FREE THE IRAQI PRESS!: Excellent piece from the Weekly Standard. Excerpts:...Then came bad news. On March 20, the Coalition issued Decree Number 66, signed by Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III, turning the Iraqi Media Network into the Iraqi Public Service Broadcaster, a government media enterprise equivalent to the British Broadcasting Corporation. Zayer and the al-Sabah staff professed shock that, under the decree, their newspaper would become a state-owned newspaper, with no prospect of the … [Read more...]

IN CASE YOU HAVEN'T SEEN IT: The scathing Army Times editorial on Abu Ghraib. Via Hit & Run, I think. … [Read more...]

IN THE GRAND TRADITION OF SCREAM FOR JEEVES!: H.P. LOVECRAFT MEETS P.G. WODEHOUSE: Terry Teachout at About Last Night writes: "Apropos of last week’s posting about whether Raymond Chandler and P.G. Wodehouse attended Dulwich College simultaneously, a reader writes:"'Moments in greatness: suppose if Wodehouse had had to fag for Chandler? The parody almost writes itself.'"You know who you are. You know what to do."Eve adds: Aaaaiiiieeeee!!!! PLEASE, somebody, do this!!! … [Read more...]

A WINTER'S TITLE: Scattered notes on The Great Title Discussion:1) Embarrassingly, I misremembered the Ray Bradbury title I listed as one of my top five! It's THE OCTOBER COUNTRY, not THE OCTOBER PEOPLE (although Bradbury uses the latter phrase, with much the same meaning as the former, in his excellent Something Wicked This Way Comes). Anyway, as a title, THE OCTOBER COUNTRY is better.2) I now have a title theory! Sort of. And it's astonishingly boring. Still, here it is, for what it's … [Read more...]

I'M SITTIN' ON TOP OF THE WORLD, BLOGROLLIN' ALONG... As many people on my blogroll have announced plans to blog less frequently or to stop altogether, I've changed it around a bit. Just wanted to explain why the place looks a bit different. … [Read more...]

"There are multiple distractions that somehow leak themselves in, even into these open spaces. Things about cleaning and creditors. All sorts of ephemera..."Little ghosts to be brushed aside."There is one that keeps occurring to me though."Something that I think may be of some import. Something we created together."A doll? A talking something? Something that made us happy."I will look for it--we will look for it--after I find you, but only after. It is important to prioritize." --Paul … [Read more...]

WOULD YOU CONSENT?: Ariel Dorfman in The Guardian:Is torture ever justified? That is the dirty question left out of the universal protestations of disgust, revulsion and shame that has greeted the release of photos showing British and American soldiers tormenting prisoners in Iraq.It is a question that was most unforgettably put forward over 130 years ago by Fyodor Dostoevsky in The Brothers Karamazov. In that novel, the saintly Alyosha Karamazov is tempted by his brother Ivan, … [Read more...]