Against complacency and despondency after referendum debate

Pitfalls of media groupthink, example no. 486. Going into STV’s live referendum debate, most journalists and commentators – this observer included – expected a clear victory for Alex Salmond. If Alistair Darling could hope for anything, it would be a close fight or a draw. Mr Salmond was a warm, engaging populist who never letContinue reading “Against complacency and despondency after referendum debate”

The Team Scotland tartan, the Scottish cringe and the indyref

Couldn’t they just go back to blowing up blocks of flats? The Team Scotland parade uniforms for the Commonwealth Games were unveiled on Sunday and confirmed Glasgow’s determination to win gold in the neck-reddening category. First Glasgow 2014 proposed an uplifting opening ceremony in which the Red Road flats would be blown to smithereens; nowContinue reading “The Team Scotland tartan, the Scottish cringe and the indyref”

Eyal, Gilad and Naftali — a response

How should Israel respond to the brutal murder of three schoolboys? “Proportionately,” The World says. “With restraint.” As if it is the hallmark of a civilised society that it views coolly and dispassionately the slaughter of its young. “They were illegal settlers,” say the fellow-travellers with Palestinian rejectionism. “They shouldn’t have been there in theContinue reading “Eyal, Gilad and Naftali — a response”

10 Christmas horror movies to get you in the festive spirit

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas: eggnog lattes, mince pies, inappropriate kissing of work colleagues. But nothing says Christmas like a Yuletide slasher movie, and there are more to choose from than you might think. Mostly, this is due to the slasher boom of the early Eighties, when low-budget film-makers sliced and dicedContinue reading “10 Christmas horror movies to get you in the festive spirit”

Conservatives in crisis

Amid the angry exchanges which have ensued between true believers and “the establishment” since Congressional Republicans, led by Texas Senator Ted Cruz, failed to defund Obamacare by shutting down the federal government, a discordant note demanding attention. The always tempered and considered Jonathan S. Tobin, an editor at Commentary magazine, threw up this possibility: AContinue reading “Conservatives in crisis”

American Dreamer

The Great Gatsby (Baz Luhrmann, 2013) Warner Bros/Roadshow Entertainment The Great Gatsby is the biggest, brightest, most thrilling movie of the year so far. It sings and swings like a chorus line and smolders with the smoky intensity of a gin-soaked speakeasy. Leonardo DiCaprio captivates as the mysterious millionaire of the title and Carey MulliganContinue reading “American Dreamer”