PRISM-NECESSITATED RE-READ OF THE WEEK: V for Vendetta – Alan Moore
Edward Snowden will likely pay a terrible price for having made the incredibly brave step last week of telling us all what we already knew but were afraid to say out loud. Unfortunately, given that sales of Orwell’s 1984 are reportedly up by 20%, it seems he isn’t the only one: we’re all going to have to suffer a flurry of “Big Brother is Watching You” posters, t-shirts and, probably, irritating people “inspired” by Orwell’s curriculum-standard text. With that in mind, and as an appropriate nod to our bemasked friends in Anonymous, why not opt for Alan Moore’s seminal graphic novel and save us all one more tosser.
GRAPHIC NOVEL OF THE WEEK: Blue is the Warmest Colour
Newsflash: Daniel Day-Lewis isn’t in a wheelchair, he’s also not an oil baron or Abraham Lincoln. Of all the possible objections to Abdellatif Kechiche’s Palme d’Or-winning adaptation of this French graphic novel, it is the author’s – that neither of its stars is actually gay – which seems the strangest. That being said, and Seydoux’s bump and grind aside, the book really is something else and the English language version is due later this year.
ECOLOGY BOOK OF THE WEEK: Feral – George Monbiot [Allen Lane]
Ol’ Monbiot can be a bit fire and brimstone sometimes. Feral is actually kind of eerily serene, by comparison – something which he should have a crack at more often, as it’s much more engaging than his usual “you’ve fucked it all up” Lovelock-esque schtick – quoting Ballard on the jacket is a sure-fire winner, too.
POLITICAL BOOK OF THE WEEK: Hacking Politics - David Moon, Patrick Ruffini and David Segal [OR Books]
It seems only fitting to throw this in the mix: an account of how politicans, hacktivists, activists and average Joes killed SOPA and PIPA and, in the true spirit of the cause, it’s pay-what-you-like for the moment, too. Well worth a read, but, thinking about it, it seems kind of a hollow victory.
SHORT STORY OF THE WEEK: ‘Snorri & Frosti’ – Ben Myers [Galley Beggars]
I don’t read enough short stories, and some of the best writing of the twentieth-century falls into that category: Carver, Johnson, et al. Myers’ Snorri and Frosti has shades of both, but also of Cormac McCarthy’s much-underrated Sunset Limited. Two old guys shooting the shit – it shouldn’t be brilliant, but it really is. (I once said no one would win my heart with a PDF, and now I’ve been made to look a knob.)
POETRY BOOK OF THE WEEK: Acorn – Yoko Ono [OR Books]
Given that later today Ms. Ono will be performing at Southbank’s Meltdown, which she curated, it seems only fitting to champion another of her creative outlets. Fifty years since Grapefruit two things come to mind: 1) I hope it was worth the wait 2) I bet Yoko Ono gets a lot of fibre.