I am glad that there is such a thing as Russell Brand, and I was as impressed with his recent conversation with Jeremy Paxman as everybody else was, for I share his egalitarian and environmentalist views. It is beyond refreshing to see someone in the public eye willing to speak out in this way. I've read Brand's books and seen some of his comedy and movies, too, and heard a little of his old radio program, and am generally a fan.
However I believe his calls for "revolution" are the absolute worst, even if he means the Velvet kind, as I hope and believe he must.
"The mass popular revolts in Tunisia and Egypt and the uprisings shaking Bahrain and Libya at the moment are contributing to sinking the culturalist mythologies of this intellectually exhausted generation of militants turned into detached, sour commentators. Not all wines age well. One also hopes that these world-historical events will contribute to overcoming the simplistic binary logic of interpretation which have dominated public discourse on opposite sides of the political spectrum for so long: external causes vs. internal ones, imperialism and colonialism vs. Islam, political logics vs. cultural ones. The recent popular uprisings have contributed to the disintegration of what now became the old culturalist myth." —Fadi Bardawil[...]
Last February, an iteration of the Olive Garden restaurant chain opened in Grand Forks, North Dakota. "The place is impressive," Marilyn Hagerty wrote in her curiously favorable review for the Grand Forks Herald. "The chicken Alfredo ($10.95) was warm and comforting on a cold day. The portion was generous." Hagerty's review consisted almost entirely of declarative statements of fact about the restaurant's décor, the size of its menu's portions, and practical background info intended for prospective diners. Reactions to Hagerty's subdued encomium ran the gamut of cosmopolitan condescension: from delight in her earnest sincerity to heartfelt pity.
Then in November, Pete Wells, restaurant critic for the New York [...]
According to Iran state radio, seven demonstrators were killed Monday night. Iran's "Guardian Council" (mmm, hmm) has now said it will recount the vote in "contested areas." Is a limited recount enough? Not bloody likely. Outside Iran, people are looking into the raw election data-and howling with laughter. And Ahmadinejad supporters are having some fun with the western media still present and active: "The people who claim vote rigging should look first into the election of George W Bush in 2000 and how it was stolen from Al Gore. The West is a sore loser when it comes to the result of a democracy which [...]