All entries by this author

Bouyeri Says He Would Do It Again *

Jul 12th, 2005 | Filed by

Tells Theo van Gogh’s mother he does not sympathize with her loss.… Read the rest

Police Say Bomber Died in Blast *

Jul 12th, 2005 | Filed by

Suspects on CCTV at King’s Cross 8:30 a.m. One arrest in Yorkshire.… Read the rest

Van Gogh Murder Trial Begins *

Jul 12th, 2005 | Filed by

Bouyeri waived the right to mount a defence and refused to answer judge’s questions.… Read the rest

Vote Removes Obstacles to Women Bishops *

Jul 12th, 2005 | Filed by

Some men threaten to leave: women never have been bishops, therefore never should.… Read the rest

Institutional Factors

Jul 11th, 2005 10:50 pm | By

This morning I read Mark Bauerlein’s article in Theory’s Empire, ‘Social Constructionism: Philosophy for the Academic Workplace’, originally published in Partisan Review. It’s great stuff.

When someone holds a belief philosophically, he or she exposes it to arguments and evidence against it, and tries to mount arguments and evidence for it in return. But in academic contexts, constructionist ideas are not open for debate. They stand as community wisdom, articles of faith. When a critic submitted an essay to PMLA that criticized constructionists for not making arguments in their favor, the reader’s report by Richard Ohmann rejoined that since constructionism is universally accepted by academic inquirers, there is no need to argue for it anymore.

That’s either hilarious … Read the rest

Jack Straw on World’s Shame at Srebrenica *

Jul 11th, 2005 | Filed by

Massacre of more than 7,000 Bosnian Muslims happened ‘under our noses.’… Read the rest

Srebrenica Muslims Bury the Dead *

Jul 11th, 2005 | Filed by

Tens of thousands of people attended ceremonies for 10th anniversary of massacre.… Read the rest

UCL Cleaner Named Among Bomb Dead *

Jul 11th, 2005 | Filed by

Gladys Wundowa had finished her shift, was on way to college in Shoreditch.… Read the rest

New Statesman Reviews Hitchens Book *

Jul 11th, 2005 | Filed by

Has exaggerated idea of unanimity of left in disagreeing with Hitchens.… Read the rest

Museums Restrict Access to ‘Sacred’ Objects *

Jul 11th, 2005 | Filed by

‘Museum directors must not act as priests, nor must they treat the public as their flock.’… Read the rest

Quiet Please

Jul 11th, 2005 2:34 am | By

I listened to part of an Open Book on libaries earlier today. Michael Holroyd talked about how important the library was to him when he was a child – ‘It was a place of light.’ Yes – so it was to me when I was a child. I had two libraries: the public one, in an old brick colonial house painted yellow on Nassau Street, which had a wonderful library smell that I can conjure up whenever I think of it, and which fills me with an intense nostalgia; and the one at school, which was a series of three rooms (painted dark green I think) with arched doorways: it was usually empty (it was a tiny school), and it … Read the rest

Global Pincushion

Jul 10th, 2005 6:51 pm | By

Of course, it’s not just London. It’s never just London – or anywhere else.

It’s a suicide bombing in Iraq which killed more than twenty people, along with more bombings in Mosul and Kirkuk. It’s six Afghan policemen beheaded by suspected Taliban guerillas. It’s at least twenty people injured by a bomb in a litter bin in a tourist resort in Turkey. And this month is the tenth anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre when eight thousand Bosnian Muslims were killed and dumped in mass graves.

All part of the routine.… Read the rest

Ricky Gervais Does Socratic Dialogue With Self *

Jul 10th, 2005 | Filed by

‘He didn’t get his philosophy degree for nothing.’… Read the rest

Salman Rushdie on a Code of Dishonour *

Jul 10th, 2005 | Filed by

Anyone who says a democratic country should have a unified legal system is called anti-Muslim.… Read the rest

Over Twenty Killed in Iraq Suicide Bombing *

Jul 10th, 2005 | Filed by

Along with six people in suicide bomb attacks in Kirkuk and Mosul. … Read the rest

Asking Why Will Dignify Crimes Against Humanity *

Jul 10th, 2005 | Filed by

Yahia Said warns against feeding the illusions of psychopathic murderers.… Read the rest

Nick Cohen on Manic Myopia *

Jul 10th, 2005 | Filed by

Magic of parochial reasoning makes Islamism a protest movement like Make Poverty History. … Read the rest

Literary Webs

Jul 10th, 2005 2:29 am | By

Now for another attempt to return to normal programming – at least for a moment.

I’ve been following several literary discussions lately. There is Daniel Green’s comment on that Judith Halberstam article – the one that Michael Bérubé commented on last month and I commented on the month before, at such length that I had to do it twice. That one – Daniel’s – ended with some comments that I’ve been musing about (on and off) ever since. About the distinction (and whether there is one) between literary and non-literary experience. Michael said one thing, Daniel said another, I said a third, Michael answered – and I’ve been trying to figure out what I think ever since. I’ve … Read the rest

Purity and Corruption

Jul 9th, 2005 7:29 pm | By

A few more salient comments. From the Iranian commentator Amir Taheri:

But sorry, old chaps, you are dealing with an enemy that does not want anything specific, and cannot be talked back into reason through anger management or round-table discussions. Or, rather, this enemy does want something specific: to take full control of your lives, dictate every single move you make round the clock and, if you dare resist, he will feel it his divine duty to kill you.

Specific enough.

With the advent of Islam all previous religions were “abrogated” (mansukh), and their followers regarded as “infidel” (kuffar). The aim of all good Muslims, therefore, is to convert humanity to Islam, which regulates Man’s spiritual, economic, political and

Read the rest

Unappeasable Grievances

Jul 9th, 2005 5:46 pm | By

Harry thinks Galloway may have done for himself now.The thought had occurred to me. I saw both his grandstanding (get me, I’m defiant, I’m brave, I’m passionate, I’m taking the unpopular view) in Parliament and his ridiculous performance on Newsnight – thanks to good old C-Span which (amid the desert of dreck that is US cable tv) has shown Newsnight in its entirety the last couple of days, and the news conference with Ken Livingstone and Ian Blair yesterday. What can I say? He comes across as an obstinate buffoon. (Of course, I already thought he was that, a predisposition which must shape how I view him now.)

Hitchens is a relief from obstinate buffoonery. (Drink-soaked ex-Trotskyist popinjayism goes head-to-head … Read the rest