Jersey John, Bootham: Unbiased news reports, and the media that carry them, are being usurped by those with an axe to grind. Those of us who consume news are as much responsible for the current state of affairs as those who produce it. Propaganda is nothing new but it only works when readers, listeners and viewers are complicit in swallowing whole its lies and distortions. The internet is simply the latest delivery mechanism, but for users and abusers it has the advantage that entry barriers are low and quality control patchy or non-existent. This much is obvious, but still we willingly lap up poorly researched, biased and often malign content, which validates our own preconceptions rather than challenging them. Attention spans are shortening, respect for alternative views dwindling. Instead of fruit and vegetables, we are feasting on chocolate and fizzy drinks.
in FT Weekend
Hants Kevin, Stagg: The Odyssey was given fewer than five stars by Longinus, who wrote of Homer in On the Sublime more than 1,700 years ago: “Writing The Iliad in the prime of life, he made the whole body of the work dramatic and vivid, whereas the greater part of The Odyssey is narrative, as is characteristic of old age—the decline of emotional powers in great writers and poets gives way to the portrayal of character.”
in The Times
Hampshire Michael, West: I have always wondered why airports search your bags and confiscate any knives you’ve forgotten to remove, then promptly give you as many sharp knives as you want when you have a meal on the plane.
in The Daily Telegraph