Archive for December, 2002

high-class Schnidery

Tuesday, December 31st, 2002

It’s nice to see a liberal who can manage real, informed contempt, as opposed to the smug and ignorant sort typified by Richard Dawkins calling Bush “An illiterate buffoon.”

Here’s Joshua Michael Marshall:
“It’s one thing to be a hawk and have your hawkishness rooted in a cold-eyed realism and a willingness to use force, quite another to have it stem from emotional impulses arising from the fact that you grew up as a pencil neck and constantly had your lunch money stolen from you by the cool kids. I can’t give you the precise lunch money victimization statistics for various civilian political appointees at the Pentagon, for staffers in the Office of the Vice- President, Richard Perle or even Frank Gaffney. But I suspect most folks who are familiar with these guys will know what I’m getting at.”

new colours

Tuesday, December 31st, 2002

This has been positively the last rediseign of the site for 2002. Thank you. I just got bored of the retro telnet look.

not faeces

Tuesday, December 31st, 2002

I really like this article, which is in the latest issue of Prospect; at least, I like most of it. There is an explanatory paragraph about Richard Dawkins, and The Selfish Gene, high up, which went in because the editor of the magazine, which claims to cover contemporary thought, has never actually read the book. Also, my version had Bill Hamilton dying because he wanted to sample chimpanzee shit, not “faeces”. Obviously, there are times when words like “faeces” must be used. But they wil lose all their force if sprayed indiscriminately around.

Fukuyama says fukutowar

Monday, December 30th, 2002

You have to read this, from the Wall Street Journal, a little carefully to discover that the spine of the argument is three good reasons against the war:

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this picture

Monday, December 23rd, 2002

is worth a hell of a sight more than 10,000 words. Danny O’Brien has just place on the web a photograph of some of the forms he must fill in for a permanent US residence permit. (Caution. It is a large picture for a slow phone line).

Simple admiration

Monday, December 23rd, 2002

Andrew Wilson’s Monday column in the Daily Telegraph is unfailingly excellent. He even manages to say something fresh about Christmas this year.

credit

Monday, December 23rd, 2002

I think that Andrew Gimson may have found the antichrist, or at least the perfect consumer:

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The free press

Saturday, December 21st, 2002

This is a priceless moment from the transcript of Michael White’s interview with Tony Blair. It doesn’t just stand up the virtues of Western democracy, free speech, etc. It makes me proud to be British. In what other culture, in what other country, would a joke like this be cracked in the Prime Minister’s face?

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fan mail

Saturday, December 21st, 2002

I had a piece in yesterday’s Guardian about Rowan Williams’ Dimbleby lecture. While it was being edited, a voice down the line said “Can we use the email address at the bottom of your letter? Does it work?” And I said, yes, of course it bloody works. How do you think you got the copy?

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This old fogey is a yogi

Wednesday, December 18th, 2002

This one’s for sumac:

I had gone out to California to profileBob Conquest for the Guardian. He should be famous for a lot of things, but one of his talents is an astonishing skill at filthy versification. I could not, when talking to Susan, remember the one about Brigid Brophy, but I have found it in Kingsley Amis’s memoirs on my return:
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