“I do not believe that the man possesses so much as a single grain of insight into human character, more than a thumbnail understanding of politics or society, or even a base theoretical comprehension of women and their interior lives. His worldview is customarily infantile, occasionally rising to the level of juvenile. His preoccupations are, therefore, those of infants and juveniles”. Tim O’Neil on the Tao of Miller.
Personally I liked Miller’s eighties work (Daredevil: Born Again, Batman: Year One, Ronin etc.) because while they were juvenile power fantasies, at least they were juvenile power fantasies in which the hero could break his ribs or get his lungs punctured. That was new back then. Now? Not so much.
Imagine this: you’re the sole Dutch survivor of Sobibor, manage to escape the camp with the Polish man you’ve come to love, hide out in the Polish countryside for months, get rescued by the Russians, get married, go back to Holland via the
Meditterraean, lose your baby in the process and when you finally make it back you’re threatened with deportation as an illegal alien! No wonder Selma Wijnberg, having emigrated to the US, refused to visit her home country until only this week, the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Dutch concentration camp Westerbork.
In general, the treatment of Jews during the war is a dark page in Dutch history. Despite early resistance to anti-Jewish measures here, the Netherlands was the Western European country from which the highest percentage of Jews (> 75 %) was deported. Though after the war everybody had been in the resistance all along, plenty of Dutch officials had to cooperate with this deportation to make it that succesful — and quite a few people profited from it. There’s many a house in Amsterdam that’s been acquired through dodgy means during the war.
Note: no defence of the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe is meant with that last bit, just annoyance at slightly too racially motivated glee about the effects of land reform in that country (in the comment threads rather than the original post that is).
How the media portrays both the EDL and the antiracist counterprotestors as violent. This is largely due to overreliance on police statements — first priority to them is “maintaining public order” and they blame the counterdemonstrators for making this difficult. Having racists march through their cities in an attempt at intimidation is not a problem as long as nobody tries to stop them. Because that’s when you get riots. Like in Stoke.
He may have magickally given me an ear infection over the intertubes (the day after he blogged over his ear aches my ears were blocked), but I’m still chuffed to see Michel Vuijlsteke get his share of the glory. His picture of the “bathroom fly” (Clogmia albipunctata) from august 2004 was the first documented sighting of this species in Belgium.
Unexamined priviledges on display at Crooked Timber: is it racist to make fun of Cornel West’s new autobiography or are those who see racism in this thread the real racists? Either way it came across as a bit bullying at first as everybody piled on to make fun of West. Not that his writing didn’t “deserve” it perhaps, but in the context of who West is and how he was designated an officially condoned target back in 2001 when Larry summers tried to kick him out of Harvard it looked like a group of school yard bullies picking on the weird kid whom the teacher had already humiliated in front of the class. It may be fun, but it’s too easy and it ignores targets which need mocking much more.
The Red Scare years are hard to grasp at this distance. The level of distrust, of paranoia, of fanaticism, certainly and clearly outstrips what we are living with today – which is not to say it could not become that bad, only that it hasn’t yet. But the one lesson that activists should have drawn from that nightmare is that acquiescence is not an answer. Adopting the terminology, the (dare I say it) frame of the enemy – I use the word deliberately – does not protect you against attack. Most of all, slicing away your friends and supporters will not help you. Spending time and energy going “oh, no, no, no, I’m not one of them” only narrows your base, reduces your potential support, and will not satisfy your attackers.
Thierry Henry audits for the Feench handball team:
You can’t blame the Irish for being livid, nor the French for being disgusted but philosophical. Bad refereeing is an intrinsic part of football and had the shoe been on the other foot (the ball on the other hand) the reactions would have been the exact opposite. But I thought better of Thierry Henry.
Neither Blair nor Balkenende is EU president. Thank ghu, even if it means we have to keep Balkenende longer. Bet the British tabloids are eagerly awaiting any hint of a sex scandal on the part of Herman van Rompuy, if only to be able to pun on rompuy-pompuy…