Skip to content

A respectable case for Brexit.

By NICK O’HEAR.

MY REMAINER FRIENDS complain bitterly about Bexit, about how the public were deceived by the Bexiteers, but there is a perfectly respectable case for wanting to leave the EU, one that is not nasty nor xenophobic.
(Continued)

The meaning of a match: Les Herbiers vs PSG, 08.05.18.

By JAKE SANDY [Onside View]—In a story that sounds like the plot of a Hollywood film, Les Herbiers VF, a French third division team have set-up a Coupe de France final tie against the footballing behemoth that is Paris Saint-Germain(Continued)

Has Jeffrey Goldberg made ‘The Atlantic’ a ‘safe space’?

By JACK SHAFFER [Politico] —Atlantic Editor-in-Chief Jeffrey Goldberg climbed out on a limb last month to add conservative fire-breather and Never Trumper Kevin D. Williamson of National Review to join his growing staff. On Thursday, Goldberg retreated to a safe place near the trunk and proceeded to saw off the branch, casting Williamson down to the ignominy of unemployment. (Continued)

The E.U.’s rule of law.

CN150excerptBy DANIEL HANNAN [New Criterion] — The rule of law is regularly set aside when it stands in the way of what Brussels élites want. To cite only the most recent example, the eurozone bailouts were patently illegal. Article 125 of the E.U. Treaty is unequivocal: (Continued)

While you were watching ‘Planet Earth’ and ‘Downton’…

By JURICA DUJMOVIC [Marketwatch]—A study by Verve Search, an SEO and content agency, sheds new light on the phenomenon of eSports, as competitive gaming is called. Did you know that the League of Legends (multiplayer online battle arena/MOBA) final drew in more viewers than the last game of the 2016 NBA Finals (36 million vs 31 million)? Or that the total eSports prize pool exceeds $93 million? (Continued)

Elmore Leonard v James Joyce!

By BEN BLATT [Publishers Weekly] — There is a lot of writing advice out there. But it’s hard to test, and it’s often best to judge someone not by what they say but what they do. Novelists may tell their adoring fans to do one thing, but do they actually follow their own advice? With data, we can find out—looking at everything from the overuse of adverbs to Strunk and White’s advice against qualifiers like “very” or “pretty.” (Continued)

The incompetent character in charge of decline.

By BRET STEPHENS [Wall Street Journal] — No presidency is ever about nothing. And the something that the Trump administration is fast becoming about is its own paranoia, incompetence and recklessness, all playing out in vertigo-inducing ways… (Continued)

‘Also, never see two Rohmer films in a row…’

CN150excerptBy LUC MOULLET [MUBI Notebook] — His films have a very simple and clean presentation of actions, often in fixed shot-sequences, a very smooth image, to the point of perfection, with harmonious colors (without being flaunted, however, like Visconti’s) which completely correspond to the rigor of his black and white documentary films. But the visual objectivity of his films is contradicted by their deep subjectivity: [Eric] Rohmer’s viewpoint is sometimes opposed to the viewpoint of the narrators and each of the characters. Often, the viewer knows more than them (Pauline at the Beach) or less than them (My Night at Maud’s). One of Rohmer’s great strengths resides in this constant dialectic between objectivity and subjectivity, and between the clarity of the images and the obscurity of the feelings and actions that avoids any redundancy between “form” and “content.” (Continued)

‘Gobstopping’ Islamic art objects at the Ashmolean.

By JANE JAKEMAN  [The Art Newspaper] — To illustrate the material culture supporting the various Islamic beliefs in the supernatural, whether “orthodox” or “superstitious”, the Ashmolean Museum has brought together examples that range not only from scholarly interpretation to popular faith, but also from lavish courtly productions to objects cherished at humbler levels. This in itself represents a new movement in Islamic art studies, traditionally largely focused on connoisseurship. That approach isolated the gobstopper art object in a glass case, whether physical or metaphorical, whereas the banners, talismans and amulets of poorer folk discussed here were part of their daily lives. (Continued)

The media: missed again.

By “XIAOMAO” [Chronicle & Notices.in a comment to a Washington Post article, “The media didn’t want to believe Trump could win. So they looked the other way.”] — no, you didn’t “miss” it. you deliberately, persistently, and consistently dismissed people and their voices by twisting our words, taking things out of context to make your misleading headlines, suppressing comments that you don’t like, and in not so subtle way insisting that simply because someone doesn’t have some BS 4 year sociology degree, he is “uneducated” or “rural” (hence less worthy than you and your opinion!) you only picked and published and made up sh!t that served your own agenda and naïveté and hypocrisy, polling, your superficial demographic typing of trump supporters. (Continued)

The weakness of secular belief.

The burkini has become a blasphemy against the French state and society consensus.

By BEN RYAN [Theos] — The real reason for banning the burkini had nothing to do with the women themselves but with the fear about what the burkini represents to France and French values. France is proud of its laïcité, its distinctive Republic vision of secularism, which is for many a key component of what it is to have a French society. In fact according to a poll by the Institut français d’opinion publique in 2015, 46% of French adults believe laïcité is the most important Republican principle (ahead of universal suffrage at 36% and freedom of association 8%).  It is also a country that feels under siege; a succession of terrorist attacks on French soil has made people afraid. Islam is now seen as a fundamental threat to Frenchness. The burkini is a visual sign of that fear – a public and (to many) alien demonstration of a faith that rightly or wrongly they now perceive as the enemy within. The burkini is a symbol of anti-laïcité, anti-Republicanism and, therefore, anti-Frenchness. It has become a blasphemy against the French state and society consensus. (Continued)

Yves Bonnefoy, 1923-2016.

By SAM SACKS [The New Yorker] — Bonnefoy’s writing is made of these gentle disagreements—his lifelong project was the reconciliation of stubborn opposites. The child of a teacher and a railroad worker, he was born in Tours in 1923 and spent the war years studying mathematics and philosophy. With his celebrated début collection, in 1953 (“On the Motion and Immobility of Douve”), he began a truly polymathic literary career, publishing, along with free-verse poetry, short fiction, lyric essays, translations (notably of Shakespeare and Yeats), literary criticism, and art history. He devoted considerable attention to the visual arts. (His second marriage was to the American painter Lucy Vines; the photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson was one of his closest friends.) He travelled widely, and lectured in comparative literature both in France and abroad.

(Continued)

Chernobyl.

By RICHARD JENSEN.

Chernobyl todayA LITTLE MORE THAN thirty years ago, just after eleven o’clock, on Friday night, April 26, 1986, the people of Kiev were going to bed. As the city slowed, demand for electricity decreased to the point that the grid operator in Kiev, who was responsible for balancing electrical production with demand, felt that one of the generators at the Chernobyl power plant could be taken offline without affecting service. (Continued)

Geoffrey Hill, 1932-2016.

By TRISTRAM FANE SAUNDERS [DAILY TELEGRAPH] — One of Hill’s formative early memories was the sight German bombers flying over his home town of Bromsgrove. “Here were these peculiar, businesslike – sinisterly businesslike – winged things… I can still remember the peculiar frisson of it,” he told The Telegraph in 2013. (Continued)

On the Somme, after the first day.

By GEORGES DUHAMEL.

gduhamel1_cuI HAD NO desire for laughter, and yet at times I felt a vague longing to laugh. It was when I thought of those men who write about the war in the newspapers, saying: “The breach has been made. Why do we hesitate to fling fifty divisions into it?” or, “It remains only to mass reserves close to the front. Quick! Four hundred thousand men into the breach.” (Continued)