Links IV

by chabonsby

It’s almost impossible to imagine what it would be like to be related to someone who is so deeply disturbed that they are highly dangerous, but Greg Bottoms gives some idea of how awful it must be. As he recounts the tale of receiving a message from his brother, incarcerated in a mental health unit after trying to kill his family years previously, you can almost feel the shadow it casts over his life.

Tom Scott is a genius, and in an ideal world his Nick Davies inspired ‘journalism warning labels’ would be compulsory. Of course, in an ideal world, journalists probably wouldn’t regurgitate press releases as news…

Everyone is aware of just how relentlessly hypocritical politicians are about moral issues, especially those on the right, and especially when it comes to sex. Julian Sanchez uses everyone’s favourite latter-day platonist to account for the rampant pietism of the modern republican party. In essence it is less hypocrisy, more unspeakable elitism. Now let us all titter at the notion of Rick Santorum, philosopher king.

I imagine this happens to everyone at times, finding oneself reading an article from quite awhile ago for no apparent reason. Sir Hilary Synnott died six months ago, but this obituary will always be worth reading, detailing, as it does, the sheer insanity of the unplanned and half-arsed occupation of Iraq.

I love the word ‘meh’, it’s such a perfect statement of sheer ennui. Indeed it appears to be massively popular, inspiring Ben Zimmer to consider how much damage it’s doing to Mitt ‘Meh’ Romney. I hadn’t give its origins any thought, but had I done so for more than a few seconds I’m confident I would have accurately guessed its Yiddish roots.

You really don’t see this enough, and it’s certainly a welcome sign: Somebody bemoaning the facile War on Drugs in a major newspaper other than the Guardian. Daniel Knowles of The Telegraph (!) makes the point that should be obvious to anyone: Destroying several developing nations and killing tens of thousands every year purely to try and stop Russell Brand ruining his own life is damn near the dictionary definition of a morally bankrupt exercise.