I’m going to Oxford for a coupl’a days to pretend to be a clever person. (And see this debate on the welfare system. I don’t know if it’s significant that even the side against abolishing it has a Tory and a liberal.) Here, then, are some odds and ends to be rescued from the brush of time and dustpan of obscurity. Justin McKeating chides the footballer-defying hordes…

Last year Twitter also went berserk over the Trafigura cover up. There was much less interest in what Trafigura were actually covering up. When it came out what Trafigura had actually done, the fuss was nowhere to be seen. It was all about the rights of nice, western journalists.

One of the features of a time where many people view themselves as liberals or defenders of civil liberties is that they get so caught up with demanding or safeguarding freedoms that they pass over the subject of what’s good or smart to do with them. Like campaigning for days off and spending them in front of old E.R. episodes.

On a related note, you thought you’d never see the words “Ryan Giggs” again with projectile vomiting from here to Kazakhstan but Marina Hyde proves you wrong.

While I’m on CiF, guess who they choose to talk about the complex and technical subject of gender and sex? Why, Julie Bindel and Oliver James! Aaaargh. Why not just pull in someone from the street? They’d be cheaper.

IOZ has closed. Mourning the loss of a blog is one of many things that he’d have found amusing and contemptible about me but I will say this: he never saw value in politics (perhaps rightly) but he did show the value of good writing.

Tim Footman discusses how photos of women sans clothes attracts a readership. With this in mind my use of bald old men seems almost punk. Almost. But not quite.

Your weird story of the day: Jan Bondenson is claiming that the Nazis tried to teach dogs to speak. Unconfirmed fictions suggest that the project was discontinued after Blondi starting chatting about racial equality.

Anyone who shares my tastes might enjoy Carlin Romano‘s piece on Primo Levi; Jana Prikryl’s essay on the genius of Keaton (Buster, that is – not Diane, still less Camille) and Bill Simmons’ fond obituary of Randy Savage.

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