Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Six of the Best 483

"The reason Occupy and the Tea Party were such uncanny replicas of one another is because they both drew on the lazy, reflexive libertarianism that suffuses our idea of protest these days, all the way from Disney Channel teens longing to be themselves to punk rock teens vandalizing a Starbucks. From Chris Hedges to Paul Ryan, every dissenter imagines that they are rising up against 'the state.' It's in the cultural DNA of our times, it seems; our rock ‘n’ roll rebels, our Hollywood heroes, even our FBI agents. They all hate the state ... But here’s the rub: only the Right manages to profit from it." Thomas Frank on the success of the Tea Party and the failure of the Occupy movement.

Roger Proz relates the sorry saga of the rise of Britain's giant pubcos.

From America, Lenore Skenazy looks at the Top 10 Nanny State Fails of the Year.

"Paddington is an effective challenge to the country that made it: if you are proud of your purported decency show it consistently. Rather than showing grave suspicion followed invariably by inevitable acceptance, cut out that initial unpleasant and unbecoming phase of hostility. Which is I think you’ll agree an impressive message to convey via a film about a marmalade obsessed bear!" Matter of Facts has been to see Paddington.

Peter Miller reviews a bad 2014 for the England cricket team and concludes that the game must go back to terrestrial television: "The most famous cricketer in England is still Andrew Flintoff, who hasn't played for his country since 2009. The correlation is obvious. Cricket cannot be loved if it cannot be watched."

Emine Saner surveys Maggie Smith's career.

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