Blum, William (Common Courage Press, updated edition October 2008, ISBN 978-1567512526)
In 2009, President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” 
Many thought the prize undeserved – on the grounds that Obama appeared too much the enemy of peace. Had he won it, they asked, for prosecuting a war in Afghanistan? Or instead for his proposal to expand the United States military? Or for his plan to send “at least” two additional American combat brigades to Afghanistan? Continue reading
WERNER HERZOG EATS HIS SHOE
Dir. Les Blank. Perf. Werner Herzog, Alice Waters, Tom Luddy, Michael Goodwin, Chris Strachwitz and Phil Harberts. Flower Films, 1980. Film.
After cooking and eating his shoe in Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe, Herzog explains that he ranks a lack of adequate images as one of the gravest threats to civilisation. He puts it on par with overpopulation and ecological devastation.
For the man who fixes his focus well into the future, it cuts to the marrow of his fear that human progress in his society may’ve ground to a standstill. Without adequate images to knit its dreams from, can his society dream dreams of significance? Or will it spend its time perfecting the Slurpee and finding Australia’s Next Top Model, as its citizens grow more and more isolated from each another? Continue reading
GOD’S SMUGGLER, THE LAND OF THE KANGAROO, REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN THE 1990s, others
Brother Andrew, Elizabeth Sherrill, John Sherrill and Pope John XXIII (Chosen Books, 2001, ISBN 9780800793012), Thomas Knox (W. A. Wilde & Company: Boston, 1896, ISBN (reprint) 9781409970385), Peter Townrow and Ron Martin (editors) (Routledge, 2002, ISBN 9780117023659)
A wearisome ancient practice requires the journalist to begin his description of any country or region by describing it as “a land of contradictions”.
The charitable view sees this as the journalist’s admission that he hasn’t comprehended his subject. That he views the disparate facets he’ll go on to describe as contradictions, comprehending too little about the country or region to harmonise them. Continue reading
DECADES OF THE 20th CENTURY
Yapp, Nick (c. 1986 onwards) several volumes inc. ISBN 3829005229
Getty Images publish a remarkable series of photobooks called Decades of the 20th Century. Besides the usual shots of counterrevolutionaries storming Cuban beaches, the Beatles and parading Nazis, we see Castro batting a baseball out of the ballpark and Emperor Hirohito meeting Mickey Mouse. Continue reading