Downton Abbey ( Britain 2010–who cares?)

Downton Abbey has been a predictably enormous ratings success, taking the viewer-friendly melodrama of the soap operas and adding a bodice-ripper gloss by adding a period setting. Twenty or thirty years ago this series would have been a chippy pseudo-Marxist drama but in the post-modern world we get the Edwardians re-invented by a modern snob (Lord Julian Fellowes is quite a mouthful! ) as perky progressive aristocrats who love their servants as much as their servants love them. Each story is carefully compartmentalized (the only person to ever talk to the chauffeur is the young lady who is in love with him but won’t admit it) and un-named characters essentially don’t exist (during the numerous hospital scenes nobody, bar the protagonists, ever speaks or moves unless interacting with a named character).
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A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide & The Question Of Turkish Responsibility (Taner Akam)

bookTaner Akcam is very brave for speaking up for the Armenians, who suffered the first genocide of the 20th century. Unfortunately, there is an ever-growing movement by the Turkish government to cover this up, and they are paying countless individuals to go online and spread lies. Akcam continues to be the boldest Turkish intellectual alive, and his reviews seem to reflect that. He has suffered numerous death threats and various Turkish nationalist fantasies about his having been a “terrorist” before he became a scholar.
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The Land That Time Forgot (1975 UK/USA)

forgotEdgar Rice Burroughs surely had an amazing imagination. He is best remembered for authoring Tarzan, Barsoom and Pellucidar. The Land that Time Forgot is one of his lesser known works. Like most of his stories, this one has some really bizarre notions about science. This story features a lost land where evolution actually runs…er…backwards. [Read more…]

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