All entries by this author

Victim Locked Up While Rapists Walk Free *

Jun 14th, 2005 | Filed by

‘This tactic of silencing the awkward truth is nothing new.’… Read the rest



Mukhtaran Bibi on ‘Exit Control List’ *

Jun 14th, 2005 | Filed by

Human rights activists accuse government of trying to avoid bad publicity. … Read the rest



Mukhtaran Bibi Kidnapped and Silenced *

Jun 14th, 2005 | Filed by

Gang-rape victim arrested to prevent trip to US.… Read the rest



George Szirtes on Andrey Platonov *

Jun 14th, 2005 | Filed by

The only utopianism worth anything is that of the suffering, the kindly, the saintly. … Read the rest



Jerry Springer’s Guests Get All Existential *

Jun 14th, 2005 | Filed by

Can Todd and Ursula reconcile post-Enlightenment meta-narrative with – stay tuned.… Read the rest



Hitchens Argues on Late Night Live *

Jun 14th, 2005 | Filed by

Stellar Australian radio programme pits Hitch against Robert Manne.… Read the rest



Blessings Upon Them, and Upon Their Typing Hands

Jun 14th, 2005 2:30 am | By

May the god of the atheists shine its everlasting light on Polly Toynbee. Wait. May the – oh never mind, you know what I mean.

At least she hasn’t swapped her brain for a fleece.

It would be entirely reasonable for secular Labour MPs to plead conscience on this, just as the religious are excused the whip on matters that trespass on their faith. This touches on freedom of thought and ideas, with far-reaching consequences for the values of the Enlightenment that are under growing threat from a collective softening of the brain on faith and superstitions of all kinds.

Yep. And you need to watch out for that collective softening of the brain stuff. It can creep up on … Read the rest



A Goldfish, Mistaking Repetition for Novelty *

Jun 13th, 2005 | Filed by

Ignorance denies people the chance to enjoy some good stuff – as it always has.… Read the rest



Enraged at Mary Warnock *

Jun 13th, 2005 | Filed by

‘…born and bred to bully people, in Jane Austen’s immortal words, into peace and prosperity.’… Read the rest



Arguing Over Austen *

Jun 13th, 2005 | Filed by

Anti-Jacobin, feminist, pro-slave trade, anti-romantic?… Read the rest



Dilettante Sociology Instead of Drawing I *

Jun 13th, 2005 | Filed by

Art education has gone all theory and identity and no skill.… Read the rest



Iranian Women Defy Police Whips *

Jun 13th, 2005 | Filed by

Women have voting rights but suffer discrimination in legal matters.… Read the rest



Women Protest Sex Discrimination in Iran *

Jun 13th, 2005 | Filed by

Tired of promises of improved status that are forgotten after election.… Read the rest



As He Pleased

Jun 12th, 2005 8:06 pm | By

I’ve been reading a little Orwell lately – prompted partly by my offhand comment in an email to Norm that Orwell was good but Hitchens is better – which itself was prompted by Philip Dodd’s introduction of Hitchens on ‘Night Waves’ in which he quoted someone (someone unnamed, I think) as writing in a review that Hitchens is as good as Orwell, or almost as good as Orwell, or some such. That annoyed me. It is my considered opinion – despite the offhandedness of the comment alluded to above – that Orwell is over-rated as a writer. Really quite seriously over-rated. That his language is very often decidedly tired and uninspired, even banal, and that there is a lot of … Read the rest



Subtle, Elegant, Witty, Erudite Review *

Jun 12th, 2005 | Filed by

Not a hint of overkill or intemperate rage anywhere. Impressive.… Read the rest



On the Asymmetry of Creation and Appreciation *

Jun 12th, 2005 | Filed by

Lilacs, biographies, Scarlatti: can we appreciate them enough?… Read the rest



Gordon Wood Reviews Gary Nash *

Jun 12th, 2005 | Filed by

Strawmen and misinterpretations in Nash’s history from below.… Read the rest



Tragedy in Brooklyn

Jun 12th, 2005 4:33 am | By

Katha Pollitt rocks.

So it’s 2005 and this is the academic question that has driven the Daily News and the right-wing New York Sun into apoplectic fits, and caused heartburn all over CUNY: Should Tim Shortell, an atheist, be allowed to assume the chair of the sociology department of Brooklyn College? You know, an atheist–someone who doesn’t believe in God. An anticleric. A disrespecter of religion. A mocker of Christianity.

This is what I’m saying. This is why atheists sometimes use noneuphemistic language. It’s because atheism is viewed and treated and spoken of as a crime and an outrage and something that ought not to be allowed. And that’s why the habit of just bashfully not mentioning the fact … Read the rest



The ‘Dutch-Muslim Culture War’ *

Jun 11th, 2005 | Filed by

Tensions between feminists and male lefties who…don’t get it.… Read the rest



Julian Baggini Interviews John Carey *

Jun 11th, 2005 | Filed by

The arts can make our lives richer but can’t make us better people.… Read the rest