Total Drek

Or, the thoughts of several frustrated intellectuals on Sociology, Gaming, Science, Politics, Science Fiction, Religion, and whatever the hell else strikes their fancy. There is absolutely no reason why you should read this blog. None. Seriously. Go hit your back button. It's up in the upper left-hand corner of your browser... it says "Back." Don't say we didn't warn you.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

And now for something completely different

I am sure none of you need to be reminded of what the immediate aftermath of 9/11 was like. I was in Granada, southern Spain at the time, and found the reporting extremely distressing, not just because of the content, but because of the slant, and the anti-islamic comments. There was one, lonely exception in the wide range of available papers - The Independent, a well-respected and popular British newspaper. Their correspondent and commentator for the Middle East was, and is, Robert Fisk.

Robert Fisk is a formidable presence in British journalism, with an unbeatable track record in political reporting. According to wikipedia (and do check out the link), he is the world's most decorated foreign correspondent. Not that I care if he is. I care that the man has a clear mind, the courage of his opinions (which require a lot of courage these days), and more knowledge of the situation than I have seen in anyone else. A tad polemic perhaps, but still easily the best thing out there. It works; and it works because he is that unlikely thing, a sincere left-wing intellectual in the field.

Someone stop me from drawing parallels with Orwell*.

I know, it's the US, and you are unlikely to be able to get your hands on an Independent - a crying shame that is too. Getting the online edition is neither as pleasant nor as flexible, so now what? Fisk has written a book; it's called The Great War for Civilisation. I am going to buy it, and, you know what, I'll review it here. If I like it I will try to convince you all some more that Fisk's is one of the most relevant voices in the debate. Meanwhile, try reading some of his articles**.

On a frivolous sidenote, Osama bin Laden, whom Fisk interviewed three times, once (very) allegedly offered someone 50$ to run over the journalist. An unusual CV item for sure.

*If you have an interest in politics and haven't read his essays, well...you can find them here
**Try this obnoxious looking site. I recommend "Telling it like it isn't" in the righthand column. The tone bothers me a bit, but he does have an important point.

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