Archive for January 2005

On Rousseau and the Singular Self *

Jan 24th, 2005 | Filed by

The solitary walker, Benjamin, the afterlife.… Read the rest

String Theory *

Jan 24th, 2005 | Filed by

Is everything in the universe made of tiny vibrating strands of energy?… Read the rest

Peer Review – Necessary but not Sufficient *

Jan 24th, 2005 | Filed by

Peer review takes time, and meanwhile, strange things can happen.… Read the rest

Beloved Cartoon Character Comes Out of Retirement

Jan 24th, 2005 | By Barney F. McClelland

Bithlo, Florida — With controversy swirling around several prominent cartoon characters, the most recent incident involving the wildly popular SpongeBob Squarepants and his sidekick Patrick coming under fire from conservative Christian groups led by Dr. James Dobson the founder of Focus on the Family, claiming that they are working to promote homosexuality, an old hand at children’s entertainment has announced that he is coming out of retirement.

From his trailer in this seedy Orlando suburb, Mighty Mouse says he is ready to make a comeback.

“The whole scene just makes me sick,” said the now portly Mouse who just celebrated his 63rd birthday, “I mean, just look at that Tinky [Teletubbie] and tell me he ain’t a little light in … Read the rest

Auschwitz Memorial Not Inclusive Enough? *

Jan 23rd, 2005 | Filed by

Iqbal Sacranie says Muslim Council of Britain will not attend event unless it includes Palestinian intifada. … Read the rest

Kenan Malik on the Islamophobia Myth *

Jan 23rd, 2005 | Filed by

The idea confuses hatred of Muslims with criticism of Islam.… Read the rest

Letter to David Horowitz

Jan 23rd, 2005 | By Graham Larkin

January 20, 2005

Dear Mr. Horowitz,

Thank you for joining me and AAUP Associate Secretary, Marcus Harvey, in last Saturday’s exchange on 1360 AM KLSD (Air America Radio, San Diego). I’m glad that you feel you fared so well in that exchange. In the interests of furthering the conversation, I would be delighted to have another live discussion with you, or with any of the so-called Students for Academic Freedom. Perhaps, in the interests of balance, any future debate can be held in a conservative venue.

To the extent that it continues the dialogue, I also welcome your blog response to our debate, and to my article ” What’s Not to Like About the Academic Bill of Rights.” … Read the rest

Christians Worried about SpongeBob *

Jan 22nd, 2005 | Filed by

Critics need medication, one observer suggests.… Read the rest

Not Simone de Beauvoir, More Like George Sand *

Jan 22nd, 2005 | Filed by

Lucasta Miller on radically free, independent, autonomous Susan Sontag.… Read the rest

Todd Gitlin on Bad versus Good Reporting *

Jan 22nd, 2005 | Filed by

Rumors of death of aspirations for truth in favor of mere “perspective” are greatly exaggerated. … Read the rest

Singer Takes Bush Administration to Task *

Jan 22nd, 2005 | Filed by

For allowing ideology to trump empiricism and sound reasoning.… Read the rest

What’s Not To Like About The Academic Bill of Rights

Jan 22nd, 2005 | By Graham Larkin

Locking up my bike on the way to the office on May 3, 2004, I noticed that events were underway in the large pavilion pitched in front of the Hoover Center, the right-wing think tank overshadowing my office in the Nathan Cummings Art Building at Stanford University. The voice on the microphone was introducing prominent ultra-conservative intellectual David Horowitz. As the representative for private universities on the steering committee of the California Conference of the American Association of University Professors (CA-AAUP), I had recently taken a pressing interest in Mr. Horowitz’s activities. He is, after all, the brains behind the mischievously-named-and-crafted Academic Bill of Rights – a document which co-opts post-modern ideas on the situated nature of truth and … Read the rest

Column A and Column B

Jan 21st, 2005 8:59 pm | By

There was an interview with Amrit and Rabindra Singh on Front Row last night. Mark Lawson asked them (about six minutes in) what they think about the controversy about ‘Behzti,’ especially as Sikhs themselves. Of course, as artists, they think freedom of expression is important and that artists should express what they think is valid, but – there have to be boundaries somewhere along the line. It’s like the idea of a so-called free society: that doesn’t mean you can walk down the street and punch your neighbour in the face. There have to be some regulations and rules that take other people’s feelings into account; artists should not seek knowingly to offend people’s feelings, or to offend the feelings … Read the rest

‘Sponge Bob is Poofter’ Shock! *

Jan 21st, 2005 | Filed by

Christian group gets knickers in twist over tolerance pledge.… Read the rest

Bible Gives Conflicting Advice on Whipping Children *

Jan 21st, 2005 | Filed by

Is it God’s idea of discipline or approved child abuse?… Read the rest

Harvard President on Women in Science and Maths *

Jan 21st, 2005 | Filed by

Are there innate cognitive differences, is there evidence, is it ‘offensive’ to discuss?… Read the rest

Graham Larkin Replies to David Horowitz *

Jan 21st, 2005 | Filed by

Is the Academic Bill of Rights about ‘balance’ or not?… Read the rest


Jan 20th, 2005 8:30 pm | By

PEN’s Open Letter is quite interesting, I think.

Although we applaud the government’s wish to make everyone in our multi-cultural, multi-faith nation feel that they have an equal stake in Britain, the proposed amendment to the bill is misguided. It is emphatically not the way forward. It creates a climate which engenders events such as the recent Sikh riot in Birmingham. Here a violent mob, on the grounds that a play offended their religion, successfully prevented its performance, acted as censors, and threatened the life of its author. Fiona MacTaggart, the Home Office Minister, has contended that the remit of the proposed legislation is narrow. However, the signal the offence clause sends out to religious leaders is broad. It serves

Read the rest

Hadi Saleh 1949-2005 *

Jan 20th, 2005 | Filed by

Iraqi trade unionist fought for workers’ rights, opposed rule of Saddam Hussein and recent war. … Read the rest

PEN: The OFFENCE Campaign *

Jan 20th, 2005 | Filed by

Against legislation that could make it illegal to express provocative views on religion.… Read the rest