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One of the Guardian Unlimited Books' top 10 literary blogs: "A home-grown treasure ... smart, serious analysis"

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Blog entries on '03 January 2006'

Tuesday 03 January 2006

Guardians of Power

Guardians of Power: The Myth of the Liberal Media by David Edwards and David Cromwell (of Medialens) is just out from Pluto Press:

Can a corporate media system be expected to tell the truth about a world dominated by corporations?

Can newspapers, including the 'liberal' Guardian and the Independent, tell the truth about catastrophic climate change - about its roots in mass consumerism and corporate obstructionism - when they are themselves profit-oriented businesses dependent on advertisers for 75% of their revenues?

Can the BBC tell the truth about UK government crimes in Iraq when its senior managers are appointed by the government? Has anything fundamentally changed since BBC founder Lord Reith wrote of the establishment: "They know they can trust us not to be really impartial"?

Why did the British and American mass media fail to challenge even the most obvious government lies on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction before the invasion in March 2003? Why did the media ignore the claims of UN weapons inspectors that Iraq had been 90-95% "fundamentally disarmed" as early as 1998?

I hope to be interviewing the authors here on RSB later in the month.

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Tuesday 03 January 2006


Some excellent articles over on Metamute: Steve "Storming Heaven" Wright's Reality check: Are We Living In An Immaterial World?; Peter Linebaugh's Charters of Liberty in Black Face and White Face: Race, Slavery and the Commons and Stewart Home's Rated X by an All-White Jury. (Linebaugh, as you may recall, is the author of The Many-Headed Hydra: The Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic which he co-wrote with RSB interviewee Marcus Rediker.)

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Tuesday 03 January 2006

Beckett at Reading

More Beckett centenary stuff: between March and June, the Beckett International Foundation in Reading will host a series of events to celebrate Beckett’s birth, including an exhibition (Samuel Beckett - The Irish European) in the Museum of Reading from 25th March to 25th June 2006: "[t]he first such exhibition in 35 years, it will tell the story of Beckett’s life and work, from his birth in Dublin on 13 April 1906, through his war-time experiences in France, to his fame following Waiting for Godot.

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Tuesday 03 January 2006

Lost Byron poem discovered

According to the Times, a librarian (god bless 'em all!) has discovered a lost poem by Byron, in a 19th-century book within the archives of University College London:

It is the only known manuscript of the untitled poem that appeared in print four years later, in 1816. It was assumed that the original had been lost, but a librarian stumbled across it during a routine cataloguing.

Dated April 19, 1812, the poet signed his name in Greek characters. The inscription is within an 1810 edition of The Pleasures of Memory by Samuel Rogers, a patron of the arts and a minor poet. It was a gesture of friendship from Byron, who later showed his disdain for the man.

Mislaid lines

Absent or present still to thee
My friend, what magic spells belong!
As all can tell, who share, like me,
In turn thy converse, and thy song.
But when the dreaded hour shall come
By Friendship ever deemed too nigh,
And “Memory” oer her Druid’s tomb
Shall weep that aught of thee can die,
How fondly will She then repay
Thy homage offered at her shrine
And blend, while Ages roll away
Her name immortally with thine

Posted by Mark Thwaite

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-- Mark Thwaite, Managing Editor



As you sow, so shall you reap. The bags packed,
Umbers and gold swollen between the purse-strings,
Getaway cars nose on a hot scent.
Under striped canvas the patrons gather,
Staring at blue, incorrigible seas.
The stubble burns a hole in summer's pocket;
Upon the baked crust of their world, the mice
Scatter their ashes to the harvest moon.

-- Peter Scupham
(Carcanet Press)

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Word of the Day

The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or two

Pre-order Anu Garg's new book: The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or Two: The Hidden Lives and Strange Origins of Common and Not-So-Common Words (ISBN 9780452288614), published by Penguin more …

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October's Books of the Month

The New Spirit of Capitalism The New Spirit of Capitalism
Luc Boltanski; Eve Chiapello
Horizons Touched: The Music of ECM Horizons Touched: The Music of ECM
Steve Lake, Paul Griffiths

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