John Pilger Keeps The Faith

John Pilger Keeps The Faith – Quadrant

Dispute the Australian-born propagandist’s ravings all you like, but you have to admire his acumen in recognising a niche market for themes the Left finds so edifying. It’s all the West’s fault, you see. No surprise to find him feted at Sydney University.

Read this essay at Quadrant


Comrades: Islamism and the Left

Comrades: Islamism and the Left – Quadrant

In the aftermath of an Islamist assault on civil society, mainstream news coverage and commentary invariably follow the same path. First, after the initial horror, there is a restriction on language: one may speak of Islam or of terror, but not in the same breath. Break this rule and expect to be charged with Islamophobia at best, rank and racist bigotry at worst. Next, the death toll of the incident is balanced against the many alleged depredations of the West which, of course, is said to be the cause of all terrorism in the first place . . .

To put it in a nutshell, the left’s response to terror is an aggressive denial borne of a civilisational self-hatred.

Read this essay at Quadrant

The Joy of Submission

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.

Read this review at Quadrant


Book Review: Birth School Metallica Death Volume I

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.

Read this review at The Big Smoke


The Masochists Who Defend Sadists: The Regressive Left in Theory and Practice

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

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.

Read this essay at Quillette


On Afghanistan and Indifference

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

Read this review at Writer’s Edit


Spiritual Self-Improvement and its Discontents

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

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