Recommended Reading (2010-06-20)

Can London actually be considered to have a grid system? If you're insane, the answer is yes. But it's a nice try nonetheless.

Six days left in England… time to do all those things I haven’t done. Unfortunately at this point, the business of winding up my affairs leaves me with time to do little more than the Tank Museum – but I think that alone should be enough (alas, I leave exactly when “Tankfest” begins this year). Anyways, here’s what I’ve been trying to read when possible:

– Scott Tobias writes a great piece on Starship Troopers – “the most subversive major studio film in recent (or distant) memory” – for The Onion A/V Club:

Starship Troopers isn’t a satire about any specific war, it’s a brilliant dissection of how all wars work—how they’re packaged and sold via propaganda, how the enemy is (in this case, literally) dehumanized, how young people are sent eagerly to sacrifice on the front lines.

– The problem I have with Apple isn’t for OSX, it’s for the ‘iOS’. But Steve Jobs seems to have abandoned the former in favor of his glorified content distribution channel.

– How do you replace the Humvee?

– Kyle Mizokami at Japan Security Watch demonstrates Japanese urban warfare tactics through the power of Youtube.

– Starbuck dissects the real capabilities of the Russian PAK-FA and finds it sorely wanting.

– Harry’s Place reminds us of the simpler times, when a good Communist joke was as easy to find as a Trabant in East Berlin:

Three men in a Soviet labor camp were discussing why they were there.

“I got to work ten minutes late,” said the first, “so I was accused of sabotage.”

“I got to work ten minutes early,” said the second, “so I was accused of being a foreign spy.”

“I got to work exactly on time,” said the third, “so I was accused of buying a Swiss watch on the black market.”

– Hitler: disciplinarian, no-nonsense leader of men, saviour of oppressed minorities? Apparently, in India the answer is yes.

And the past week on Automatic Ballpoint:

It was even quieter than last week, somehow, as I bottled up all my rage and released it at once, much like a certain oil well in a certain gulf of a particular nation.