September 2022

  • Temporarily embarrassed millionaires

    According to hellyesjohnsteinbeck “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” This is a misquote, and: “the remark is very likely a paraphrase from Steinbeck’s article “A Primer on the ’30s.” Esquire (June 1960), p. 85-93:” Except for the field organizers of strikes, who were pretty tough monkeys and devoted, most of the so-called Communists I met were middle-class, middle-aged people playing a game of dreams. I remember a woman in easy circumstances saying to another even more affluent: ‘After the revolution even

  • How do you translate “새끼”?

    At the Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment Conference in New York City, the South Korean president was caught on a hot mic disparaging the United States Congress. He said: 국회에서 이 새끼들이 승인 안 해주면 바이든은 쪽팔려서 어떡하나? On YouTube, one must now bear witness to Korean news commentators contorting themselves into awkward shapes while reporting on how English language newspapers translated Yoon’s faux pas (this means, translating – into Korean – the English translation of the original Korean). As Dave Chappelle might say, a dubious activity to be involved in. The crux of the issue revolves around how

  • Rumpole and the Golden Thread

    Notes on Kittle’s PhD thesis Chapter 4: The role of the British legal system in British sense of national identity – “the long history of British common law serves a specific ideological function. It helps to establish as a distinctly British trait the fair and reasonable treatment of those involved in legal proceedings, whether criminal or civil.” The story Rumpole and the Golden Thread set, very unusually, in Africa, in the fictitious country of Neranga. The story is inspired by events that happened in Zimbabwe and the trial of the seven accused Zapu dissidents. The British High Commissioner

  • Lessons from McEwan

    Ian McEwan’s new book, “Lessons,”is out. Looking forward to reading it. Also, on his publisher’s website is an “oral history” of Atonement.

  • From Hare to Fraternité

    A very good essay by David Hare on Tory shamelessness and the 1970s TV show “Road to Freedom.” Shame, said Karl Marx, is the only revolutionary emotion. When the series climaxes with the capitulation of the French army to the Nazis in 1940, one of the greatest humiliations of modern history, you realise how refreshing it is, after years of propaganda in which people are constantly exhorted to go easy on themselves, to watch fiction in which anguish and self-reproach are finally admitted to exist and to govern our behaviour… our whole society finds itself asking

  • Rumpole on America

    From Episode S01E03 (“Rumpole and the Honorable Member”) Oh, there is something you’ll have to be very careful of in America, Nick… The hygiene. Oh, it can be most awfully dangerous. The purity. The grim determination not to adulterate anything. Well, cheers.” Can be found here – at least for now (Also – note to self – Peter Kittle – Thatcher’s institutions: Hegemony and national identity in popular British fiction Chapter 4 – The Law of Empire: Rumpole and the Postcolonial Prerogative)

  • Ideoplagiarism and policymaking

    대한민국 교육부장관 박순애 관한 표절논란 기사가 많이 떴는데 여기서 가장 중요한 포인트는 셀프 표절이다 (self-plagiarism). The fancy word for this is “ideoplagiarism.” Now, plagiarism per se is an indefensible act in academia – where people peddle in the currency of ideas, it is nothing less than thievery. However, self-plagiarism – I would argue – is a different kettle of fish. One of the things that got 박순애 in trouble is that she took a paper that she published, I believe, as a doctoral student at the University of Michigan and translated it into Korean and republished in 한국정치학회보, and

  • Tunneling through Tradition

    Life is never easy for a Japanese filmmaker interested in making small, quiet movies. Whether you are Juzo Itami, Naomi Kawase, or Shunji Iwai, any success leads, invariably, to comparisons with the great man himself. The shadow of Japan’s greatest director, and perhaps the most Japanese of Japanese directors, Yasujiro Ozu, looms large over the country’s cinematic landscape and cultural aesthetic. Unlike Kurosawa (too Western in his influences, too taken with himself), Ozu was a gentler, quieter filmmaker. His movies were warm and circumscribed and full of affection. His shadow now looms large, but it grew slowly, methodically, incrementally –

  • To Read: Sunday, September 5, 2021

    1) India’s DNA COVID vaccine is a world first – more are coming Opinion 2) We Studied One Million Students. This Is What We Learned About Masking. 3) More than 50 long-term effects of COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis | Scientific Reports 4) Public human microbiome data dominated by highly developed countries | bioRxiv 5) An Irrational Party of Rational Members: The Collision of Legislators’ Reelection Quest With Party Success in the Japan Socialist Party – Ko Maeda, 2012