Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Books we can't read

Spiked has published a semi-courageous piece on the Five books on terrorism you aren't allowed to read which, at a time when the Saudi monarch is in our midst here in the UK, strongly implies that the totalitarian enemies of freedom understand our libel laws better than many of our authors and publishers do, and can therefore conduct medieval-style book-cremations via a more modern kind of proxy.

The Saudi 'billionaire' in question could well be none other than Central America's favourite creative accountant, Khalid bin Mahfouz.

King Abdullah apparently thinks we're being slack in addressing the threat posed by the Salafist nutjobs that have been his country's second most significant export. (If there was a 'good bit' to The Kingdom it was the opening title sequence which did its best to explain the foundations of Abdullah's power and reminded Americans how many of the 9-11 terrorists had been his subjects.)

How many times can you recall an RPG fired in the direction of the (apparent) good guys that actually frags someone in a recent Hollywood movie? The Kingdom added to the body of explosive near-misses committed to film. I think some FBI guys might have taken a hit in Clear and Present Danger...?

The part of the Spiked article that made me sit up and think was Michael Griffin's assertion that his pre-9-11 account of the Taliban 'whirlwind' was somehow innocent, because subsequently "everything has been shovelled into a ditch of what the West wants everybody to believe about Islam, terror, the Taliban al-Qaeda and so on. You can no longer find books that deal with the pure, unadulterated information about history." Hmmm....all pure information becomes marketable content in its own special way surely.

Rob Lyons, the deputy editor of Spiked was on Breakfast this morning claiming that recycling is generally neither necessary or helpful. Their business plan seems to be to work out what the current groupthink is and then concoct a bendy but not entirely flimsy counterpoint.

Apparently it's still illegal to watch David Kronenberg's Crash in Westminster.

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