Wednesday, 15 April 2009
Friday, 10 April 2009
Review of Ballard novel from 1994 - picked up in second hand shop late last year. Not heard of it before - review probably explains why.
A difficult one. A sort of inbetweener for Ballard by his autobiographical work and his last 4 hyper-realist books set in the decaying modern world.
Of course brilliantly written and strong/memorable characters - also a good sense of location in the South Pacific. which at the time of writing in the mid 90s was the centre of dispute with Chirac resuming nuclear testing.
A project to supposedly liberate an island from the French Army and to allow the albatross to return collapses with hellish consequences.
I think it loses its way a bit with its discussion of women taking over society. Arguably sexist particularly with its portrayal of Dr Barbara. Notably in his later works his charismatic bad leading figures are all male. It also has a number of pretty disturbing scenes.
Not sure if it is meant to be an allegory but probably bites off more than he can chew which is quite surprising for JGB, on the whole misfiring
Tuesday, 7 April 2009
Looking at the coverage at the recent G20 meeting over the last week I sensed a certain desperation about G Brown. Firstly he built the meeting up ridiculously from what was a run of the mill summit. In the words of the FT
"Finally, it is most interesting that the G20 emerged as the crucial global economic forum. This is quite a transformation. It started as a forum for finance ministers and central bankers to discuss technical arcana. Five years ago, when the G20 convened in the small Mexican city of Morelia, it was not even the biggest act in town. Hotel space in the city was instead hogged by a convention of Harley-Davidson owners, and there was not a protester in sight".
Such was his hyperbole he almost caused capitalism to splinter between European and American interests. Then he overhyped the results stating $1 trillion had been injected even though most of it had already been pledged.
It reminded me of standard SW behaviour - totally exaggerate the importance of an upcoming demo (normally in London). Annoy everyone by focussing on it to the detriment of everything else. Then when the demo is a bit of a damp squib give a completely upbeat report of it playing with the attendance numbers a wee bit! I know Brown was once on the left neolithic ages ago but was he grounded in this school I think we should be told!