A Tangled Web

In last week’s Takimag column, our film critic doctor recounts watching an awful arachnid-inspired movie, which reminds him of the only other time he encountered something similar—in Bolivia in 1982.

I confess that I myself don’t like spiders much: They give me the creeps. Oddly enough, I love insects but not arachnids. I can watch insects for hours. I have a basic rule, which I have adopted and adapted from Animal Farm: six legs good, eight legs bad.

Albania

In the June edition of New English Review, the curious doctor continues his reading on Albania with two new, fascinating additions to his vast library.

Here it must be remembered that the communists provoked many suicides, they never approved of suicide, thinking of it as a kind of petty bourgeois deviation from orthodox optimism. It must also be remembered that although Hoxha was a scheming, unscrupulous, vicious, murderous psychopath, he was also a true believer in his own ideology, and to that extent sincere. This is a unique and uniquely horrible combination of traits: ruthless cynicism allied to the most unquestioning sincerity.

The Co-Decadence Sphere

Back at Takimag, our crafty doctor hatches a scheme to keep the Western world above East Asia through the promotion of intense cultural degeneracy in the form of rap ‘music.’

Watching Korean television (the southern variety) in a Korean restaurant in Southsea—the town where Conan Doyle practiced medicine for a time—some years ago, the presence of the television being inescapable except by leaving the restaurant, I was astonished by the slickness and efficiency of the vulgar kitschiness and appeal to the lowest common denominator of what was shown.

All Talk

In last week’s Takimag, our sound-sensitive doctor confesses his desire to ban modern pop music from public places before commenting on a recent noisy train ride in England.

Unnecessary noise should be regarded in the same way as cigarette smoke now is, a pollutant that infringes the rights of anyone subjected involuntarily to it.

“Forced”

In the May issue of The Critic, the discerning doctor calls out the BBC for allowing some imprecise language to appear on its website.

The BBC’s headline was symptomatic of the attitude of a superior class that divides people into those who, like themselves, choose to act, and those who are forced to act; that is to say the human automata of this world. The latter, of course, need the former to redeem them, to make their lives whole.

In the Name of the Flock’s Welfare

Over at Australia’s Quadrant, the dubious doctor weighs in on the increasingly ‘controversial’ free speech topic, as well as Scotland’s outrageous, quasi-totalitarian ‘hate-speech’ law.

Most people want it for themselves, of course, but many would far rather that others would shut up. It does not come naturally to people to enjoy being contradicted, much less severely criticised. We want freedom from opinion at least much as we want freedom of it.

The Replication Conundrum

Over at Law & Liberty, Dr. Dalrymple considers the perceived increase in scientific fraud and the possible reasons behind this recent phenomenon.

There are, of course, good reasons why scientific fraud should have increased. The number of practising scientists has exploded; they are in fierce competition with one another; their careers depend to a large extent on their productivity as measured by publication. The difference between what is ethical and unethical has blurred.

 

Out, Damned Overactors!

Our theater critic doctor laments the poor diction and exuberant emotional displays of many modern actors on the British stage over at Takimag.

The actor’s words must not only be decipherable, but their meaning should not be lost in a welter of distractingly extravagant gesture, all the more so where the meaning is subtle. No interpretation of Shakespeare can be final, but mode of delivery can destroy. It is a mistake to suppose that the poetry of the 17th century must be delivered with the intonations of a discussion in a bar at the present time.

Richard Glossip Execution Case: A Cat-and-Mouse Game With Justice

Over at The Epoch Times, our irritated doctor slams the Oklahoma—and by extension, the American—justice system for allowing a convicted murderer to be on death row for 27 years before his execution.

What kind of criminal justice system takes 27 years to decide that a man should die, even if he deserves to do so? What kind of criminal justice system plays cat and mouse with a man’s life in this fashion?