Posts by David Cohen

  • Hard News: We're in this together,

    Well done, Russell. I disagree with you three-quarters of the time, as you know, but I appreciate the way you value people who disagree with you three-quarters of the time. All the best for 2015.

    Brooklyn • Since Jan 2009 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Autism and celebrity,

    One of the many problems facing those grappling with the mysteries of autism is the variety of discrete conditions it covers. No two autists are the same: show me somebody with autism, and I'll show you ... somebody with autism. And no two autists will respond in precisely the same way to a particular therapy.

    ABA certainly is a case in point. While some limited studies have suggested that it leads to social improvement here and there, this appears to be in relation to kids who were "high functioning" to begin with. But many, perhaps most, autists are not "high functioning," so that only gets us so far. What's more, such studies can never be fully controlled, for the very good reason that we don't know what the same kids would be like WITHOUT having experienced the ABA method.

    Yet all the evidence seems to suggest that some kind of intensive intervention therapy in the early years is desirable. New Zealand does rather badly on this front, as much so as it does in providing respite care for affected families, in comparison with other rich-world countries. If the Sewells helped publicise this drab state of affairs, all power to them. Why should anyone care if it was in the course of him promoting a new album? We've all got to make a buck.

    Brooklyn • Since Jan 2009 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Sneaking it out of the shop:…,

    Russell, I don't think you mentioned two local magazines that existed well before RIU: Hot Licks and, much earlier still, Playdate, among whose contributors was one Max Cryer.

    Brooklyn • Since Jan 2009 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Ed Kuepper: a legend interviewed,

    Brooklyn • Since Jan 2009 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Velvet Underground Etc.,

    Hardly anyone bought that first Velvet Underground, but everyone who did went on to form a cult. How else can one explain the ongoing enthusiasm for these "recently rediscovered"--ie, this has been lying around for years, but we really didn't think until now that anybody would actually PAY to listen to it--recordings of long-lost shows?

    Brooklyn • Since Jan 2009 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Conversation Starters,

    Freedland himself did as much when he noted an article by the odious Melanie Philips, about the group Independent Jewish Voices (whose members include Mike Leigh and Stephen Fry), which she chose to characterise as Jews for Genocide.

    No he didn't. It's a really good piece, and thank you for pointing it out. But the Phillips' headline (which she probably didn't even write herself) falls within within the bounds of a strong debate that Fry et al initiated. It does NOT offer an instance of somebody daring to question this or that Israeli policy and for their efforts receiving the most terrible public slandering as an anti-Semite.

    Brooklyn • Since Jan 2009 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Conversation Starters,

    Says RB: "As the horror in Gaza grinds on, might I recommend Jonathan Freedland's writing in the Guardian? See Israel has plenty of tactics for war, but none for peace and Gaza after a Hamas rout will be an even greater threat to Israel. These columns will undoubtedly be earning Freedland the usual accusations that he is a self-hating Jew, but their logic seems persuasive to me."

    By all means recommend Freedland's writing--it's excellently presented--but please, go easy on the strawmen. The other link you give about these "usual accusations" of him being written off as a self-hating Jew actually doesn't bear out what you say. The chastened writer actually apologises to Freedland! In any event, it's probably unusual for that particular epithet to be used about Freedland anyway, since he's widely respected in the UK as a popular commentator with an notably strong Jewish connection.

    Still on the subject of "usual accusations" ... one strikingly recurrent theme among commentators at home and abroad who count themselves as "anti-Zionist" is, they say, that any serious criticism of Israel they make will often be unfairly treated as anti-Semitism by "right-wing" supporters of Israel, especially in the US. But has anyone ever documented this very serious charge by providing actual quotations, in context, showing one single media case, much less a consistent pattern. in which mainstream supporters of Israel have equated mere criticism of Israel with Nazism?

    Brooklyn • Since Jan 2009 • 7 posts Report Reply