The Joy of Submission – Quadrant
A review of Submission by Michel Houellebecq
More than a year after its publication, the worth of novelist Michel Houellebecq’s Submission shines ever brighter, its synthesis of cynicism, seriousness and sadness a jaded reminder that fiction remains stranger than fact, but only just.
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Book Review: Birth School Metallica Death Volume 1 by Paul Brannigan and Ian Winwood – The Big Smoke
This biography reads like an extended schoolyard discourse on why Metallica is the greatest band ever and why all other bands suck . . .
If the authors had excised just some of the more congratulatory sentences, the book’s length could have been significantly reduced, rendering unnecessary Volume 2, which was released last year. I will not bother to read it. I couldn’t stand to be informed that really, honestly, after the 12th listen, St Anger isn’t all that shit. It is.
So is this book.
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The Masochists Who Defend Sadists: The Regressive Left in Theory and Practice – Quillette
The regressive left is a new term that encompasses a much older way of thinking about the world, our place in it, and what to do about it. It is a brilliant and evocative term: it brings to mind a Stalinist-left that has survived the twentieth century; it cleverly subverts the progressive label that such writers usually wear; perhaps most importantly, it is a term that will always be pejorative. When the socialist intellectual Michael Harrington called some of his ex-comrades neoconservatives, it was an insult that its targets transformed into a badge of honour. There is no risk of that here. It’s unlikely that the Art of Mentoring publishing house will commission Glenn Greenwald to write Letters to a Young Regressive. And that’s a good thing. The regressive left will discredit itself.
Read this essay at Quillette
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Dismiss Radical Feminism – Quillette
My advice on feminist issues is seldom – oh, all right – never requested. The recent, shall we say, clusterfuck over at New Matilda has ended my usual reticence.
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Book Review: And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini – Writer’s Edit
And The Mountains Echoed surpasses Hosseini’s other novels, from a literary standpoint and by its ability to illuminate and make real Afghanistan’s modern history. If you want to know Afghanistan – that is, know more than each day’s revised body count – imaginative literature might just more closely resemble real life
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What I learned at my own funeral – The Big Smoke
In an effort to feel something, the spiritually inept Timothy Cootes recently attended his own fake funeral. This is a service offered to the pilgrims at Happy Dying, a Buddhist learning centre in Seoul, South Korea.
Read this essay at The Big Smoke
Islamist Intolerance and its Useful Idiots – Quadrant
When it comes to choosing sides, the hard left’s anti-Western mindset inevitably trumps respect for the values it otherwise professes to endorse: gender equality, gay rights and opposition to theocratic absolutism, to name but a few. Shame, however, remains an alien concept.
Read this essay at Quadrant