A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘eurabia

[URBAN NOTE] Four notes on changing cities from Germany, from Frankfurt to Hamburg to Berlin

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  • Bloomberg’s Steven Arons and Gavin Finch observe that Brexit may let Frankfurt emerge as a truly global financial centre.
  • Der Spiegel‘s Alexander Smoltczyk describes how north German port Hamburg is starting to inch towards a bigger global role.
  • Deutsche Welle reports on how, after the G20 meeting, far-left and anarchist groups in Berlin are facing a crackdown.
  • Global News shares Joseph Nasr’s Reuters article reporting on the incomprehension of Arab refugees in Hamburg at that city’s G20 rioters. Why are they doing it?

Written by Randy McDonald

July 10, 2017 at 5:00 pm

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait is skeptical that the Trump-era EPA will deal well with global warming.
  • Discover’s The Crux considers the challenge of developing safer explosives for fireworkers.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper considering the (real) possibility of Earth-like worlds orbiting neutron stars.
  • Language Log notes an odd use of katakana in Australia.
  • The LRB Blog considers the possibly overrated import of George Osborne’s move into the newspaper business.
  • Marginal Revolution notes one observer’s suggestion that China could sustain high-speed growth much longer than Japan.
  • The NYR Daily shares Eleanor Davis’ cartoon journal of her bike trip across America.
  • Peter Rukavina does not like the odd way Prince Edward Island made its library card into a museum pass.
  • Starts with a Bang’s Ethan Siegel notes the odd galaxy MACS2129-1, young yet apparently no longer star-forming.
  • Strange Company explores the strange death of 17th century New England woman Rebecca Cornell.
  • Unicorn Booty looks at how early Playgirl tried to handle, quietly, its substantially gay readership.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at one Russian proclaiming Russia needs to stop an imminent takeover by Muslims.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Centauri Dreams looks at evidence that Ceres’ Occator Crater, an apparent cryovolcano, may have been recently active.
  • Crooked Timber’s John Quiggin wonders what would have happened had Kerensky accepted the German Reichstag’s proposal in 1917.
  • Dangerous Minds looks at some fun that employees at a bookstore in France got up to with book covers.
  • Cody Delistraty describes F. Scott Fitzgerald’s utter failure to fit into Hollywood.
  • A Fistful of Euros hosts Alex Harrowell’s blog post taking a look at recent history from a perspective of rising populism.
  • io9 reports on a proposal from the Chinese city of Lanzhou to set up a water pipeline connecting it to Siberia’s Lake Baikal.
  • Imageo notes a recent expedition by Norwegian scientists aiming at examining the winter ice.
  • Strange Maps links to an amazing graphic mapping the lexical distances between Europe’s languages.
  • Window on Eurasia argues that Russia is on the verge of a new era of population decline, and shares a perhaps alarming perspective on the growth of Muslim populations in Russia.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • City of Brass notes the lie that is Eurabia.
  • Crooked Timber considers Creative Commons licenses as a crude kind of anti-spam technology.
  • The Dragon’s Tales looks at Ontario’s interest in pioneering a guaranteed minimum income program.
  • Far Outliers looks at the history of Korean prisoners of war in the Second World War in Hawai’i.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the death of Nancy Reagan.
  • Language Hat starts a discussion about the cost of designing fonts.
  • Language Log notes the difficulties of some Westerners with learning Chinese compared to Western classical languages.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the complexity of the new European Union-Turkey deal on Syrian migrants.
  • Discover‘s Neuroskeptic notes that we are far from being able to upload content directly to our brains.
  • Strange Maps notes how, in Turkish, different cardinal directions are associated with a different colour.
  • Is Buffalo strongly anti-gay? Towleroad considers this finding, from a social media analysis.

[LINK] “Can Lorin Stein Translate Michel Houellebecq Into a Great Writer?”

Cody Delistraty introduces his readers to a new criticism of Michel Houellebecq as a writer of note. I would just add that it’s important to distinguish between “attention-getting” and “good”.

Few would call Houellebecq, who holds the Prix Goncourt, France’s highest literary honor, a “bad writer,” but in France he is known for his narrative inventiveness while his style is generally accepted as second-rate: something readers put up with in order to get to his ideas. And yet in Submission, his latest novel, his style is so distracting that the Parisian weekly L’Express called him out as “a poor writer but a good sociologist,” adding, “a good writer would not use ‘based on’ in lieu of ‘founded on,’ ‘however’ in place of ‘on the other hand,’ and ‘wine vintage’ when he wants to mean ‘vintage.’ ”

Houellebecq is a classically French intellectual in that the Idea comes above all. By systematically draping ideas over characters, he has created a text that is essentially a political treatise disguised as a novel. For instance, near the end, François gets into a dialogue with a former academic colleague, whereupon they proceed to discuss everything from the social instability caused by mass secularism to the supposed evolutionary benefits of polygamy—all this for multiple chapters, unrelieved by an explanation of feelings or a description of the setting or any of the other details that a reader of fiction might reasonably expect.

Characters, too, are created and erased at will. Myriam, François’ romantic interest, comes onto the scene near the middle of the novel, then disappears when she moves to Israel, never to be mentioned again except for three sentences in the final act. It’s clear that Houellebecq invented Myriam predominately as a comparison to the sexually submissive wives that François’ male friends are gifted after Mohammed Ben Abbes, the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, wins the 2022 French presidential election. Nabokov famously said his characters are his “galley slaves.” Houellebecq’s characters are his way to claim his stories as novels and not academic texts.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 21, 2015 at 9:46 pm

[DM] “On Joe Daniel, Syrian refugees, Eurabia, and the Canadian elections”

I have a brief post at Demography Matters noting the dip of Toronto MP Joe Daniel into Eurabian conspiracy theories. At least, I conclude, the embrace of nativist and xenophobic myths by immigrants shows that integration is working. (Ha ha.)

Written by Randy McDonald

September 24, 2015 at 3:58 am

[DM] “On ‘Why the Muslim ‘No-Go-Zone’ Myth Won’t Die'”

I respond at length to David Graham’s essay in The Atlantic debunking the myth of ubiquitous Muslim-run “no-go zones” in western Europe.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 21, 2015 at 4:59 am