All entries by this author


Aug 8th, 2004 3:43 am | By

Well I just thought I would link to this, simply because it made me laugh a lot. Yes it is, that’s a perfectly good reason.

The situation Norm complains of – having to buy three kinds of cat food, two of which his cat doesn’t like and won’t eat, because the kind she does like suddenly comes in a variety pack with two others instead of on its own – is a classic, a pure, a definitional example of what Kingsley Amis so rightly called sod the public. There’s a lot of it in the UK. I’ve always noticed that. There’s too much obsequiousness and groveling for the customer over here, perhaps (except of course when there isn’t), but … Read the rest

Idleness is Good *

Aug 7th, 2004 | Filed by

People who work too hard don’t think. So there.… Read the rest

European Secularism is the Enemy *

Aug 7th, 2004 | Filed by

‘We are a menace to Al Qaeda just because of who we are.’… Read the rest

The Cover

Aug 7th, 2004 1:12 am | By

Oh look. What fun. We’d noticed that the Amazon page for the Dictionary didn’t have a picture. But now it does. I clicked on the page in an idle moment (okay a lazy moment) to see, and idleness and laziness were rewarded, because there it was. So have a look. And no, that is not a portrait. Everyone I’ve shown the book to says in a surprised manner ‘But you don’t look like that.’ No, that’s true, I don’t. I don’t wear my hair in two bunches on the back upper corners of my head, for one thing. And everything else is different too. There is no resemblance. None. I don’t think the guy looks much like my … Read the rest

Carlin Romano on Lichtenberg *

Aug 6th, 2004 | Filed by

A spy on humanity.… Read the rest

More Cells in the Brain Than Stars in the Sky *

Aug 6th, 2004 | Filed by

Gerald Edelman on consciousness.… Read the rest

Why Islamic Law should be opposed?

Aug 6th, 2004 | By Azam Kamguian

Islamic Sharia law should be opposed by everyone who believes in universal human rights, women’s civil rights and individual freedom, freedom of expression, freedom of religion and belief and freedom from religion. Islamic law developed in the first few centuries of Islam and incorporated Middle Eastern pre – Islamic misogynist and tribal customs and traditions. Shari’a developed not only from the Koran and the Sunna but also through juristic reasoning and interpretation and hence different sects. We may ask how a law whose elements were first laid down over a 1000 years ago can be relevant in the 21st century. The Sharia only reflects the social and economic conditions of the time of Abbasid and has grown out of touch … Read the rest

BBC Favourite Blogs Thing *

Aug 5th, 2004 | Filed by

Okay so there’s one obvious omission here. Okay two.… Read the rest

Book About Honour Killing is a Fake *

Aug 5th, 2004 | Filed by

Has ruined cause of fighting ‘honour’ killing, Rana Husseini says.… Read the rest

True Lies and the Quest for ‘Authenticity’ *

Aug 5th, 2004 | Filed by

Yes the difference between truth and fiction does matter. (Despite provenance of site.)… Read the rest

Smorgasbord or Prix Fixe? *

Aug 5th, 2004 | Filed by

Quantity or quality, breadth or depth, freedom or discipline? The quandaries of higher education.… Read the rest

Porn Studs and the Job Market *

Aug 5th, 2004 | Filed by

Sure studying dirty movies is enlightening but will the kid be able to get a job?… Read the rest

Terry Eagleton Sounding Like a Neocon Pundit?! *

Aug 5th, 2004 | Filed by

‘In his view, we have nothing to lose but our postmodernism.’… Read the rest


Aug 5th, 2004 1:42 am | By

Remember the lists of life-altering books? Way back last month – out of sight out of mind? I thought I would link to another, because it has The Uses of Literacy, by Richard Hoggart. As good a reason as any.

So once I started a book-related subject I thought I might as well continue with this article by Mark Edmundson. It says one or two things that I often say to myself (sometimes with oaths, sometimes in a kind of whining sniveling croon).

Yet for many people, the process of socialization doesn’t quite work. The values they acquire from all the well-meaning authorities don’t fit them. And it is these people who often become obsessed readers. They don’t

Read the rest

Martha Nussbaum on Disgust *

Aug 4th, 2004 | Filed by

Have we sufficiently investigated the thoughts involved in shame and disgust?… Read the rest

British Council Investigates Columnist *

Aug 4th, 2004 | Filed by

Pseudonymous writer criticised Islam in Telegraph, could be Council employee. Naughty.… Read the rest

The Guardian Newspaper is Dreadful

Aug 3rd, 2004 5:39 pm | By

I am constantly amazed at the stupidity of just about everybody who writes for the Guardian. Here’s one Madeline Bunting:

Over the course of the 20th century, as our technological ingenuity made war ever more brutal

What the hell is she talking about? Has she never heard of the Somme – more than 1 million dead in five months – or Paschendaele?

That was the bit which I found particularly irritating. But the whole thing is full of nonsense.

Among Saturday’s demonstrators were New Labour’s natural allies – fair-minded, decent people, the kind who don’t walk on the other side of the street.

Ridiculous. New Labour people are fair-minded, decent fellows. Not like those dastardly Lib-Dems. Okay, I … Read the rest

Reading is Risky *

Aug 3rd, 2004 | Filed by

People read to remake themselves, Mark Edmundson says.… Read the rest

Sidney Morgenbesser 1921-2004 *

Aug 3rd, 2004 | Filed by

‘Why is there something not nothing?’ ‘Even if there were nothing, you’d still be complaining.’… Read the rest

Gribbin Reviews Penrose *

Aug 3rd, 2004 | Filed by

No specialist knowledge needed – any more than to do a PhD on string theory.… Read the rest