This is late as a post has been, so sorry about that – was hanging out with a baby who is far more interesting than blogging.
Think this is the penultimate week of World Cup music, and I’ve missed so much. On the plus side, the delay from normal music choices has probably spared you an endless sucession of songs off Lana del Rey’s new album. This week, it’s the beautiful Chico Buarque (seriously, look up videos of him speaking and get lost in his eyes and voice) and “Apesar de Voce”. Come for the elated chorus, avoid laughing at how the censors let this one through, and stay to prove you’re smarter than them.
Before we start, got an announcement: following the NATO Council Canada articles from last week, am very pleased to have been asked to join their Junior Research Fellow program and write on a more regular basis. So that planned series on British defence spending and strategy will start appearing over there, probably mid-weekish. I’ll link to them in the reading lists too. So that’s exciting. And now let’s go!
- On the subject of my own writing, here’s my review of John Mearsheimer’s The Tragedy of Great Power Politics.
- I linked to this in said review, but this is a really interesting discussion of the domestic political factors that are, and will, undermine the pivot to Asia
- Three interesting, and quite optimistic articles about recent military developments in Africa (I know, I know, Africa’s not a country but.). Here (Fr.), on Nigeria, here on the DRC, and here (less optimistic tbh, and as much about the French as anything), on Mali.
- But a less optimistic take on things in the Congo with regard to the big steps taken in conflict mineral labelling
- Thoughtful discussion from Noam Chomsky of the efficiency and justification for the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions campaign against Israel
- Sobering outline by Tom Nichols of ways nuclear war could still happen
- Bittersweet account of boxer Joe Dorsey’s fight against segregation in Louisiana
- Very interesting discussion of Laurie Penny’s recent article on trans people – gets to the heart of quite complex issues of representation and appropriation
- I’ve been thoroughly unconvinced by Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) I’ve taken this year, so this critique was particularly interesting to me, even if it does occasionally stray into irritating academic-speak
- On David Cameron’s continuing incompetence at European diplomacy: sigh
- History essay on late nineteenth-century aristocrats, the Habsburgs and Franz Ferdinand
- Lovely article on MTV’s Catfish
- I identified a lot with this Telegraph post on how house prices have become so absurd that they’re not even a concern to young people anymore
- Football! Great piece on the tedious stereotyping of “physical” “tactically bemused” African teams. Deliciously provocative on how Brazil’s shambolic Latin American lazy shirking organisation compares to brave efficient brilliant clever Britain’s preparation for the 2012 Olympics. Very interesting take on diving in football – a defence that I really liked, having kind of gotten over of complaining about it. Lovely piece on how, even if we do go out against Germany on Tuesday, Brazilians as a people will have been the biggest winners of the Cup.
- I giggled hard at this article on GTA: Online.
- Funny comic on Bat-privilege.
- When Caitlin Moran’s on form and not being dismissive of marginalised voices, she’s wonderful. This article on her teenaged “sex quest” is delightful.
- I love warm weather but hate the outside and the people who inhabit it – this Buzzfeed list is everything to me.
And with that, we’re done! I’ve just got back to having good internet access so am going to dive headfirst into the Steam Summer Sale windfall. See you all next week!