New Statesman (1996)

Articles from Vol. 140, No. 5065, August 8

A Little Bit of Respect: Aretha Deserves a Better Tribute Than This
The Queen of Soul: the Legend of Aretha Franklin Radio 2 The second part of a documentary about Aretha Franklin (2 August, 10pm) had the strainedly affirmative tones of the show-pen at an obedience school. "Look how she played for presidents...
A Summer of Scapegoating
At the weekend, some friends and I took a trip to the seaside. We ate ice-cream on the beach in the sun and tiptoed out into the icy waves, shrieking like excited children: five get messy in Brighton. It was, in every respect, a normal holiday. Except...
August
What is August for? Of all the months in the year, it lacks purpose. The days are long and hot, or long and damp, or just long. The politicians are on holiday. The children are on holiday. The parents of the children are on holiday. And everyone else...
David Cameron Has Led Us into Another Military Quagmire
On 10 March, shortly before Nato began its military action in Libya, a confident David Cameron declared that there was no future for the country as long as Muammar al-Gaddafi remained within its borders. "To end the suffering of the Libyan people,"...
Dirty Secret of the Modern Mega-City
Across the world, slums are home to a billion people. The rich elite want the shanty towns cleared, but residents are surprisingly determined not to leave. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] The room is eight feet by eight and forms...
Extreme Injustice: Samira Shackle on Why Religious Persecution of Minorities in Pakistan Is Getting Worse
As I stand on a dusty street under the Karachi sun, already blazing at 9am, it strikes me that I am being rejected. I am at a Christian-run school to talk to the headmaster about religious discrimination, but his assistant has just refused to let me...
How I Saved Barry's Butt
I'm posting this report from a confused but relieved Washington, DC, where I've been helping President Obama save the free world, and his arse. [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] You may be surprised that Obama turned to me, the world's most notorious speculator,...
I'm the Grumpy Captain of HMS Not Getting Any
I have always liked Pozzo's speech in Waiting for Godot when he says that the tears of the world are a constant quantity, and that for each person who begins to weep, another one stops. Not so much because it is the finest speech in Beckett's oeuvre,...
"Is There a Less Edifying Spectacle Than Prime Minister's Questions?"
Portrait by Charlotte Player How do you feel about the current state of television comedy? I'm never pessimistic, because something good always comes along. In fact, dry periods create programmes like The Office, which often start as rejections...
It's a Sign of Miliband's Strength That Storms Are Staying in Their Teacups
Political parties are seldom united and never united for long. The best that leaders can usually hope for is an illusion of consent. A compelling set of policies earns some loyalty; the rest is bought with a credible promise of power. When Ed Miliband...
Liberals Need to Stop Making Excuses for Obama
Barack Obama's army of admirers has been doughtily defending his 31 July decision to do a deal on the debt with the Republicans, including $2.4trn ([pounds strerling]i.46trn) in spending cuts over ten years and no new tax revenues. "His hands were...
Policing the People's Jury, the Spirit of Cricket and Passing the Buck
I like the term "feral elite", coined by assorted peers, academics, journalists and writers for those responsible for phone -hacking, the financial crisis and other misdemeanours. Presumably, those who have petitioned for a "people's jury" to explore...
Second Coming: This Is How to Make Inspired Use of the Archives
Great Thinkers in Their Own Words The Highlands on Film BBC4 The Daily Mail is busy (yet again) getting its M&S knickers in a twist about the new-look, post-budget-cuts BBC: apparently, it will feature many REPEATS (I love the way the...
Should Mice and Men Ever Look Alike?
There's a new acronym in town: ACHM, which stands for "animals containing human material". With any luck, you're going to be hearing a lot about it over the next few months. We already have sheep and goats that manufacture human proteins. Research...
