All entries by this author

Irshad Manji on the Danger of Literalism *

Jul 24th, 2005 | Filed by

We Muslims are raised to believe the Koran is the perfect manifesto of God’s will. … Read the rest



Craving For Immortality and Legendary Status *

Jul 24th, 2005 | Filed by

The bomber hopes to make his triumphant, bloody mark upon the world.… Read the rest



Anthony Grayling Reviews Simon Blackburn *

Jul 24th, 2005 | Filed by

Contemporary thought in danger of drowning in a watery, promiscuous slop of ideas.… Read the rest



Recommendations on Animals’ ‘Moral Status’ *

Jul 24th, 2005 | Filed by

Panel discusses implications of implanting human stem cells into non-human primate brains. … Read the rest



This Little Pig Goes Pomo *

Jul 24th, 2005 | Filed by

Spelling, arithmetic, milk and cookies, critical literacy.… Read the rest



‘From Picture Book to Literary Theory’ *

Jul 24th, 2005 | Filed by

Deconstructing binary oppositions in Bambi.… Read the rest



Critical Literacy for Schoolchildren *

Jul 24th, 2005 | Filed by

Not all that useful.… Read the rest



Textbooks in Gujarat Praise Hitler *

Jul 24th, 2005 | Filed by

Human rights campaigners protest, Gujarat government dismisses charges as baseless.… Read the rest



Dazed and Theorized

Jul 24th, 2005 4:15 am | By

Apparently in Australia schoolchildren are being taught Theory. Or postmodernism, or critical literacy, or deconstruction, or cultural relativism. Poor little tads. Bad enough there are all those dingoes around eating your babies – but critial literacy theory for schoolchildren? Ice cream, Mandrake? Children’s ice cream?

For Australian academics John Stephens, Ken Watson and Judith Parker, compilers of the manual From Picture Book to Literary Theory, the story of the Three Little Pigs is really about “the virtues of property ownership and the safety of the private domain” — both “key elements of liberal/capitalist ideology”.

Mind you – there is interesting stuff about the not very hidden messages in fairy tales – Jack Zipes, Marina Warner, and the … Read the rest



Present Mirth

Jul 23rd, 2005 9:12 pm | By

Howard Jacobson’s a funny guy. Writes well, too.

The other proof of our philistinism is our politicising of literature…The old complaint that Jane Austen left out the Napeolonic wars is making itself heard again. If a novel isn’t politically au courant, if it isn’t ratified by events outside itself, we have trouble remembering what it’s for.

What used to be (tediously) called ‘relevance.’ How is Shakespeare ‘relevant’ to the yoof of today? Answer: he isn’t, so let’s not read the pesky old bastard any more.

It takes the most responsible of writers to see why irresponsibility is so important…Once upon a time, when we knew aesthetically what we were about, the novel was comic or it was nothing…Gargantua and

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More Than 150 Polio Cases in Indonesia *

Jul 23rd, 2005 | Filed by

Officials trace outbreak to Nigeria, where radical Muslim clerics called vaccinations a US plot. … Read the rest



Art Needs Irresponsibility *

Jul 23rd, 2005 | Filed by

Novels can liberate us from the debilitating certainties of God and hero worship.… Read the rest



Man Shot at Stockwell Not Connected to Bombings *

Jul 23rd, 2005 | Filed by

The human rights organisation Liberty said no one should ‘rush to judgment.’… Read the rest



Roger Scruton Has a Sensitive Side *

Jul 23rd, 2005 | Filed by

Lunch on sausages from the pig named Singer.… Read the rest



Car Bombs Kill At Least 43 in Sharm el-Sheikh *

Jul 23rd, 2005 | Filed by

Egyptian resort on Red Sea is popular with tourists.… Read the rest



UN Report Puts Pressure on Mugabe *

Jul 23rd, 2005 | Filed by

African leaders who have hesitated to condemn Mugabe may now feel it is time to speak out.… Read the rest



Pretentious! Moi?

Jul 22nd, 2005 4:56 pm | By

I have to learn to write in words of one – um – syllable. I am too – er – pretentious. People keep telling me that. ‘OB,’ they say, looking all stern and disapproving (okay, mostly one syllable – anyway, I said I have to learn: I haven’t learned yet, I’m working on it) – looking all grim and censorious, ‘you are too pretentious. You use big words that you don’t know what they mean or that other people don’t know what they mean, and you only do it to be pretentious. You should be cool and ironic like us. We have 75 degrees and you have one, and that is why you are pretentious and we are cool and … Read the rest



Humour is Reason’s Greatest Ally *

Jul 22nd, 2005 | Filed by

A racist assumption that we should privilege the beliefs of a minority.… Read the rest



UN Condemns Bulldozing of Zimbabwe Slums *

Jul 22nd, 2005 | Filed by

Kofi Annan said ‘catastrophic injustice’ had been done to Zimbabwe’s poorest. … Read the rest



Iran Executes Gay Teenagers *

Jul 22nd, 2005 | Filed by

‘The latest barbarity by the Islamo-fascists in Iran,’ says Peter Tatchell.… Read the rest