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Showing posts from October 14, 2001
Remora We at Limited Inc are not vindicative people. Some readers have asked us why we have never given a whole spot to Berlusconi, especially since we derided his comment about the superiority of Western Civilization to Islam. But at the moment, it is very hard to take umbrage at a man who finds himself playing a bit part, a swab, an Igor, to world historic events. There's a story about him in today's NYT , and these two grafs say it all. "After Mr. Berlusconi, who is Italy's richest man, was not invited to a meeting of French, British and German leaders just before today's summit meeting, he showed how much he minded. At a news conference, he said he could not have fit the meeting into his schedule anyway, because he had a previous engagement with center-right leaders from Spain, Austria, and Luxembourg. Of that group, he boasted that he was "the leader of the most important country." More important than Austria? More important than Luxembo
Dope I had drinks with Alan a couple of nights ago. I was celebrating keeping this site going for threee months, and writing, almost every day, five hundred words on various topics. We talked a bit about what I was trying to do with this site: attract an audience? What kind of audience? In self-critical mode, I said I realized that sometimes I can't get off of a topic. For instance, the war, maybe I keep returning to it, maybe I am getting boring about it. And Alan said, oh, well, I don't usually read the posts that aren't about the war. Whoah. Okay, Limited Inc. does go on an occasional esoteric bender, and maybe we should just keep doing war stuff. But screw it -- we never promised you a rose garden, reader. Sometimes the itch to talk about Plutarch or Ernst Junger gets to be too much. So yesterday I thought I'd push the envelope and post a complicated discussion of Gabriel Tarde. Unfortunately, midway through the post, I looked at what I had written and though
Remora Our eyes have turned to the NYT Story in the biz section today Canada Overrides Patent for Cipro to Treat Anthrax by Amy Harmon and Robert Fear. Lede graf: "Canada, taking an unusual step that the United States has resisted, said yesterday that it had overridden Bayer's patent for Cipro, an antibiotic to treat anthrax, and ordered a million tablets of a generic version from a Canadian company." This rings a bell. In August, Brazil decided to put the screws to Roche, the Swiss drug manufacturer. It declared a national emergency to break the patent on nelfinavir, an AIDS drug. The US reaction to Brazil's patent policies in general has been aggressive, as in this WP story : "Last February, the United States filed a claim against Brazil with the World Trade Organization over Brazil's intention to produce generic versions of patented AIDS drugs. The United States later withdrew its complaint under heavy international criticism. But Washing
Remora Not to brag, but, uh... well, to brag. LimitedInc, if you go back to October 6th, was all about the terrorist-pirate analogy. It has since been picked up (probably, we suspect, because IMPORTANT MEDIA PEOPLE are secretly reading this weblog for pointers -- you know who you are!) all over the place. Latest is Chris Mooney's piece in the American Prospect , which is a little more specific about America's war with the Barbary pirates. Nobody has yet picked up on our point that piracy required sponsoring nations, at first, and actually contributed to nation-building. Somebody will inevitably get to that, though.
Dope Tomorrow, I am going to cut the throat of my popularity -- look, I've had as many as ten people visit this site in one day! -- and do a little foray into the philosophy of Gabriel Tarde. Since I mentioned Tarde in a review I wrote for Green Magazine last year - June, I believe it was -- of Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point, I'm going to paste the review here, for reference. Steve Johnson, the very handsome Steve Johnson whose Feed, alas, seems to be no more, interviewed Gladwell about that book at this link. . As I said in some earlier post, right now I have a peculiar interest in the ruins and monuments of the 90s. Gladwell's work at the New Yorker wove a little filagree of old psychological experiments and new sounding science around the New Economy mantra. The first article of his I remember reading and going, wow, (and isn't that the quintessential, trend-driven, hyperinfantile response that people report as though it meant something? which I cou
Remora Nick Cohen makes some very nice points in this Guardian article (which I went to by way of this weblog -- abrightcolddayinapril -- some nice bits on it, too) First graf of Cohen's article: "The bombing of Afghanistan must stop. To say so isn't to appease mass murderers by pretending they are misunderstood fighters against imperialism. You can think, as I do, that the sum of human happiness would inflate exponentially if the Taliban and their Arab allies were driven from power. You can believe that the atrocities of 11 September changed the world and made hitherto unthinkable expedients necessary. You can even fall in love with Tony Blair's mythical America which stood 'side by side with us' in the Blitz of 1940, rather than staying out of the Second World War until 1941, and was 'born out of the defeat of slavery', rather than a declaration of independence by, among others, slave owners. " That's a bracing return to reality.
