Does this benefit us?

Matthew Parris’s article on the Times website today (via Harry’s place) reminds me why I simply do not identify with the Conservative ideology, despite the progression of history aligning the political spectrum in such a way that politics deals – for the main part – only with the details.

What has happened to the Tory insistence on putting the national interest first? At the end of all discussion of the ethical dimension of foreign policy, the question “does this benefit us?” should distinguish a conservative in politics. When Tories hear British ministers accuse France of acting “selfishly” our reaction should be to ask whether this is necessarily a bad thing in government.

How does thinking only of ourselves make everything better?

Avenue Victor Hugo books

The Avenue Victor Hugo bookstore is closing down. This isn’t just a result of advertisers and marketing executives whoring their products. It isn’t just competition.
Is it the result of the publishers? The charges against them are considerable:

Marketing their product like so much soap or breakfast cereal, aiming at demographics instead of people, looking for the biggest immediate return instead of considering the future of their industry, ignoring the art of typography, the craft of binding, and needs of editing, all to make a cheapened product of glue and glitz. For being careless of a 500 year heritage with devastating results.

Is the decline to be blamed on book-buyers?

Those who want the ‘convenience’ and ‘cost savings’ of shopping in malls, over the quaint, the dusty, or the unique; who buy books according to price instead of content, and prefer what is popular over what is good—for creating a mass market of the cheap, the loud, and the shiny.

The decline to be blamed on the public?

Those who do not read books, or can not find the time; who live by the flickering light of the television, and will be the first to fear the darkening of civilization. For not caring about consequences.

Taken from here.

Twenty faces

I have very much enjoyed the Twenty Faces feature on textism. As is clear from this article on A List Apart – and indeed from any cursory glance of typography-aware sites – the ability to choose a font from a group that to many seem to have no difference to each other is a fundamental part of the construction of websites, if not only for sanity-based purposes.
There was a time when Georgia would have done the trick for me but certainly any newsprint will involve one of the twenty fonts presented here, and if it wasn’t so difficult to sort out (apart from using images[!]) then that change would be reflected here. But, of course, it won’t be – too much time fiddling about with style sheets is sure to lead to some sort of frustration.