Nick, paragraph 6:
All true, but the otherwise forgettable Bonekickers was worth remembering because it illustrated how the disasters of the Bush Administration and their own intellectual and aesthetic inadequacies have allowed writers to get away with a bad faith that would have had them booed off the stage in less fevered times.
So the writers of Bonekickers weren't "booed off the stage"? And not because a) writers aren't usually on the stage, and b) it was on television, after all. Nick paragraph 5:
“Mind-bogglingly dreadful,” said The Guardian. “Rubbish,” said The Times. The authors have the right to fail, said the man from The Independent, but “I’m not sure that it was wise of them to exercise it so vigorously”.
That looks like booing to me. Readers may know what he's on about. I don't.
There's more with World of Decency watchee Marko Attila Hoare.
Nevertheless, the next US president will have a much more difficult job managing South East Europe than either Clinton or Bush was faced with. The principal reason for this is the resurgence of Russian aggressiveness and power under Vladimir Putin.
There's a much more interesting piece on Alexander Solzhenitsyn by Robert Conquest which seems to me to be closer to understanding "the resurgence of Russian aggressiveness".
As for the recent past, Solzhenitsyn blamed Yeltsin for the failure of the 1990s, while praising Gorbachev who, though politically inexperienced and irresponsible, “first gave freedom of speech and movement to the citizens of our country”. But in general it was Putin he praised, as the one who “started to do what was possible – a slow and gradual restoration”. Part of this “restoration”, for Solzhenitsyn, was Russia’s emergence as a great power unsubservient to Washington.
When it came to foreign policy, Solzhenitsyn believed that, after 9/11, when Russia had given “critically important aid in Afghanistan”, the US had been completely ungrateful and then tried to push other demands. The pro- Western mood in Russia, he said, had started changing with the Nato bombings of Serbia: “All layers of Russian society were deeply and indelibly shocked by those bombings.” Things got worse “when Nato started to spread its influence and draw the ex- Soviet republics into its structure. This was especially painful in the case of Ukraine.” Gorbachev carries more weight than his fellow Nobel laureate. He too has supported Putin’s foreign policy and accused America of thinking in terms of “a new empire” and of taking a series of unilateral decisions that “ignored the Security Council, international law and the will of their own people”. The comments of these two figures show how Russians who are against the return to a Cold War still hold some of the old nationalist attitudes
Never mind the next President, I haven't seen the incumbent doing much about Putin. The comments on the Hoare piece (five so far) are simply wonderful.