‘EU’ Category

  1. Vlad: the Omnipotent Cat

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    December 17, 2016 by AK

    Ivan Krylov published The Mouse and the Rat in 1816. My rough translation follows, without the last quatrain, or the “moral” of the fable. “Dear neighbor, have your heard the good rumors?” Said Mouse to Rat, running in. “They say the cat has fallen into the lion’s claws? It’s time for us to have some rest.” “Don’t rejoice, …
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  2. The Gulf of Mongolia

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    December 14, 2016 by AK

    Alex Ross, the author of The Rest Is Noise and the musical critic of The New Yorker, wrote in his 2007 article on Jean Sibelius: Finns are strangers to the European family. Descendants of an errant Mongolian tribe, they speak a language unrelated to the Indo-European linguistic group. “Descendants of an errant Mongolian tribe”? I imagine …
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  3. Italians have protested against the status quo…

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    December 7, 2016 by AK

    …by voting down proposed changes to that status quo. Italy’s system of government needs to be reformed and everybody seems to know that, within and without the country. Instead of doing something to that end, the referendum turned out a vote of confidence in the government, the EU, and the euro. When Berlusconi tried to …
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  4. Don’t forget Grillo

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    November 26, 2016 by AK

    Professor Jan-Werner Müller from Princeton claims in the London Review of Books: But the peculiarity of Trump is that he seems the equivalent of Grillo and Silvio Berlusconi merged into one person. I don’t think he is, but Müller’s view is an enormous improvement on the Trump as Berlusconi trope. If one is keen on …
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  5. A little too late

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    November 24, 2016 by AK

    They should have done it in 2014: Lawmakers [MEPs] voted on November 23 in favor of a motion condemning Russian state media outlets like the television channel RT and the news agency Sputnik for disseminating “absolutely fake” news. They said the Kremlin was using “a wide range of tools and instruments”, including think tanks, multilingual …
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  6. Madlands

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    November 21, 2016 by AK

    Via Arts and Letters Daily, here’s Timothy Snyder’s little pamphlet in Slate, a brief synopsis of Hitler’s progress hinting at Trump’s possible trajectory. A parallel here, an analogy there, et voilà, here’s a case for Bush Trump as Hitler. Yes, I’m aware most of it is literally about Hitler in 1932-45. “[H]is affection for a foreign tyrant” is …
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  7. Khrushchev and British brutalism

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    November 15, 2016 by AK

    Owen Hatherley writes of British architects active in the first post-WWII decade: In the first ten years after 1945, the pure white style of Bruno Ahrends’s Berlin had been Anglicised, but not in the direction of the monumental dissonance of Brutalism. Instead, it became a friendly, rather cutesy amalgam of Scandinavian design and the English …
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  8. Vilnius: brutalism with a human face

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    November 13, 2016 by AK

    In his latest LRB review, Owen Hatherley writes about Modern Forms: A Subjective Atlas of 20th-Century Architecture by Nicolas Grospierre: Grospierre puts next to each other the Vilnius House of Ritual Services (a Soviet type sometimes known as a ‘Sorrow Palace’, where funerals were held) and a jauntily angled thin concrete shell roof in Amboy, California: Roy’s Motel and …
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  9. Russian “conservatives” are generally hopeless

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    October 31, 2016 by AK

    No matter who gets to occupy the New Shaab Palace and the White House, the Kremlin’s occupants will still have to admit that Russia, viewed as a country rather than merely a strutter on the global stage, is not getting anywhere. It cannot boast of American political liberties, Chinese technological dynamism or European social security, although …
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  10. Amédée Florence’s posthumous dispatches

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    October 27, 2016 by AK

    In the Oregon standoff trial, the defense has presented evidence of FBI infiltration verging into entrapment: Defense lawyers rested in the Oregon standoff case Monday after they called a witness who confirmed he was an informant for the FBI and acknowledged that he infiltrated the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and supervised the …
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