Remora Peter Hitchens is Christopher Hitchens brother. In England, he is a famous Thatcherite, waxing scornful at the leftist tide undermining civilization and stealing the family silver. To read a truly, truly bonkers article, you must take this link . The It is hilarious. I particularly liked the line about the European Union being a smiley faced USSR. "Take me to your balaikas ringing out, Mr. Schroder," type of thing. Of course, being a Tory of the old school -- I mean very old school, I mean I am pretty sure the guy is still pissed at the frogs for that Willian the Conquerer chap -- Hitchens doesn't content himself with knocking the usual left suspects -- no no no, the meat of the piece, rare and juicy, is dedicated to the proposition that Bush has gotten wobbly. In short, he's operating like the Manchurian candidate. Surely the smileyfaced KGB have been waving cards in front of his face. I'm not joking. An attack on Bush for being a l
Remora For Christmas in 1914, the Kaiser sent every German soldier on the Western front a box with 10 cigars. Facing them, the Tommies were being flooded with Christmas parcels containing plum cake -- apparently parents and wives at home were properly alarmed at what their boys would be eating over there in France -- all those sauces, you know. The soldiers on both sides declared an informal ceasefire, and traded cigars for plum cake, and sampled each others beers. On January 1, the Germans initiated a barrage, but the Tommies soon noticed they were firing in the air. The British replied, shooting high in the air. A good enough time was had by all. The high commands on both sides were furious, and sent strict orders down to the lower level officers that any fraternizing with the enemy in the future would be severely punished. Four months later, in April, the Germans tried to break through the front at Ypres using a new weapon. Cannisters were exploded in a salient in front of an
Remora Renata Adler and Joan Didion - can I name four things I like about them? I like the way in which these two women stay resolutely out of the loop. I like the unblinking gaze they cast upon the loop. I like the way dates are important to them, documents are important to them, rhetorical impasses are important to them. The way they proceed by looking, rather than feeling. A hard thing to do, because it can addict you to the disconnect, to an automatic blankness of response, as if blankness were somehow more objective. However, in a political culture that has debased outrage and routinized indignation (indignation is the default mode on MSNBC, the cheap standard, news talk shows look more and more like bad marriages, we watch a man bellow and wonder how high his voice can get, how much face he can put in another person's face, and we know, hey, this is an act), we go to the slow take for the sake of, well, beauty. A balance, a classicicm. So it is nice that Renata Adler is in
Remora A little late to announce this -- but Jacques Derrida, to whom we at Limited Inc are constantly alluding (unless we take our regular meds packet), won the Theodor Adorno prize , worth around 100,000 bucks. Yes, I'd never heard of it either. Seems that Godard and Boulez are past winners. Der Spiegel has a nice photo of Jacques looking tough to go with the story. Oh, and Jurgen Habermas won a peace prize in Germany . He took the occasion to call for (what else? ) dialogue with Islam.
Dope. Yesterday Alan wrote an extensive reply to my Friday post. You'll remember, that Post was a harsh appraisal of an article in Salon. Here's my reply to Alan, who I must thank for livening up my site this weekend. Alan, I'll concede your point about Buddhism, because you know what you are talking about, and I don't. I will admit that, childishly, I wrote those jibes against Buddhism partly to rouse you to write something. Sorry -- but it worked. There's three more serious points you make, and that I'd like to take up. Fundamentalism. Connerney's point about fundamentalism is, I think, folded into a larger argument which claims that fundamentalist Islam, although only one part of Islam, correctly gives weight to an Islamic principle - jihad. And given that principle, Connerney can compare Islam in general with Judaism and Christianity in general. The argument is a little assymetrical, because Connerney doesn't make the same point about