Andy Coulson, etc.

From the New York Times Magazine‘s long piece about News of the World phone hacking:

A draft of the paper’s unpublished article about [chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association Gordon] Taylor’s alleged affair indicated it was based on a voice mail message he had received from his assistant. Lewis [ = Taylor’s lawyer] said the message went: “Thank you for yesterday. You were great.” The paper assumed “she was talking about shagging,” Lewis explained. In reality, she was referring to a speech Taylor gave at her father’s funeral.

Thought for the Day

Since the platitudinous nonsense that is broadcast as ‘Thought for the Day’ on Radio 4 each morning presumably contributes in some small way to the fact that ours is, basically, a secular society, why are the atheists or the humanists (or whatever they want to call themselves) so keen to get in on the act? It’s not as if they’d be allowed to broadcast non-platitudinous non-nonsense, I take it, as the slot’s not supposed to be controversial or partisan, and it’s difficult to do n.-p. n.-n. without running a severe risk of being c. or p.. So it’d be platitudinous nonsense, as before, but coming from the secular rationalists or agnostics (or whatever they want to call themselves), instead of coming from the ranks of the God-squad. And the foreseeable result of that would be that listeners would be put off non-theism then, to just the same extent as ‘TftD’ puts them off theism now. I must be missing something, somewhere along the line, but right now I just can’t see what it is.

Could Russell Brand Give Your Daughters Swine Flu?

Perhaps everyone else has seen this, but I’ve just noticed that the splendid Daily Mail-o-Matic has been updated to include 2009 bogeymen. Have the PC Brigade Had Sex with the Queen? Could Alistair Darling Molest Common Sense and Decency? Are the Unions Impregnating the Countryside?

Also, the postmodernism generator is much more sophisticated than it was last time I looked.

Local Radio Advertising

Listening to the radio here in Cambridge, the adverts all seem to be public health announcements of one kind or another, warning us against unprotected sex, too much salt in our soup, and driving our cars into fens. Has the recession meant that no-one’s buying radio spots at all, so government agencies (or whatever) are just block-booking them all on the cheap, or is Cambridgeshire a much, much more dangerous and debauched (and, I suppose, salty) place than I’ve been led to believe hitherto?

A Postgraduate Interdisciplinary Conference on Doctor Who and all its Spin-offs

WHONIVERSAL APPEAL: A Postgraduate Interdisciplinary Conference on Doctor Who and all its Spin-offs, Cardiff University, 14-16 November 2008

Over the fold for further details and the provisional programme…
Continue reading “A Postgraduate Interdisciplinary Conference on Doctor Who and all its Spin-offs”

“After the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labour has vanished…”

Today, tehgraun‘s arts critics are writing about sporting events, so we have theatre critic Michael Billington on darts and rock critic Caroline Sullivan on the Second Test Match.

Tomorrow we’re promised “chief football writer Kevin McCarra on Finnish contemporary dance” and “golf correspondent Lawrence Donegan on the San Francisco Symphony’s Brahms cycle”.

I like this kind of thing.