Amidst the continuing screeching about expenses, two pieces caught our eye in the weekend paper:
Is It The End for Quality Non-Fiction? was at first sight the usual scare-mongering stuff about the death of publishing, but proved to have been done a disservice by its headline. It has some nice stuff about comparing the current climate to the pre-net book agreement world of nineteenth century bookselling, and uses Rolf Harris as a sort of anti-literary boogie-man for some reason. It is as much a potted history of bookselling as anything else, and to this end it is brief but relevant. Inevitably, it answers its own question with a less exciting-looking ‘Er, no, probably not,’ but it’s still worth reading for all that.
Also, Tristram Stuart had a really interesting piece on vegetarianism – how it might be extended to more people, and whether eating a little meat is better than eating lots, if you can’t commit to eating none at all! There are all sorts of theories about how easy it is to be a vegetarian, ranging from the effect of your blood type to the environmental impact of one option or another, but the example of Ghent, whose newly inaugurated meat-free day a week prompted Stuart’s article, is worth thinking about: the industrial scale of meat production is unprecedented, and reducing its impact isn’t an either-or choice…
There were also some photos fron Zed Nelson of facelists and fat removal operations which we’d rather not think about again. Good times.