Unnecessary Strangers: A Review of “The Aquariums of Pyongyang” by Kang Chol-Hwan.

North Korea is the most dysfunctional state on earth. As this bizarre country began life as a Soviet client, it is often referred to as ‘the last Stalinist state’. Yet while it is true that Stalin helped Kim Il Sung establish and maintain a ruthless totalitarian regime on the Soviet model, it is also true … Continue reading Unnecessary Strangers: A Review of “The Aquariums of Pyongyang” by Kang Chol-Hwan.

REVIEW: “Among the Dead Cities” by A. C. Grayling.

A thought provoking and troubling read that is all the more powerful for being so reasonably argued. Here Grayling sets about a moral examination of the Allied bombing campaign during WW2 with his usual calm and clarity. The Allied campaign, and, by implication, the Allied powers, don’t emerge looking particularly healthy under such penetrating illumination. … Continue reading REVIEW: “Among the Dead Cities” by A. C. Grayling.

THEY JUST CAN’T HELP THEMSELVES: On the Utter Bloody Rudeness of Religion. (Jan 2010)

It is the sheer scale of the disaster that is its most salient and terrifying characteristic. On Tuesday 12 January, a 7.0 magnitude scale earthquake struck near the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince, destroying – in a matter of minutes – the entire infrastructure of an already struggling third-world country, as well as taking with it somewhere … Continue reading THEY JUST CAN’T HELP THEMSELVES: On the Utter Bloody Rudeness of Religion. (Jan 2010)