Space Oddities: William Wiles Takes a Trip into the Twilight Zone of Literary Creation
Out of this World British Library, London NWi Here's an idea for a science-fiction story. Humanity suffers a recurring bout of cultural amnesia. Bearers of the flame must restate the same ideas, and refute the same myths, every ten or 20 years....
Tales from the Front Line: It Takes Courage to Intervene in Chicago's Gang Wars
The Interrupters (12A) dir. Steve James If some cinemas have about them the air of the car-boot sale, that may be because the superhero genre is cleaning out its cupboards before the return next summer of Batman and Spider-Man. Following The...
The Credibility of US Economic Policymaking Is in Shreds
Sanity prevailed at last in the United States, as the Treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, had insisted it would. After a period of extreme political theatre, a default was avoided. The House of Representatives passed the bill to raise the debt ceiling...
The Food of Love: Tom Ravenscroft on the Dilemma of Choosing Songs for a Dinner Party
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah put me off my food this week. I realised almost immediately that they were a bad choice when I looked up and saw that other people's jaws had also slowed. I had been asked to put on some music during dinner and considered them...
The NS Crossword
Across 1 I fire cat upset by trickery (8) 5 Pudding, alternatively feast. Right! (6) 10He's up on amendment to the bill (5) 11 Sort of strain of bog rosemary (9) 12 Supporters at Next (9) 13 Herb graduates and I left (5) 14 Outlaw...
The Only Verdict: Get Him to the Asylum
In Edgar Allan Poe's prescient short story "The Man of the Crowd", the narrator tracks an individual through the teeming streets of early-Victorian London. As day turns to night and the streams of humanity ebb away, our chronicler, initially unable...
The Week So Far
1. Media On 2 August Stuart Kuttner, former managing editor of the News of the World, was arrested by Metropolitan Police officers i n ves tiga ting phone -hacking and allegations of police bribery at the now-defunct tabloid newspaper. Kuttner was...
Times Have Changed in Cuba, but Softly the Struggle Continues
On my first day in Cuba, in 1967,1 waited in a bus queue that was really a conga line. Ahead of me were two large, funny women resplendent in frills of blinding yellow; one of them had an especially long bongo under her arm. When the bus arrived, painted...
Vendela Vida
Your novel The Lovers follows a widow on her travels. Why did you choose Turkey? My husband [the author Dave Eggers] and I wanted to go. I never planned on writing about it, and I didn't take any notes while we were there. When we got home, I started...
Violent Games Might Be Tasteless, but Are They Dangerous?
Are violent video games ever to blame for acts of real-world violence? The question came up again in the wake of Anders Behring Breivik's terrible massacre, when it emerged that his rambling "manifesto" approvingly mentioned the Fallout series, BioShockz...
Why Can't Barack Be as Brave as a Lesbian Colorado Cowgirl?
It was the Colorado Gay Rodeo Association (CGRA) gymkhana that got me thinking about Nice America and Nasty America. The United States is a country of extremes - rich and poor, warmth and hostility, meanness and generosity. The classic Midwest rodeo...
Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril: The Murdochs Have Been Accused of Closing Their Eyes to the Truth of What Was Happening at News International. Their "Wilful Blindness" Is Characteristic - from BP to Enron - of an Age When Some Companies Are Not Just Too Big to Fail, but Too Big to Govern
When Adrian Sanders asked the Murdochs, during their appearance before the House of Commons culture, media and sport select committee on Tuesday 19 July, if they were familiar with the term "wilful blindness", their startled silence was revealing....
Writing for the Telegraph Was like Getting a Weekly Spanking
The spectrum of human perversion is a wide and colourful one and even our strangest desires can be accommodated by the wonderful global economy. In America, for example, you can pay to have yourself kidnapped and water-boarded. In Britain, the opportunities...
Written in the Body
If pigs could fly ... they'd need wings. And that's exactly what the artists Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr have tried to create, growing pig-bone tissue on polymer scaffolds over the course of nine months. The resulting tiny sculptures, Pig Wings, are...