Monday, 8 April 2013

News: Restaurant Criticism, Cultural Boycott, And Court Battle

The restaurant critic's "perverse secret agenda" is not about getting free food, it seems, but to map "uncharted territories for the benefit of the hungry." So, no point in blogging about a place that's been reviewed n+1 times, then.

Premised around Pete Wells's takedown of a Guy Fieri restaurant, the piece also includes a look at the person The Awl says was the first restaurant reviewer who, bien sûr, happens to be French.

Iain Banks on why he's supporting a cultural boycott of Israel. Paragraph is split for easier reading:

The particular tragedy of Israel's treatment of the Palestinian people is that nobody seems to have learned anything. Israel itself was brought into being partly as a belated and guilty attempt by the world community to help compensate for its complicity in, or at least its inability to prevent, the catastrophic crime of the Holocaust.

Of all people, the Jewish people ought to know how it feels to be persecuted en masse, to be punished collectively and to be treated as less than human. For the Israeli state and the collective of often unlikely bedfellows who support it so unquestioningly throughout the world to pursue and support the inhumane treatment of the Palestinian people – forced so brutally off their land in 1948 and still under attack today – to be so blind to the idea that injustice is injustice, regardless not just on whom it is visited, but by whom as well, is one of the defining iniquities of our age, and powerfully implies a shamingly low upper limit on the extent of our species' moral intelligence.

This came in this afternoon, with several minor errors (which should be corrected already):

ZI Publications Sdn Bhd and its director Mohd Ezra Mohd Zaid have been given the nod by the Federal Court here today to challenge the constitutionality of a Selangor state religious enactment which restrict[s] freedom of expression.

Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria[,] presiding a five-member panel[,] unanimously granted leave to the publishing company and Mohd Ezra who have filed a petition seeking the Federal Court to declare invalid Section 16 of the Syariah Criminal Enactment 1995.

..."It would be an interesting case to hear," said the Chief Justice...

Yes, it's about that book.

On a related note, someone sheds some light on censorship in Malaysia.

Other stuff:

  • A call from 'God' and the travails of writing a New York Times book review. One important lesson: Don't junk your galley proofs until the review is published. To be safe, wait for a week after publication (my rule of thumb).
  • Ten terms for various parts of a book, in case one needs to dissect a copy. I've been looking for #7 (head-piece/vignette) for ages.
  • Andrew Zimmern and Tony Bourdain chat about fatherhood, creative freedom, etc - and Winnie the Pooh (warning: spoiler ahead for those who haven't read it).
  • Among this selection of ten very expensive typos includes a US$80 million hyphen, an extra letter that costs US$1.4 milion, and a boo-boo that cost a Japanese security firm US$340 million (Itai!). Who says typos aren't important?
  • Book promotion strategies that (allegedly) worked for these people. Best (and often-ignored) advice: "Writing a good book."
  • Writers' letters may reveal certain things about them, but do you want to know?
  • Seven myths and three truths about book editing might help improve the overall quality of books.
  • How editors can be more 'conversational' on Twitter. But should editors be more social, given the nature of their work? And do editors want to be more social?
  • Another 'next indie success story' fizzles out - or does it?
  • Can't move from journalism to fiction and creative non-fiction? Here's some advice.


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