George Monbiot’s piece, Academic publishers make Murdoch look like a socialist, is making the rounds. This paragraph jumped out at me:
Murdoch pays his journalists and editors, and his companies generate much of the content they use. But the academic publishers get their articles, their peer reviewing (vetting by other researchers) and even much of their editing for free. The material they publish was commissioned and funded not by them but by us, through government research grants and academic stipends. But to see it, we must pay again, and through the nose
It reminded me of this scene from the South Park episode Crack Baby Athletic Association (click):
The whole Libyan affair seems kind of like a joke, albeit with some serious consequences for the people involved. Gaddafi’s bizarre behavior. Hapless rebels which seem out of central casting for a dark military comedy like Tropic Thunder. An American political class unable to form a coherent message as to the rationale for the intervention. All set against the background of an even more pressing humanitarian crisis in the Ivory Coast.
As Americans are not familiar with Libya at this point the news media has been plying us with many maps which show the locations of the battles. All of them seem distributed along the nation’s coast on the Mediterranean. This makes sense because of the climate of the country, as well as the concentration of oil refineries in this region. But the maps which always seem to show one set of roads hugging the coastline also make me think of South Park. Here’s the clip below which makes my logic clear: