abOut the extremely high crime rate?

But debates are always more eXCiting when there are strong disagreements. so you COuld steer the conversation round to education. Has there been successful integration? What have


ten years of democracy done for the literary aSpirations of black people? And why is this panel made up of three middle-aged white women? Recommended Reading: Beyond the Mirac/e: InSide the New South Africa by Allister Sparks. a summary of the country over the last decade that could give you some ammunition. (Anna Shipman)

I 75 Aug, 7300/77, E8 (E6).

FRANCIS WHEEN Revealing our inane and delusional obsessions

FranCis Wheen is best known for his role as deputy editor of Private Eye. imaginative biographies of Karl Marx and pioneering politiCian and Journalist Tom Driberg and the Witty. informed unpicking of political hypocrisy that has characterised his JOurnalism fOr The Guardian and others. His latest book. How Mumbo Jumbo Conquered the Vl/Of/d. is an eye-watering disclcswe of the inane. meaningless obsessions

and delusions that surge through the modern age. As Wheen points out. somety has regress 2d in the last 25 years in our wholehearted embracing of nonsense institutions. philosophies. traditions and beliefs. From postmodernism to mySIICism. the Free Market to the Third Way via the hysteria surrounding Princess Diana's death and the constant invoking of God by DOIIIIClallS, little escapes Wheen's eloquent outrage. For an inSight into the ‘\"y’hys'?' and 'What can be dones?’ of this phenomenon Wheen's appearance should prone an enlightening one. Recommended Reading: Hoe-Hans and Passmg Frenzies, ten years' WOrtt‘ of journalism rammed with merciless satire. iAllan Radcliffe. I 77Aug. 8309/77. 58 £6).


Essex aesthete with the Midas touch

It's always a good laugh to look back at someOne's early career. Not lust for the tasteless


Book Festival

Fringe lntemational Festival Film Festival

clothes and dodgy haircuts that they wouldn't dream of showmg off nounadays but for the often l)|/€t,’i".‘ ways il‘. which their work has trajectorised out at all recognition. Vii/nod; Allen. Bradley \“Jalsh and Christian Slater lllét, ix: three people .‘J'lO can't I;(3ll(;‘".'(: where t'ie‘, are ltlfléi‘,.

Ton, Parse”; xiii/s neatly :iito that ’léttffj’x“, c" an authr,r nicest; career pat'i couldn't have been f)":fi;’;1(:’! NOSI’ROEVTHS. if ,r, i Delie/e ali that psych '. llOKG‘,. Parsons prewar, doesn't. preferring Til/‘3’) nice and earth. as W. series of re‘at‘onsm. nd'.'eis if/ian and Buy. One Fer f/ij.’ Bab}, . Ala." and Wife ‘.’/Oul(l testify. Add financiaiiy A string of bestsellers must been the furthest thing It ll'S mir‘r: .vhen he was Shooting the breeze Julie

Burch»? O‘.’ef at the iii/E

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JON RONSON Savage satirist with a sensitive side

.J’w PM 'a’. "-34,- . adriiittwl That if: ',r"/: cried at Shari/tit: Sheet 0‘ at, we ail/0W; .'.i".r, iia'. You're/t .‘Jiill l'fftfr Bidet/Xian: iiaa, .‘xex “11.08 1’17 V) .’.":‘:l/ ali’fllf. l’m‘! fl»; “.0 .“I also tie ‘or'iixeri ‘0' asking; has. car someone .‘x'i'. t as unfit; rjut .'.’.'ll The meanest beasts iii the ll'illlai’: itingir; find himself shedding real tears at

the rec. sight of Big