All entries for Thursday 27 October 2005
October 27, 2005
Writing about web page http://books.guardian.co.uk/top10s/top10/0,6109,1140156,00.html
Francis Wheen is perhaps my favourite writer, broadcaster and journalist. He writes the Street of Shame column in Private Eye in which he exposes the hypocrisy and in-house scandals of stories in Britain's newspapers.
His recent book How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the World makes a case for the decline of reason over the last quarter of a century. Wheen's targets include the rise of theocracy in the Middle East and, arguably, Republican America; the increasing fashionability for New-Agism in Britain, including the increase in lifestyle Gurus and alternative medicine; the sillier aspects of postmodern thinking; the unquestioning worship of lassez-faire market principles and the teaching of creation mythology as science in some British schools. The best thing about Wheen is his no-nonsense, cutting prose style – almost every sentence could act as a stand-alone quotation. It is controversial and refreshing stuff.