Thursday, April 28, 2005

Oil, War and U.S. Standards of Living

Michael Klare has a new article about the coming war in Iran and how it's about long-term battle for controlling the world's energy resources.

Also, be sure to check out James Howard Kunstler's "The Long Emergency" , a Rolling Stone article apparently based on his new book.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

I'm not very well read in the area of cultural studies, but a book group I'm in just read Stewart Hall's The Hard Road to Renewal: Thatcherism and the Crisis of the Left (out of print, sorry)-- which is an a collection of very insightful essays that I found as relevant and insightful to today's America as they must have been to Thatcher's England.

Comparisons with Thomas Frank immediately come to mind, except Frank (who writes similarly about authoritarian populism, but decades later) is sometimes less precise in his analysis, actually (although I find him to be a much better writer). Look for an upcoming comparative essay by Michael Berube, who has many insights on Hall and teaches cultural studies.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Spent the weekend reading Charles McCarry's re-released spy novel, Tears of Autumn. A kind of Jason Bourne-type character investigation of who's behind the Kennedy assassination. The writing was good, the plot has twists, but ultimately unconvincing: drug-dealing Vietnamese did it as vengeance for assassination of Ngo. I made the mistake of following the recommendation of the Post's Jonathan Yardley and actually finished this one. If you've got better things to read, forget it.

The Bloviator: Speaking of put-downs, Matt Taibbi does a great job skewering Thomas Friedman's latest book. Read the review and you'll be fine with your choice of not reading that one.
I'm also reading some P.K.Dick. The Penultimate Truth was the latest.

Also, Tom Frank's latest essay in the NYRB is okay, but a broken-record criticism of liberal Dems (i.e. they don't have their act together). That's not what the Post says today, but generally I'm with Frank. Problem is, he rarely crosses over from entertaining criticism to specifics about what to do. That's the hard part, eh?

Friday, April 01, 2005

From dept. of no surprises: TV may cause ADD, especially in kids, according a study published by Pediatrics magazine. Does that turn you off?