And I’m not feeling all that well myself, either

by Kieran Healy on June 30, 2010

Maybe I should have a lie down.

Alan Plater is dead

by Harry on June 30, 2010

When Alan Sillitoe died I experienced a moment of sadness that evaporated when I realized that it was, indeed, Sillitoe, and not Plater, who was gone. But now it is, indeed, Plater. Guardian obit here. A gorgeous appreciation by Tom Courtenay here. Z Cars, Softly Softly, Selwyn Froggitt, Fortunes of War, A Very British Coup (enormously superior to the book), Close the Coalhouse Door, it seems that for decades he was everywhere, words just spilling out. And all those radio plays, including the brilliant Roll Jordan Roll saga — many being replayed over and again on Radio 7. But above even the radio plays there is what for me was his masterpiece — the Beiderbecke Trilogy — a long, long, mood piece with lots of talk in which, by the end of each part, you realize belatedly that nothing has really happened. Brilliant.

Ken Coates is dead

by Chris Bertram on June 30, 2010

Ken Coates, a very significant figure in the history of the British left, has died. The Guardian has an obituary.

Working the Refs – Epistemology and Diplomacy

by John Holbo on June 30, 2010

Congrats to Dave Weigel on his new gig. You might want to read his mea culpa piece that just went up at (of all places!) Big Journalism. Comments are a hoot. [UPDATE: I see Breitbart is now offering a $100,000 reward for the complete JournoList archives. Sigh.]

The mea culpa makes the point that it’s risky, trying to make too many different groups like you, by talking down the other groups – whom you also want to like you. Age of Facebook and all. Not the sort of thing you should have to lose your job over, but embarrassing.

A point about the original leaked emails/postings. Weigel’s critics didn’t take kindly to severe snark about Drudge and Newt and Rand Paul; but what was presented as truly damning evidence that Weigel wasn’t willing and able to play his role as journalistic ‘bystander’ were the bits where he seemed to be 1) saying some prominent conservative thinkers/ideas aren’t worth taking seriously; 2) criticizing framing/spin efforts by conservatives and conservative media, and maybe hinting at ways that journalists should try, collectively, to counter such efforts. It’s easy to see why conservatives would be put off by the tone of Weigel’s comments, but it was apparently the fact that Weigel expressed ideas whose content fit categories 1) and 2) that got him fired. Let me try to say why this is nuts in a slightly different way than other people have been, rightly, saying this is nuts. And let me roll up 1) in 2), because 1) is just a special case of 2): crazy people are just spin doctors who have gone native, as it were. [click to continue…]