July 15, 2014
He reckons that all declarations of war ought to be made into a kind of festival, with entrance tickets and music, like they have at bullfights. Then the ministers and generals of the two countries would have to come into the ring, wearing boxing shorts, and armed with rubber truncheons, and have a go at each other. Whoever is left on his feet, his country is declared the winner. That would be simpler and fairer than things are out here, where the wrong people are fighting each other.
All Quiet On The Western Front, Vintage Classics, p.29
July 14, 2014
I’m not entirely sure if John Sessions is talking about academics here (as the article is quite badly written), but if so, it chimes with my own experiences:
They are all hilarious, and what is most hilarious is that they sit down and write books about the blossoming of the human spirit – while having a venomous fight with some guy in the English department over where the coffee machine should be.
July 11, 2014
This is quite funny in a ghastly way:
At the end of June a press facility was arranged by the Iraqi army to reassure the media that government forces still held Abu Ghraib, the gateway through which any Isis attack will probably come. Several miles short of Abu Ghraib, the officer in charge of the press party raised up an arm and pointed in its general direction, saying, ‘You see, all perfectly peaceable’; despite pleas from the accompanying journalists, he refused to advance another yard.
Patrick Cockburn, again, in the LRB this time.
July 1, 2014
Many of Iraq’s most incompetent and crooked leaders since the US-led invasion were people whose main qualifications were that they were on good terms with the Americans.
Obvious, perhaps, but worth remembering (from Patrick Cockburn’s review of Zaid Ali’s book in The Oldie).