Better Together?

by John Holbo on September 1, 2006

I don’t know how long this will last so I took a screencap.

Yes, that’s right. Amazon’s book bundling AI has determined, for reasons best known to itself, that Michael Bérubé’s What’s Liberal About the Liberal Arts? goes best with Alan Moore’s Lost Girls Collected. Ah, we always knew THAT was what was liberal about the liberal arts. Porn! High concept porn! This can only provide terrible confirmation of Ross Douthat’s worst fears.

Honestly, I’d be so honored if a book I wrote went better with something by Alan Moore. Maybe he can write, like, The League of Extraordinarily Liberal Gentlemen next.

Greece 101 — USA 95

by Kieran Healy on September 1, 2006

Somewhere in Athens, the Greek counterpart of “Bjørge Lillelien”:ørge_Lillelien is shouting into a radio mike, “Thomas Jefferson, William Hearst, Herbert Hoover, Warren Harding, Muhammad Ali, Paris Hilton — we have beaten them all! We have beaten them all! George Bush can you hear me? … Your boys “took a hell of a beating!”:

A conspiracy so vast …

by Daniel on September 1, 2006

The International Committee of the Red Cross is very serious indeed about its neutrality. There is an obvious reason for this; neutrality underpins its special status, and if its neutrality is compromised, its personnel may be placed directly in danger and its ability to do its job is reduced. In other words, to impugn the neutrality of the Red Cross is a very serious charge indeed, and ought to only be made on the basis of very strong evidence indeed.

So it is perhaps odd to see Australia’s Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer (who comes across as a hell of a moron; could any Aussie readers confirm this?) merrily asserting that the Lebanese Red Cross conspired with Hezbollah to fake an attack on one of its ambulances, seemingly as collateral damage to a broadside against the media for being biased against Israel.

In fact, his source was a blog, “Zombietime“, which has looked through news agency photos of the ambulance and proved to its own satisfaction that they are fakes. I must say that their case seems pretty unconvincing to me, since it appears to be based on some very strong conditional statements about what “a missile” can and can’t do, and “a missile” is a really quite generic category to be making such statements about.

I think that if I was the Australian foreign minister, I would have considered the pros and cons of undermining the credibility of the Red Cross (particularly as the ICRC is an important provider of the humanitarian aid which supports a lot of the things that the USA, UK and Australia want to do in the sphere of foreign policy) and decided that a political slam on the mainstream media was not worth it, particularly since nobody actually disputes that civilians were killed and ambulances were hit during the Lebanese invasion. Blogosphere triumphalism doesn’t really seem all that important compared to the neutrality of the Red Cross.

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