December 2010

Making it Modern

December 31, 2010

“Art is a private thing, the artist makes it for himself; a comprehensible work is the product of a journalist.” Tristan Tzara, “Dada Manifesto,” March 23, 1918 “Literature is news that stays news.” Ezra Pound, ABC of Reading (1934) Serge Diaghilev, at the composer’s studio, on hearing the first few minutes of Igor Stravinsky’s The [...]


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“Mac”

December 25, 2010

“Carry me along, taddy, like you done through the toy fair.” James Joyce, Finnegans Wake “Do you really think he was born on Christmas Day,” my mother said. I was already fully adult, but felt instantly young and naïve. “No one knows when he was born. We don’t even know the year.” My mother then [...]


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Holiday

December 24, 2010

Tomorrow, I’ll be putting up – how do they say on the outer tubes? – a “very special holiday” post. After that, I’ll be taking a holiday until January 3, while I work on other writing. See you back here tomorrow, I hope, but in the meantime, I did title this post Holiday [ad#adsense]


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Perspective, Ideology, and Academic Freedom

December 23, 2010

In an essay at The New York Times online, We’re All Conservatives Now, Stanley Fish seeks to reconcile the concerns of both Right and Left about the American university. Contrasting the complaints of the right wing David Horowitz to the the left wing visions offered in the recent “Academic Freedom in the Post-9/11 Era” (edited [...]


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Amnesty International Action File Dies “a Martyr” in Afghanistan

December 22, 2010

Back in May I wrote about Gita Saghal and her eventual resignation from Amnesty International because of its unseemly association with Moazzam Begg and his Cage Prisoners organization. You can catch up on that story here, too. Now, Harry’s Place reports on one of the AI and Cage Prisoners poster boys, Abu Rideh, a UK [...]


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Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations: You Say Tomato, I Say IED

December 22, 2010

In a post at his home at Z Word Blog, cross posted at Huffington Post, Ben Cohen offers one of the fundamental insights into the Palestinian condition over these many decades: the Palestinians have chosen a cause over a state. In 1948, on what was just a portion of present-day Israel, and even less of  [...]


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Jazz Is: 21 – Granaína

December 22, 2010

No this is not jazz, but if I were a jazz musician, I would make it jazz. I came across it in my search for this week’s Jazz Is post, and it is simply too extraordinary not to share. It is sung by the late Enrique Morente, a great and controversial figure in the world [...]


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The Republicans on START: Not Serious, “No Shame”

December 21, 2010

Image via Wikipedia This remarkable lame duck session of congress contines – upending all conventional wisdom about Barack Obama’s fortunes and election consequences. You might previously have thought the Republicans won the presidency in November. Though it is probably the President’s compromise with Republicans on taxes that set the stage for what is now happening, [...]


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The Nature of Real Authoritarian Secrecy

December 21, 2010

Terry Glavin, of Chronicles & Dissent, zeros in on some of what are by now the usual suspects in ill-considered Left excess, particularly their PT Barnum, Michael Moore, about whom Glavin has written so incisively in the past. Glavin’s focus now is on Moore’s Wikileaks role, including the latter’s usual manipulations of the truth regarding [...]


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The Culture War of Attrition

December 20, 2010

At Tapped, Paul Waldman puts clear focus on a point I’ve been making recently, including earlier today. It is worth recalling every time some says that the U.S. is a center-right country. Many may conceive it so, but it is not. But it’s never bad to remind ourselves that with the important exception of abortion [...]


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Assange in Lust

December 20, 2010

We understand that both complainants admit to having initiated consensual sexual relations with Mr Assange. They do not complain of any physical injury. The first complainant did not make a complaint for six days (in which she hosted the respondent in her flat [actually her bed] and spoke in the warmest terms about him to [...]


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DADT: American Conservatism, Still Riding the Backwash of History

December 20, 2010

Saturday, of course, with the Senate’s vote to overturn Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, was a great day in American history, and in the human progress toward a fully humane identity. We need to recall it, along with the election of Barack Obama to the presidency, when we feel overwhelmed, as is often so, by the [...]


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YouTube’s Craven Capitulation

December 20, 2010

The reality that information is a weapon  of war, a tool of contention and conflict, is as old as the first time someone said, “He went that way,” and lied. Hold whatever finely nuanced position you like on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but unless you are an antisemitic rationalizer of antisemitism, or vastly uninformed, the fact [...]


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CineFile: Elevator to the Gallows

December 19, 2010

What do you get when you put together Louis Malle, Miles Davis, Jeanne Moreau Maurice Ronet, Lino Ventura, film noir, the advent of the French New Wave, and the birth of the Cool? As this past week’s Jazz Is might have promised, even a trailer that is memorable. [ad#adsense] Related articles CineFile: The Birth of [...]


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How We Lived on It (31) – Wealth and Health

December 18, 2010

“In this spectacular section of ‘The Joy of Stats’ Hans Rosling tells the story of the world in 200 countries over 200 years using 120,000 numbers – in just four minutes. Plotting life expectancy against income for every country since 1810, Hans shows how the world we live in is radically different from the world [...]


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The Discrete Charm of the Authoritarian

December 17, 2010

This video making the rounds is from Russia Today, which describes itself, at its You Tube video channel, as a 24/7 English-language news channel. We are set to show you how any story can be another story altogether. Broadcasting over six continents and 100 countries, our coverage focuses on international headlines, giving an innovative angle [...]


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Moles, False Flags, and Conspiracies

December 16, 2010

Image via Wikipedia Among the most famous stories of the Cold War era is that of James Angleton, the CIA’s long-serving head of counter-intelligence, who became convinced that the KGB had managed to place a mole at the top of the CIA hierarchy. Angleton’s search for the mole became significantly harmful to the CIA in [...]


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Assange Bound

December 15, 2010

Last week I wrote, “There is no more conspiratorial mind than the mind that perceives conspiracy, genuine or not.” Amid the rain of Wikileaks fallout, as Julian Assange, awaits now the determination of an appeal to his release on bail, comes this conspiratorial eruption (h/t Engage): Wikileaks and the conspiracy theory of history History is [...]


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Jazz Is: 20 – Elevator to the Gallows

December 15, 2010

Soundtrack by Miles Davis. Directed by Louis Malle, 1957. Starring Jeanne Moreau and Maurice Ronet. Why do I love Moreau’s shake of the head early on in her walk? [ad#adsense] Related articles Art – Miles Davis’s last addiction (guardian.co.uk) In Transit: The Art of Miles Davis, on Display in London (intransit.blogs.nytimes.com) Song Of The Day [...]


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Kissinger’s Moment

December 14, 2010

The monumentally overrated Henry Kissinger had many of them, but this one is the essential moment if we are to believe Martin Peretz. Newly released Nixon Library Tapes reveal this exchange between Kissinger and Nixon. “The emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union is not an objective of American foreign policy,” Mr. Kissinger said. “And [...]


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Clinton on Holbrooke

December 14, 2010

Image via Wikipedia Richard Holbrooke is a very great loss to American foreign policy. We might have wished another vital decade or more from him. He is a loss for all the reasons Hilary Clinton states below, and all the obituaries will detail, but he is a loss in another way, too, so far unspoken. [...]


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