Say it loud - I'm elitist and proud

Friday, October 18, 2002

WOODY HARRELSON, currently appearing in a play in London, writes for the Grauniad.

He must have smoked some awfully good grass to have come up with some of those opinions.

IS HISTORY BECOMING SEXY? Simon Schama is profiled in the London Telegraph:

Last year, his colossal popularity helped sales of history books in Britain exceed, for the first time, those of cookery books, and applications to study history at university are increasing...

'From the beginning, we wanted to tell stories and ask questions.'

I can't think of better description of what historians do - or are supposed to do.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

BALI: in retrospect it seems so obvious. I'd expected an attack against Australians somewhere, involving an Oklahoma City-style truck bomb, but thought it would actually be in Australia. (And I had a list of potential targets in my mind - which I'm not going to share with you.) Like the WTC and Pentagon, the bar in Bali was a well chosen symbolic target. After all, Australians in Bali do all sorts of 'un-Islamic' things: they drink alcohol (hence attack a bar), the women dress 'immodestly', and some even have sex outside marriage! I wonder what the bombers would have made of these visitors. (Nerrilee was the birthday girl at the party I attended at the Bank Hotel, Newtown earlier this year.)

I must say that the media response has been surprisingly low-key. There are special news bulletins, but not wall-to-wall coverage. I think this is due to a combination of factors: lack of spectacular footage, smaller death toll, and lack of surprise. The shock effect of Port Arthur in 1996 was greater, despite the lower death toll, because it was the last thing anyone expected.