All entries by this author

It Was Just as Bad For Me as it Was For You

Oct 22nd, 2003 7:14 pm | By

I enjoy coincidences. They make me feel like part of the Divine Plan. (That’s a joke, but actually there was a coincidence last week that made me feel tempted to go all New Agey. I resisted, though.) So it amused me a couple of days ago that I started the day reading a new collection of ‘theoretical’ articles (by which you are to understand articles written by people who once would have been called literary critics but who have now moved Up in the world) – articles of a badness, a pretension, a tortuously protracted emptiness, that has to be read to be believed, and then after I’d done that until I couldn’t stand it any more I got on … Read the rest

Terrorism for Humanity? *

Oct 22nd, 2003 | Filed by

Richard Wolin has suspicions about Ted Honderich’s acuity.… Read the rest

Buffy Yes, Philosophy No *

Oct 22nd, 2003 | Filed by

A set of pretty good essays about Buffy the Vampire-Slayer – but not about philosophy.… Read the rest

Official State Witch *

Oct 22nd, 2003 | Filed by

Good to know – there’s nonsense in Norway, too.… Read the rest

Muslims in India *

Oct 22nd, 2003 | Filed by

M J Akbar: ‘it is a myth that Islamic law is not amenable to re-interpretation.’… Read the rest

Human Nature *

Oct 22nd, 2003 | Filed by

‘Pinker and Wilson do a much more impressive job with the humanities than any humanist I know has been able to do with the sciences.’… Read the rest

When in Doubt, Beatify *

Oct 21st, 2003 | Filed by

Christopher Hitchens is not a fan of ‘Mother’ Teresa.… Read the rest

‘Stress De-briefing’ *

Oct 21st, 2003 | Filed by

Therapeutic practices should be founded on research.… Read the rest

Nature Will Have Her Little Joke *

Oct 21st, 2003 | Filed by

Organically grown milk found to have more toxins than GM milk has.… Read the rest

Denis Dutton on Bad Writing *

Oct 20th, 2003 | Filed by

From 1999, but relevant to ‘not bad, only difficult’ writing.… Read the rest

It’s Not Bad! It’s Difficult! *

Oct 20th, 2003 | Filed by

‘…a teeming mass of abysmal sentences, yearning to be coherent.’… Read the rest

Why is Rights Talk a Problem? *

Oct 20th, 2003 | Filed by

‘…people often use rights talk to avoid justifying their position. It reverses the burden of proof.’… Read the rest

Don’t Like It? Adapt!

Oct 20th, 2003 1:19 am | By

There is a new book out by Frank Furedi, Therapy Culture: Cultivating Vulnerability In An Uncertain Age, which sounds highly interesting in itself and which also resonates with a lot of cultural oddities we talk about here on B and W.

It is the society-wide belief that people cannot cope on their own that leads to the features of therapy culture that we are all too familiar with today: the burgeoning counselling industry, the relentless emphasis on boosting ‘self-esteem’, the expansion of categories such as ‘trauma’ to encompass more and more life events. What gave rise to this downbeat view of human agency, this ‘fatalistic epistemology’ that recasts people as victims?…The decisive reason, Furedi says, is a broader political

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The Most Neglected Great English Poet? *

Oct 19th, 2003 | Filed by

Andrew Motion reviews Jonathan Bate’s ample and judicious biography of John Clare. … Read the rest

‘Out of Touch’ With What? *

Oct 19th, 2003 | Filed by

Iraqi exiles are out of touch with Ba’athist dictatorship and in touch with democracy – and this is a bad thing?… Read the rest

Good News for Indian Secularists *

Oct 18th, 2003 | Filed by

The crowd in Ayodhya was much smaller than expected this time.… Read the rest

Human Activities or Natural Causes? *

Oct 18th, 2003 | Filed by

Climate change has always happened, and the causes are not easy to figure out.… Read the rest

Matt Ridley on ‘Superweeds’ *

Oct 18th, 2003 | Filed by

All farming techniques have environmental benefits and drawbacks.… Read the rest

One Person’s Bizarre Degree is Another’s… *

Oct 17th, 2003 | Filed by

Listen, Tom and Nicole’s divorce is an important subject.… Read the rest

Martha Nussbaum Remembers Bernard Williams *

Oct 17th, 2003 | Filed by

‘his liberal-democratic sympathies made him eschew obscurity, seeking a style that could be grasped by anyone who was willing to face the issues along with him.’… Read the rest