Tim Winton, recommended

by Chris Bertram on October 4, 2009

I’ve just finished “Dirt Music”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0330490265/junius-20 (“UK link”:http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0330490265/junius-21 ), having read “Breath”:http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0312428391/junius-20 (“UK link”:http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0330455729/junius-21 ) a few days back. I can’t remember a novelist grabbing me so tightly recently, or giving me such pleasure, or, sometimes, pain. I’ve never been to Australia, never mind Western Australia, I don’t care about surfing and not much about fishing. It really doesn’t matter. Winton is all about life, regret, sensation, grief, commitment, and working out what (and who) matters and what doesn’t. No plot spoilers here. I’m set to read everything else he’s written.

Mercedes Sosa has died

by Ingrid Robeyns on October 4, 2009

Mercedes Sosa “died today at age 74”:http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/10/04/arts/AP-LT-Argentina-Obit-Mercedes-Sosa.html?_r=2&hp. An amazing voice, wonderful songs, and an important symbol of resistance against the Argentinean dictatorship. She will be missed, not just by Latin-Americans.

Grayson unfair to Republicans

by John Holbo on October 4, 2009

Alan Grayson has caught some flak for alleging the Republican health care plan is ‘don’t get sick, and if you do, die quickly.’ For instance, here is push-back from the Corner: “if you must respond, just repeat after Ed Morrissey: “I seem to recall that Republicans wanted to abolish the death tax, and Democrats objected. Which party wants to make money off of your dead corpse?” In other words, technically the plan is, ‘don’t get sick, and if you do, die quickly. And if you manage to do so with more than $1 million, you can give it all to your kids.’ This is a health care reform plan? Repeal the estate tax?

And the Saviour of Conservative Intellectualism is …

by Henry Farrell on October 4, 2009

“Glenn Beck ?!!???”:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/01/AR2009100103889.html?hpid=opinionsbox1. Truly, these are desperate times for conservative would-be intellectuals (n.b. also the defence of Jonah Goldberg’s _Liberal Fascism_ as a ‘serious work’ that will stand the test of time).