Sunday, January 23, 2005

Our newspaper subscription ended on Thursday. While I have had some serious issues with the paper for the past several months, and I agree with L. that we get most of our national news via the internet, I'm not so sure how I'll fare without the daily paper to carry about and read wherever and to have on hand to line birdcages with. Plus, I really dislike the local paper's website and doubt I'll be knowledgeable about local news without the paper; I'm certainly not going to stoop to watching local TV news, not that that would make me knowledgeable about anything anyway.

At any rate, we went out and got a paper this morning, so now I'm reminded that I need to buy the tickets to see Fahrenheit 451. And I learned that country singer Martina McBride is the center of a class being taught at Salem College in Winston-Salem this month: "Happy Girl/Broken Wing: Martina McBride as Text." I don't believe McBride writes her own material, but that's no matter, since the English class is on how she uses her voice, and how students can use their voices "for both self-expression and community involvement."

And I learned that our racist county commissioner is so racist that Sean Hannity has called his remarks "callous, harsh, unfair and insensitive" and asked him to apologize for expressing them. No dice.

And people are plenty mad the confederate flag was removed from a local cemetery.

Okay, so maybe I'd be happier without knowing what's going on around here.

"The Schlesinger panel has officially conceded, although the president has never publicly acknowledged, that American soldiers have tortured five inmates to death. Twenty-three other deaths that occurred during American custody had not been fully investigated by the time the panel issued its report in August. Some of the techniques were simply brutal, like persistent vicious beatings to unconsciousness. Others were more inventive. In April 2004, according to internal Defense Department documents recently procured by the A.C.L.U., three marines in Mahmudiya used an electric transformer, forcing a detainee to ''dance'' as the electricity coursed through him. We also now know that in Guantánamo, burning cigarettes were placed in the ears of detainees."

Andrew Sullivan discusses the official government and Red Cross reports on prisoner torture and abuse in a six page article in the Times Sunday Book Review.

Okay, so maybe I should stop reading newspapers online as well.

On a more pleasant note: Emma Townsend has put together a site of notes on Iris Murdoch's Under the Net as well a site of photos of places mentioned in the text. Someday I'll reread this Murdoch and be very grateful for all Townsend's hard work.

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