Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The World is Shot

I'm way too busy at the moment for much blogging, sorry. Not for lack of things to blog about, however, since the world has not grown any saner since last week.

If possible, even less so. The NYT has a prominent story on it's website about a really big blogger: I Can Haz Cheeseburger. None of this political stuff for you, this fellow knows how to generate traffic to his blog. Over at the Guardian they've got an unusually clear demonstration of how they're losing their marbles. A fellow named John Crace, who for all I know may be an archetypal eccentric Englishman, tries to explain why he doesn't like Melanie Phillips, Israel's best friend in English journalism. I invite you to read his column on the matter and tell if you can comprehend any of it. I mean, most of the words are familiar enough, but I found the sentences a bit hard to follow, and by the time I got to the paragraphs I was lost. This, in a newspaper that prides itself on its quality. Then there's Amazon.com. They just sent me one of their routine recommendations for spending money on their products; this time it was a list of the most popular history books of the week. One, ranked 69 which means it's selling briskly, apparently would have us accept that our hunter gatherer forefathers 12,000 years ago had it much better than we do, what with obesity, bad teeth, and idiotic columns in the Guardian. I spoof you not: go read the book's web-page.

Unless the book's web-page accidentally slipped off the blog about the cheeseburgers, and isn't meant to be on Amazon at all. That might explain it.


Anonymous said...

there is a guy named Stephen Kinzer on book tour now who is intent on convincing the US that her best ally in the making is Iran

(Pulitzer, NYT, WaPo you name it - could it be that they just look around and write whatever promises the best buck? never mind the source?)


4infidels said...

That was supposed to be a book review? If he was a comedy writer, I would say he failed at his endeavor, but at least he was trying to fulfill his role. But he didn't even attempt to review the book. He didn't even include one or two sentences explaining the case the author was making before ripping it.

He was right about one thing: he followed his bigotry. And Yaacov is right, forgetting for a moment the repulsive nature of the commentary, the quality of the writing is not worthy of any publication, even the Guardian.

annie said...

You're right Yaacov. That was the weirdest book review I have ever read. I can't make out what the writer is trying to say, and certainly I can't tell from his words what Melanie's book is all about.

The Guardian probably couldn't afford anyone better. They've spent all their budgetary allowance on 37 anti-Israel articles since the flotilla.

Anonymous said...

as things tend to vanish from websites these days here is the full text of a WikiLeaks e-mail.

Question from me to native Englishers:
is trail a typo or do they want to imply something (btw for me all these meddling NGOs and these leakers are part of a single phenomenon which I call for lack of a better summary the "without-borders" or "Umma"? They are clearly after no less than a new world-order where only the most refined conscience of the most highly sensitive bleeding heart determines what is permissible or else what they say the Koran says.)

WikiLeaks Responds to Arrest of Alleged Leaker
June 15, 2010
Recently our editors wrote to WikiLeaks about the Bradley Manning arrest. Manning was arrested as the alleged source of the gruesome video of US military picking off targets from a helicopter in Iraq. Here is what we got back:
“WikiLeaks may be under attack.
One of our alleged sources, a young U.S. intelligence analyst, Bradley Manning, has been detained and shipped to a U.S. military prison in Kuwait, where he is being held without trail. Mr. Manning is alleged to have acted according to his conscious and leaked to us the Collateral Murder video and the video of a massacre that took place in Afghanistan last year at Garani.
The Garani massacre, which we are still working on, killed over one hundred people, mostly children.
Mr. Manning allegedly also sent us two hundred and sixty thousand classified U.S. Department cables, reporting on the actions of U.S. Embassy's engaging in abusive actions all over the world. We have denied the allegation, but the U.S. government is acting as if the allegation is true and we do have a lot of other material that exposes human rights abuses by the United States government.
Mr. Manning was allegedly exposed after talking to an unrelated ‘journalist’ who then worked with the U.S. government to detain him.”

Dave123 said...

I enjoy these pieces very much because it just proves what total incompetent idiots people who write for the Guardian are.

Bryan said...

"Trail" looks like a typo, Silke.

As for the "primitivism" book, it doesn't shock, but that's an argument I loathe. It's like when people say they don't trust modern medicine and reject doctors entirely. Have fun with your polio, but I'm good.

AKUS said...

What we have to understand about that review of Melanie Phillips' book is that the "Culture" section of the Guardian has been delivered into the hands of Georgina Henry, formerly in charge of fomenting anti-Israeli hysteria on "Comment is Free".

The "Culture" section now only deals with two themes - literary and other cultural endeavors that can be considered anti-Israeli, and everything else in the world.

The review is simply another attempt, strange as it is, to inflame anti-Israeli passions by attacking one of Israel's strongest supporters in the UK.

RK said...

My understanding is that until fairly recently -- until the Industrial Revolution, in fact -- living standards in hunter-gatherer societies were higher than those in agricultural societies, as measured by calorie intake, lifespan, height, etc. It was, after all, the environment we evolved to fit. And that apparently still holds for hunter-gatherer societies today. See, for instance, Greg Clark's A Farewell to Alms. Agriculture permitted higher population densities at the expense of poorer living conditions.

Anonymous said...


it is imperative that you tell all that interesting revealing stuff to Alexander McCall Smith because by what you say he got the background of Mma Ramotswe's foster children completely wrong. I am sure he will be devastated to be enlightened to the real facts.

From interviews I have gathered that Mr. McCall-Smith is very committed to getting Botswana right i.e. I consider him to be trustworthy.


RK said...

Silke, which book was that in? I've only read one of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books. (The first one, I think.) I got it as a gift from my cousin's cousins, who live in Botswana, and I've been meaning to read the rest of the series sometime.

Anonymous said...

I don't remember it's quite some time ago
but why don't you ask Mr. McCall Smith himself
under the link you'll find a both a UK and a US site
maybe because the covers are different



Anonymous said...

I just remembered that I actually earned a living for 2 years in a community that had left behind total subsistence on hunting and gathering (fish and chorta) by less than 30 years.

The stories matrons told me about that time and especially what it meant to raise children under those conditions made me really really long for a return of those conditions (alert: this is an attempt at satire)

- one poor woman lost a toddler due to an accident which would have never happened under different conditions
- when a crazy tourist almost smashed my hand to pulp in a car door the local doctor gave me a drink but a local merchant thank heavens put a check on the damage with a smashed onion.

and just to complete the rant
- did I appreciate the slightly disgusted looks I got from "enlightened" tourists when I had fun and danced with the "wild" guys, you bet!

Back to the roots - oh yeah - all the time, but respect for decent people by looking beyond the oil stains - oh no, never!


Marc Alan Di Martino said...

The Guardian piece is one of their "Digested reads", meaning that it is a witty summary - in a mock author's "voice" - of the content of the book. So the apparent aimlessness was supposed to be a relection of Phillips' own. I agree that the Guardian goes out of its way to be unfair to Israel, and Phillips is a great voice to the contrary, but she has many other positions which might be fairly risible.