Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp., repeatedly lobbied Tony Blair to invade Iraq.
In the days leading up to the invasion, Tony Blair's Director of Communications wrote that "(Blair) took a call from Murdoch who was pressing on timings, saying how News International would support us, etc. Both TB and I felt it was prompted by Washington, and another example of their over-crude diplomacy. Murdoch was pushing all the Republican buttons, how the longer we waited the harder it got."
The phone call in question took place just days before a crucial vote on Iraq
, and was one of three personal calls from Murdoch that Blair received in that week alone.
Blair recently testified, admitting an "unhealthy" level of closeness
with Murdoch, oftentimes communicating more with him than with his own ministers.
In the first 19 days following the invasion of Iraq, Rupert Murdoch's Fox News averaged 3.3 million viewers, a 236% increase from the weeks preceding the war
. Huge increases in newspaper sales
were seen throughout his global media empire
, with advertising revenue soaring to record levels. That empire now faces serious calls for it to be broken up
posted by markkraft
on Jun 16, 2012 -
In the wake of their grunge-y breakout hit "Creep"
and the success of sophomore record The Bends
, Thom Yorke and the rest of Radiohead
were under pressure to deliver once more.
So they shut themselves away inside the echoing halls of a secluded 16th century manor
and got to work.
What emerged from that crumbling Elizabethan castle fifteen years ago today was a shockingly ambitious masterpiece of progressive rock, a visionary concept album that explored the "fridge buzz" of modernity
-- alienation, social disconnection, existential dread, the impersonal hum of technology
-- through a mosaic of challenging
, eerily beautiful
music unlike anything else at the time.
Tentatively called Ones and Zeroes
, then Your Home May Be at Risk If You Do Not Keep Up Payments
, the band finally settled on OK Computer
, an appropriately enigmatic title for this acclaimed
harbinger of millennial angst. For more, you can watch the retrospective OK Computer: A Classic Album Under Review
for a track-by-track rundown, or the unsettling documentary Meeting People is Easy
for a look at how the album's whirlwind tour nearly gave Yorke a nervous breakdown
. Or look inside for more details and cool interpretations of all the tracks -- including an upcoming MeFi Music Challenge! [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Jun 16, 2012 -
The need for speed This article contrasts two very different timeframes in the 'social life' of the plant stimulant miraa--known elsewhere as khat--in Kenya and beyond.
One, the heritage and cultural associations around the age of the trees themselves and the other, the impact of the perishability of the product even as demand for it grows on continents halfway around the world, thus the "need for speed". (Previously
posted by infini
on Jun 9, 2012 -
was an obscure and pretty much forgotten British/German low budget (they borrowed sets from Space 1999
) science fiction televsion series from 1975... On the planet Medusa where the women (naturally all hot) rule over the men, two of the later inferior species escape (including Gareth 'Blake
' Thomas!) to the 'paradise' of Earth [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry
on May 4, 2012 -
Sure, the follies of art-speak are easy to laugh at, but often criticism of it begins and ends with a dismissive chuckle – which ignores profounder problems. Why should academic terminology be the default vehicle for discussing art? Why is there such an emphasis on newness, schism and radicality? Even when the art itself may be enjoyably throwaway, language pins it to deathlessly auratic registers of exchange. This suggests a subliminal fear that, if the subject in question is not talked up as Big and Culturally Significant, then the point of fussing over it in the first place might be called into question, bringing the whole house of cards tumbling down
- Dan Fox, the associate editor of frieze magazine, discusses the contemporary art scene in detail.
posted by The Whelk
on Apr 12, 2012 -
Young Edd Gould
always enjoyed drawing comics of himself and his friends. Growing up in the internet age, his doodles
evolved into Flash animations of increasing complexity, and in time Edd and pals Tom Ridgewell
and Matt Hargreaves teamed up to produce an "Eddsworld"
series of online webtoons and comics
At first crude and halting, the group's "eddisodes"
progressed from surreal shorts
into full-fledged productions that pushed the boundaries of amateur web animation, with expressive characters
, full soundtracks
, complex effects, and a fast-paced, off-kilter sense of humor: MovieMakers
- Rock Bottom
- Hammer & Fail
At its height, the college co-op was producing shorts for Mitchell & Webb
and the UN Climate Change Conference
, fielding offers
from Paramount and Cartoon Network, and racking up millions of hits on YouTube
Work slowed, however, when Gould was diagnosed with leukemia
-- a relatively survivable form, though, and Gould carried on working gamely
through his hospital stays. So it came as a shock last week when Matt and Tom announced that Edd had passed away
, prompting an outpouring
in his short 23 years.
posted by Rhaomi
on Apr 2, 2012 -
Network Rail virtual archive
Original drawings and plans of Britain's railway infrastructure from Network Rail, including the Forth Bridge, Bristol Temple Meads station, the Tay Bridge and lots more.
posted by Helga-woo
on Mar 4, 2012 -
Welcome to Omni Consumer Products.
"First they came for the NHS and I said nothing because I was not sick. Then they came for the disabled people and those on benefits and I said nothing because I had an income and didn’t care what the ‘scroungers’ said. Then they came for the schools and I said nothing because I had no kids. Then they came for the police force with private/public partnerships and for speaking up, I received a baton to the face. The private guards looked at their targets and smiled: dissent down 35% this month." [more inside]
posted by ClanvidHorse
on Mar 3, 2012 -
"Everyone knows there’s a catastrophe unfolding, that few can afford to live in their own city. It was not always so." - China Miéville on Apocalyptic London
posted by timshel
on Mar 1, 2012 -
The Victorian Kitchen Garden is a 13-part TV series that aired in 1987 on BBC2.
It follows the month-by-month restoration of the Victorian walled kitchen garden at the Chilton Foliat estate in Wiltshire, England. Almost all the episodes are available to watch online
. (via hark, a vagrant)
It had three sequels - The Victorian Kitchen
, The Victorian Flower Garden
, and The Wartime Kitchen and Garden
- and inspired more recent historical reconstruction programs: Tales From the Green Valley
, A Tudor Feast at Christmas
, Victorian Farm
, Victorian Farm Christmas
, Victorian Pharmacy
, and Edwardian Farm
. (Victorian Farm and Edwardian Farm previously.) [more inside]
posted by flex
on Feb 26, 2012 -
For the first few minutes I'm not even sure this interview should be taking place at all. The greeting is an awkward shuffle of hunched shoulders and downcast eyes; he can't look at me, and I can't hear him. His gaze averted, hands stuffed into pockets, he mumbles in haltingly reluctant whispers, as if words can cause him physical pain. The man should be talking to a doctor, I worry, not a nosy journalist. We try some small talk, but it's almost impossible to make out what he's saying – until I ask what he prefers to be called. "Adam," he says firmly, glancing up for the first time. "Adam Ant."
posted by fearfulsymmetry
on Feb 20, 2012 -